Friday, April 25, 2014

One week!

This time next week I will be traveling to see my awesome buddy Kristen from over at BeerCat Brewing. If you remember, she came to visit me back in September, right before Ella was born (and if you don't see my posts here and here and her much better post here). When she came out to BFE, I was hugely pregnant with Marian. This time, she is pregnant with her second little one and is rocking the cutest bump.

I am way super excited. Kristen totally rocks and I am looking forward to spending a weekend gabbing away with her. We spent her visit talking for 72 hours straight, without having to worry about my cell phone crapping out or needing to run errands or kids waking up from naps. I'm surprised we weren't both completely hoarse by the time I dropped her off.

And although I feel like a bad mom admitting this, I'm looking forward to a weekend without my toddler. Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love Ella. But I have not had a day away from her in almost 2.5 years. And I'm kind of ready. Sad and a little nervous about leaving her, but ready for a mini-break from all the not-so-fun aspects of having a two year old. Think of it as a recharge weekend. Or that she's getting a special Daddy-Ella weekend.

Of course, our girls' weekend won't be totally kid-free. The Boob Monster will be traveling with me and Kristen has her own two year old. LB will get a crash course in being a big sister.

It is going to be an awesome weekend.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

 Happy Easter from our family to yours! We had a fun weekend of dyeing eggs, hunting for eggs, binge eating candy, and hanging out with friends. 

Each year I go kind of crazy with dyeing Easter eggs. I think I might enjoy it more than my kids, although this year Ella got pretty into it. We make hard boiled eggs quite often and every Easter I think we should dye eggs throughout the year (because why not) and then I end up forgetting. 

This year's finished product. Half of them are already cracked because Ella bashed them. 

Nomming on an egg. Not the funnest of teething toys

The mad scientist hard at work

The girls' baskets were pretty minimal. I totally cheated and put the stuff my mom sent in their baskets (a bib for Marian and a book for Ella) and gave them stuff they were getting anyway, like the Annie's bunny crackers that we ought to buy in bulk. They each got an outfit that my friend Laura custom-made (she has a ton of super cute stuff if you want to check out her shop).

Not quite sure what to make of her Easter basket
Modeling their new outfits
Doing an egg hunt with a toddler was...interesting. Last year we simply scattered the eggs around the floor and called it a day. This year we got the idea to actually hide the eggs. Since she did an egg hunt at mom's day out, we presumed things would go smoothly. Yeah, I should have remembered that she is a toddler and things never go as planned. 

We hid the hard boiled eggs around the play room. I thought it would be cute to hid one in the pan on her play kitchen. She promptly found it but refused to pick it up because (a) the stove is hot (duh mom) and (b) it wasn't done cooking yet (double duh). And so on and so forth. 

Then she moved onto the few plastic eggs we had hidden around the living room. She found the one by the couch and decided to re-hide it under a pillow. Every time we asked her to find more eggs she would go back to the couch, show us the egg, and inform us that "it's hiding." 

In any case, she had a fun time. 

Ella searching for eggs

Enjoying a cup of coffee in the midst of the chaos

Poor Marian, on the other hand, spent most of the weekend out of sorts, as she is battling yet another cold. Eventually we have to reach a point where neither kid will have a runny nose, right? Despite feeling crummy, she figured out how to pull herself to standing. Now she demands to stand all. the. time.

Oh yeah. This happened. 
 On the agenda for this week- going for lots of walks to burn off all the Cadbury eggs.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Things I learned today

Another day, another trip to the pediatrician's office. Ella's nasty bug- probably picked up when we were at the pediatrician's for Marian's check up (the irony is not lost on me)- is lingering and so I got to spend another lovely morning dragging the kids to the doctor.

Every parenting adventure has the potential for teaching you fun new lessons. Here's what I learned (so far) today:

-Getting a two year old to stay still for an x-ray is an absolute treat. Putting a stuffed animal on your head and asking her to watch for butterflies coming out of your nose helps.

-I am capable of breastfeeding the baby with one hand and using the other to pick up a toddler who is throwing a complete fit in the pediatrician's waiting room.

-It is pretty embarrassing when your toddler attempts to bite the doctor when she is trying to get a look in her throat.

-My two year old thinks having to pee in a cup is the best thing ever. And will throw a fit in the pediatrician's bathroom when you attempt to explain that the doctor doesn't need her to pee in a cup this time. But she will continue to ask to use every bathroom she spots in hopes of getting to pee in a cup again.

Naturally, after all that hassle, the verdict is simply that she has a virus. For the sake of my sanity and my liver, let's hope she is on the mend soon.

Friday, April 11, 2014

We can't catch a break

The tally of the past 24 hours:

-One crabby teething baby

-One mama with a sliced open foot, due to a knife that fell out of the drying rack

-One feverish crabby toddler, taken down by an unidentified bug

Watching George on the TV snuggled up with her BFF George


Monday, April 7, 2014

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

This little tiny squishy baby...

So serious now this big smilely roly-poly baby. I feel like I say this all the time, but where did the time go?! 

Those cheeks! They kill me. 

Weight: 16 lbs (55%)

Height: 26 1/2 inches (90%- holy cow!)

Teeth (!): Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a tooth! She got her first central lower incisor at the end of April. The second one looks like it is not far behind. 

Diapers: I'm still puzzling out the heavy wetting situation. If anyone has ideas regarding keeping her dry through the night I would love to hear them. 

Clothes: She's plateaued a bit and is still in 6-9 and 9-12. 

Sleep: Since starting on solid food we've had some better luck on the sleep front. There have been two times in the past month that she has only been up once. Most nights it's still 2-3 times. On bad nights it's still 5+ times. 

During the day she is mostly on the 2-3-4 schedule, which I love because I can look at the clock and know exactly when she will be ready for a nap. You know, because the "I'm super cranky" cry isn't obvious at all. 

Food (including solid food!): In addition to nursing, she's started on some solid food. So far she's had bananas (felt kind of meh about them), oatmeal (likes okay), yogurt (loves), applesauce (the current favorite), and avocado (tried tonight- gobbled up a few pieces then the rest was a decided no). We're doing a mix of purees and baby led weaning, while sticking with the attitude that "food before one is just for fun." Along with, "Have a full belly and please for the love of God sleep through the night." 

Milestones: She is a rolling machine and does this crazy crawling backwards thing. Forwards crawling will be happening soon! If you are holding her hands, she tries to pull herself up and tries to take steps. 

She's getting better at sitting unassisted. Still topples over quite a bit and even the pediatrician said she could be doing a bit better. Mission for this month- become a rock star sitter upper. 

And a weird milestone- her clogged tear duct finally cleared up. In the interest of full disclosure, this might have happened last month. However, since I noticed it this month, that's where I'm placing it. 

Miscellaneous: Everyone comments how she is this sweet, calm baby. Well, let me tell you- girl has a serious temper. Ella tried to take away Marian's beloved spoon and Marian grabbed on with both hand and then gave an ungodly shriek. They've been having a lot more sibling "spats" in the past few weeks- most likely because Marian can move a heck of a lot more and is incredibly adept at grabbing stuff (so says the bald spot on my head), and the two year old is not always happy with this. 

Despite that, Marian still thinks her sister is her best buddy (not entirely sure Ella feels this way). I love that they are "playing" together more and more. 

Laundry basket fun

Ring around the rosie, complete with hats. Why hats? Ask Ella. 

And now for some more photos:

Looking sweet 

Smiling at Daddy, who was being silly behind the camera

Not entirely sure how she feels about food
(Funny story about this photo- Jim saw it and said, "Wow, Ella sure looks a lot like Marian in this photo!" Granted, we had been looking a pictures of Ella beforehand. But yes, that photo DOES look a lot like Marian)

Her beloved spoon

Nomming on the bib

Eleanor Mary, Quite Contrary

As Ella progresses further into her twos, she has developed quite the contrary personality. Here are some of our more recent episodes of terrible two-ness:

-"Marian, grab my hair!" Dangles hair in her sister's face. Baby naturally obliges and gives a good yank. "Marian, DO NOT GRAB MY HAIR! We do not grab hair, Marian!"

-At the doctor's office: "I DO NOT LIKE SHOTS!" Throws herself down on the ground and has a huge fit. I point out that her sister is the only one getting a shot. She stops to consider that, then tells me, "I am crying! Marian should not like her shots! I want her to cry!!!" Lovely. Just lovely.

-As she's lying in bed screaming: "I just very tired Mama! I just very tired!" I tell her she is in bed and could close her eyes and stop screaming. "I can't! I just very tired!"

-While I'm feeding Marian some baby food: "Haha, Marian! I have a cookie! You only get to eat baby food!" She then proceeds to wave the cookie around and flaunt it in her sister's face. Marian might only be six months old, but she was completely aware of the fact that Ella was being a little stinker.

Then we have three phrases that drive me absolutely batty:

1.) "I do not like that!" I have no clue where she picked that one up. But she says it about everything. I would like to find whoever taught her that and punch them in the face.

2.) "Babies/Marian can't do that!" Said about absolutely anything. Sometimes she'll interrupt me to tell me more things she's thought of that babies can't do.

3.) "I can't! I'm a baby!" Said whenever she doesn't feel like doing something.

Ugh. At least she's cute.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Garden preview

It's that time of year again- garden time. This year we decided to significantly expand our little garden area.

Here's the original garden area:

With our soil it's pretty much necessary to have raised beds. Last year Jim meticulously built our first garden bed from rocks. It looks nice, but we- well, he- didn't have time for that this year. Plus we aren't entirely sure what we're going to do with the side of the yard and needed something less permanent. 

Enter in these two garden beds: 

The plan is to have one for herbs and one for more vegetables. If you're wondering what the black thing is in the back corner- that's our compost bin. I'm weirdly excited about composting. 

The planned plants for this year: 

-cherry tomatoes
-peppers (bell, jalapeno, and cayenne)
-green beans
-corn (well, maybe- we're looking into it)

If that wasn't enough, we decided to put in a big long row of raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry bushes. Supposedly they do quite well in our climate. They don't look like much of anything at the moment. When we checked on them today, some of them were already getting some leaves. They won't produce anything this year but hopefully next summer we will have plenty of berries. 

There you have it. I'll post an update later when the garden is a little bit more interesting to look at. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The pit of despair

Today, we are getting our very own pit of despair installed.

Sadly, it doesn't look like this:

Albino monk sold separately

It's actually just a boring tornado shelter. But obviously it's a lot more fun to call it the pit of despair.

Considering the time we've had so far today, I think my naming is pretty apt. The guys ended up hitting a water line while they were digging. Can I pause and ask, who the hell puts a water line under the garage? Because, ya know, if something ever happened to said water line, wouldn't it be vastly preferable to dig through grass instead of through concrete? The hitting of the water line meant that, along with having no water all morning long, we have to pay the plumber AND will have to pay the shelter guys overtime. Ugh.

Hopefully the pit of despair will be complete soon. And here's hoping we don't ever have to use the thing for anything other than storing beer.

Florida vacation photo dump

Within 36 hours of returning from vacation, I had to deal with a puking toddler, a sick husband, and a baby whose first tooth broke through and didn't want to be put down. Due to all that, I don't have the energy to do the nice blog post I had planned. Instead you can deal with looking at a bunch of photos and make up your own story about my trip. 

The Beach 

Ella very happily digging in the sand

Such a little beach bum

Marian not to sure what to think.
Side note: if your child eats sand, it will come out the other end and be as nasty as it sounds

Attempt #56874387 to get them both looking at the camera at the same time

....and again

Close enough

Visit to Charleston: 

Coloring at lunch with Great-Grams

Great-Grams and Marian

Marian with both her great-grandparents

Ella getting the stink-eye from her great-grandparents because she was being a little stinker

At the South Carolina aquarium-looking up at the big wall of fish

Playing with the stuffed sea turtle instead of looking at the real one in front of her

My grandmother, my cousin Emmy, and Ella

Our best attempt at getting both girls in the picture. Marian was asleep

Actual proof that I go places, since I'm usually the one behind the camera

Taking a break to play around

Looking at some sort of snake or lizard

Playing together

Ella being wild, per usual

Watching "Heidi" with Grams, one of my grandmother's favorite movies. I have fond memories of watching it with her as a little kid

No idea what Marian is doing, but she's happy

My grandfather was so happy to meet her

Ella getting swung around by my Aunt Denise

Just handing out

Back to Jacksonville: 

Marian at the playground

At the zoo with Jenny and Michael

Marian very content snuggling with her Grandpap

Ella and Grandmama at lunch

Testing out a swing

Marian at this neat indoor play space called Bay and Bee. 

Ella pretending to be asleep in the baby bouncer

One of the many times we went out for ice cream

"I do it BY MYSELF!"

Stopped while taking a walk on the beach

Ella wearing a color-changing shirt

Taking a ride on the sea turtle. We have to stop and see this thing every time else Ella has a fit. Marian, of course, is asleep 

Taking a ride the best way possible

Future blackmail photo: trying to strip while at lunch. The restaurant had a neat little sand pit for the kids to play in. 

We ran into the Batmobile

Overall, the word I would use to describe the trip is "bittersweet." My grandmother has terminal cancer, and I don't know if I'll ever get to see her again. I was beyond happy to be able to spend some time visiting with her and get to introduce her to Marian.