Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Margot: 11 Months

Better late than never...

We've been busy this holiday season, having already traveled to Ohio and back.  Forgive my tardiness!
We have almost reached the end of my girl's first year.  ELEVEN months old already.  Where have these past months scurried off to in such a hurry??

My sweet, happy girl.  She really is just one of the happiest babies.
She is ON THE MOVE.  This past month, the little lady became a walker.  One morning, J and I sat on the floor with her, and had her practice taking a few steps at a time, back and forth between us.  Apparently that was all she needed to realize she knows how to walk.  That very day, she decided that she'd walk everywhere, rather than crawl.  And now she can move at quite a clip!  She just loves it.
She thinks she's a big kid.  She wants to do everything her brother does.  She even climbs up on his little chair and tries to jump, just like he does on his bed.

She's an eater.  She pretty much has no interest in being spoon-fed.  AT. ALL.  She'd prefer to pick up her food and feed herself.  She's a fan of bread, just like her mama.  And potatoes.  And meat.  And fruit.  And vegetables.  She'll eat just about everything, as long as she can feed it to herself.  Independent, this one.
She smiles a lot.  And laughs at nothing in particular.  She hugs her daddy every night when he gets home from work.  She plays tug with the dog, and loves getting slobbery kisses.  She gives slobbery kisses.  She is just a joy.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Margot: Ten Months

My little firecracker is ten months old!
The little speedster is growing up fast.  This past month, she took her first steps.  She hasn't reached walking status quite yet, but she is taking four or five steps at a time before she plops down onto her fanny or dives onto a couch.
She adores her brother.  He can look her way and say just about anything, and she'll laugh.
She's got attitude.
She's happy and playful and sweet.
I can't wait to see more of her personality come out over the next few months.  I think I'm in for lots of fun!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Margot: Nine Months

Dear Margot,

It's very hard to believe that three-quarters of a year have passed since I brought you into this world.  I remember so well snuggling you in the hospital, crying happy tears at the arrival of my daughter.  But at the same time, I look at you now and can't believe that it's only been three-quarters of a year.  You have a full-fledged personality, you're trying desperately to walk, and you have a head FULL of hair.  So accomplished for a mere 9-months of age!
I look at you every day and think about how pretty you are.  Yes, I know I am biased.  But your strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes are just so striking.  I'm not positive where those blue eyes came from, but they sure are beautiful.
Your smile makes me smile, EVERY. TIME.  It is infectious.  People can't help but giggle when they see your silly face, ALWAYS with the tongue out.
You are so strong willed.  You are on your feet, standing alone, cruising along furniture, and even letting go to transfer from one piece of furniture to the next with a little step.  Your daddy says that this is the month when you'll learn to walk.  Time will tell, but I believe that if you want to do it, you're going to do it.  And believe me, you want to grow up.  You have pretty much no use for pureed food anymore- you want to chew.  You want to walk.  And you want to talk.  I have watched you imitate my sounds, watching my mouth move with such concentration.  You are learning to wave.  You will your fingers to open and close like Daddy's do when he waves to you.

Margot Claire, my little lady.  I love you.


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Potty Training Hell

Oh, my.  Friends, we're potty training.
I must say that this is the most stressful thing I've done as a parent yet.  Really.  I wasn't interested in going there quite yet, as my nugget is only 2 1/2.  I knew I had some time before it became weird that my kid was wearing diapers, and quite honestly, I hoped that if I waited until he was older, he'd just decide to use the toilet on his own and I wouldn't have to struggle with the potty training.

Yeah, right.

I knew I needed to pull the trigger when Gabe came up to me during a play date and said "need a nice, clean diaper."  Yep, he couldn't stand to be in a dirty diaper for longer than two minutes.  And if I wasn't quick enough with the diaper change, into the diaper the hands would go, as he was uncomfortable.  I most certainly was not about to deal with a hands-in-diaper situation on a daily basis!

Enter "big boy pants."

I decided that since I knew my boy got uncomfortable when things weren't quite right in the pants-area, I'd just put him in underwear.  He'd soon realize that peeing in his pants meant wetness, and he would hate it, and start using the toilet, no problemo.

Again- yeah, right.

So Monday we installed our new toilet seats with the built-in child seat, and into underwear Gabe went.  It took him a little while to get over not having a diaper, but soon enough he was happily playing in his new big boy pants.  I set a timer to go off every 20 minutes.  Each time the timer rang, we ran to the bathroom to try going potty.  This wasn't Gabe's favorite, so I had to make going to the bathroom appealing.  I let him bring toys and snacks with him, and he got on board.

Eventually, it became all about the snacks.  Rice cakes, specifically.  Yep, he was a cheesy, rice-cakey mess.  As was the toilet.  As was the bathroom floor.  And just for some comic relief, at one point he pointed out "Got rice cakes on penis.  I get it."  And he brushed himself off, crumbs falling into the toilet.  Good times.

Anywho, we were constantly traipsing back and forth to and from the bathroom.  Gabe would sit and snack on his rice cakes, and do a whole lotta nothing else.  And then Margot's nap time would roll around.  I'd make sure that Gabe had just tried to pee before I went to put her down, so I felt confident that I wouldn't miss it.  But lo and behold, during those five minutes I was away, Gabe peed his pants.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

This happened several more times.  He would sit and sit and SIT on that toilet, but wait until the few minutes I left the room to have an accident.

Tuesday was much of the same.  Lemme tell ya', I pretty much just wanted to drink heavily.  I was beyond frustrated.  We were STUCK at home waiting on something to happen, and we had ZERO successes at the end of two days.

Then Wednesday rolled around.  I told Gabe I wasn't giving him his big boy pants back until he learned to pee only in the toilet.  He wasn't happy about it, but that's the way it was gonna be- naked from the waist down.  I'd read that kids feel like they need someplace to go- it used to be a diaper, then for Gabe it became underwear.  So I took all of that away, and encouraged the toilet to be the place he'd go.

He had two accidents that morning, (of course not on the hardwood, only on the carpet) and by the third time he realized the sensation and ran his little naked tushy to the bathroom.  And he's peed in the toilet every time since then.

(Of course, he hadn't mastered the #2 yet.  As I was coming back down the stairs after putting Margot down for her nap, feeling very confident as he had just peed before I headed upstairs, I heard Gabe repeating "only toilet, only toilet, only toilet" over and over again, as he looked down in dismay at the turd on the floor.  Oh, yeah.  This potty training stuff is awesome.)

After four straight days of being cooped up in the house, concentrating on nothing but using the toilet, we finally left the house on Friday.  And he did great.  He stopped playing to run to me and say "pee in toilet!"  We ran to the bathroom and he did his thing.  He's even stayed dry during naptime and overnights.  I am so very pleased with the progress he's made, and I no longer have the urge to shoot tequila every time I hear the kitchen timer go off.

Now to work on that whole poop thing.  Don't you wish you were me?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Margot: 8 Months

Oh, silly Miss Margot.  You are just awesome.

My little lady's personality is really starting to shine through these days.  And lemme tell ya', I think we may be in trouble.  She's a little spitfire.

This month, movement is the name of the game.  Ain't nothin' gonna hold this girl down.  She really just wants to walk.  After all, she's got a big brother to keep up with.  She's pulling up on everything, and sometimes even letting go to just stand.

She's also got quite a loud mouth, and she's not afraid to use it.  Especially if she's upset with you.

She's pretty, and she knows it.

She's social, she's playful, she's curious, she's a bit of a drama queen.  I have a feeling she's turning out to be all girl.  And I can't wait to find out.

Weirdo Update

Just when you think it can't get any more bizarre...

I was wrong about the car in the garage.  It's not a Camry, because that would be ridiculous, right?

It's a KIA.

Read about my weirdo neighbor here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Don't Worry About a Thing

Cause in Jamaica, every little thing's gonna be alright.
Seriously, guys.  BEST. TRIP. EVER.

The resort we stayed at was just beautiful.  Everywhere you looked, the scene was nothing less than picturesque.  The water was such a clear blue that it was hard to believe it was real.  The grounds were lush and well cared for.  The decor was stylish.  The place even smelled good, as they had incense burning discreetly throughout the buildings.  I mean, really.  They thought of everything.

J and I agree that this was the best four days we have ever spent together.  We relaxed.  We slept in.  We sat poolside or beachside every morning, and sipped on drinks all the livelong day, every day.  We took naps.  We ate.  A lot.  We played ping-pong.  We drank.  I know I already said that, but it bears repeating.  We laughed.  We enjoyed each other's company in a way that we didn't know existed before we had children.

While we there, we decided that from here on out, Jamaica is our place.  The people there are so wonderful.  They are kind and friendly and happy to be alive.  They sing.  All the time.  One woman told us that in Jamaica, even the people who can't sing, sing.  We didn't meet a question that wasn't answered with "no problem, mon."

And there were no problems, indeed.

This was the anniversary, perfected.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I won't miss him. 

You guys, he's seriously so bizarre. He has a 2-car garage and a nice driveway. The driveway remains empty almost always, as he chooses to park his car on the street. 

That car, until very recently, has been a beater. I mean, an OLD, rusty, Toyota. Maybe a Tercel?  I always assumed he parked it on the street because it leaked oil, and he didn't want to stain his driveway. 

Once a month or so, weirdo would open his garage and back his showpiece out of the garage.  He'd take the cover off to wash her, and then once she was clean, he'd pull her right back into the garage.  I'd seen him drive her maybe 3 times, ever. She's that special to him. 

Guys- it's a Saturn. 

I couldn't make this up if I tried. 

But times next door, they are a-changin'. The beater must have finally bit the dust, because this is the new street view next door. 

That's right, the Saturn has moved up in the world!  That is now his daily driver. Why the half-assed cover, you ask?  No idea. And yes, the cover is always half-assed. Why doesn't he park it in the driveway, since his special vehicle most certainly doesn't leak? It's a mystery. 

Oh, and I almost forgot. He has a new baby hidden in the garage. He brought her out for a bath last weekend. It's a shiny new Camry. 

This guy's fascination with mediocrity is beyond me. 

Here's to more normal neighbors in the new 'hood. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Adventures in Real Estate

A little update on where we're at:

That's right, we're SOLD!

We had 26 showings and 5 offers in 28 days.  What a month that was!  Lemme tell ya', getting two little ones and a dog out of the house 26 times was a real treat.  Not to mention keeping the house clean and show-ready with said kids and dog.  But we managed, and in the end, it was well worth it.

So now what, you may be asking?

Well, the plan is to build a new house.  A dreamy house.  A house I loooove.
With the optional Recreation Room and Screened Porch.  Dreamy.

But nothing is set in stone.  We're waiting on Phase II of dreamy subdivision to open, so that we can choose a perfect lot and get to building.  That is slated to happen in October.  In the meantime, we're keeping our options open.

And speaking of the meantime, where will we go?

Here's where the perfection comes in...

The original plan was a double move.  We wanted to get the house on the market now, rather than wait until November/December after we had broken ground on the new house.  Who buys a new house during the holidays?  No one, that's who.  So we knew we'd be looking at finding a rental home for the time in-between selling here and moving into the dreamy house.

But guess who we sold our house to?  A little company by the name of American Homes 4 Rent.  And guess what they're willing to do?  Rent our house back to us for the next six months!

Just to keep you up to speed, in case you somehow missed it...NO DOUBLE MOVE!!!!

That's right, we're staying here for the next six months while the dreamy house is built.  

So now we sit and wait, and pray that interest rates don't take a big leap until we can sign something official.  And we get to sit and wait in our own home.

Thanking my lucky stars.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nap Time Shenanigans

Lately, the nugget isn't so much a fan of nap time. He used to walk upstairs and hop in bed with no complaints (amazing, iknowright?).  But these days, he'd rather his play time remain uninterrupted by pesky sleep.

Regardless of the boy's desires, into bed he goes. I don't necessarily care if he sleeps, but by George, he WILL rest. (His rest + baby's sleep = nap for mama. Excellent equation.)

Sometimes he's so worn out that he will immediately fall asleep. Other times, he'll play around for a bit with his cars and books, and then eventually drift off. But then there are the days when he is determined NOT to sleep. These are the days when situations like this arise:

This has happened a handful of times now. The boy thinks it will be fun to see if he can climb into the hamper, and then somehow or another ends up stuck. 

On this particular day, he found his way into the hamper, and then it tipped over, wedging him in between the wall and his bed. And yes, I stopped to take a picture before I helped him out. (He wasn't hurt, just stuck.)

I have a feeling this is the beginning of many nap time shenanigans to come...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gabe: 2.5

Well the ole' blog has once again turned into my online baby book. Snicker if you will, but how many well-intentioned moms out there have baby books that are complete through about baby's first month, and sparse or even blank after that?  At least this online space keeps me on the ball when it comes to my babies growing up.

With all of the attention my littlest is getting these days, it's easy to forget about my big boy. But today my little man is two-and-a-half!  I thought this momentous day deserved a post. 

These days, Gabe is a little boy. No baby left here!  He is a walking, talking, jumping, playing, racing, zooming, climbing boy. 

It's only been in the past few weeks that my quiet boy has begun speaking in relatively full sentences. For example, if he sees a toy that he hasn't played with in awhile, he'll say "Look Mommy, I found!" as he shows me what he's found. Or he'll call me to come upstairs to the play room: "Mama!  Come up here!"  And when I respond that I'll be up in a minute, he says "K!" and carries on with his play.  And in ultimate big-kid language, today when I asked him to pick up his toys, he said "five mo minutes!" 

Play consists of his old stand-by: CARS. He still loves them. He's started to recognize specific models, and can point out cars that family members have. Uncle Jeffrey's mustang is certainly his favorite. Sometimes he just likes to cruise Google Images for pictures of Mustangs or police cars. When he comes across one that is particularly cool, he'll say slowly and in awe "Yook at dat one."  Even when he's asleep, you can find car paraphernalia nearby.


He also still loves books. His favorite of the moment is "Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site."  (Or as Gabe says, "Goonight Goonight 'struction site".)  We read this one every night. He has a bevy of others that he loves, as well, and will pretty much sit and listen to anything anyone will read to him. 

He has exactly four favorite movies: Cars (of course), Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, and Tangled. He loves to watch them on the TV or on his iPad. And yes, he has completely mastered the iPad, and even added the word "app" to his vocabulary. 
He's a boy.  Of course he watches TV with his hands in his pants.

Gabe loves his Daddy. He wants to be where J is and do what J does. Case in point:

Only when the chips are really down, like a bad dream or an injury, does he call for me. I'm okay with this. Gabe's personality is 100% J- they're two peas in a pod, really. Melts my heart. 

My boy is finally starting to accept his role as big brother. He now not only acknowledges his sister's presence, but he'll sometimes give her a toy to play with, or put her pacifier in her mouth!  The other day we went to wake her from a nap, and he so sweetly said- wait for it- "Hi pretty Margot. How you doing?"

Oh. Em. Gee. 

Gabe is a sweet and quiet boy, and for the most part, so well behaved. He has his two year old moments (being told no isn't his favorite thing), but in the grand scheme of two year olds, he's a dream come true. 

Who am I kidding?  In the grand scheme of all children of all ages the world over, he's my dream come true. 

Nugget, you make this mama a happy one. Happy half-birthday, my sweet boy!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Margot: 7 Months

Somehow I am offended by Margot reaching 7 months of age.  Now that she's an entire months past the half-birthday mark, I feel like she's just this little kid, instead of a tiny baby.

Today, I watched her crawl with such purpose, until she reached the stuffed animal that she wanted.  She then reached out and took it from J.  Just like that, took it.  She saw something, set her mind to getting it, and then got it.  Babies don't do that, do they??

She then, of course, promptly put it in her mouth.

My girl is crawling and drooling, drooling and crawling this month.

Sometimes, if drooling isn't enough, she spits, just for good measure.

She's also growing teeth.  There they are, all two of them.

She refuses to really sit up.  She could do it if she wanted to- she just doesn't want to.  Too busy to sit still, even to eat.
Half-sitting, ready to crawl away.  This is the best she'll give us.
I'm seeing more and more every day that this girl is like her mama, only with beautiful blue eyes- social, likes to laugh, and is always accessorized.
Happy 7 months, my little lady.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Margot: 6 Months

Dear Margot,

Today you are six months old.  You have been with us for a half a year already!  I've learned that with you babies, the first year flies by at a truly alarming rate, and I wish time would slow down.  You are so precious to me, and this time is so fleeting.  I already dread the day when I can no longer carry you around the house on my hip, or rock you to sleep, or gaze lovingly down at you while you sleep in my arms.

But enough of the sappy stuff...

You are a marvel, little girl.  You just light up a room with your happiness.  You, my sweet one, are truly happy.

You like to be on the floor.  You are trying to crawl, but aren't quite there, yet.

You aren't quite sitting up by yourself yet, but we can prop you up so you can see the world.

You know, you aren't in a hurry to do much.  You don't yet have teeth (but those two on the bottom are this close), you're not sitting up or crawling, and you don't think too highly of solid foods.  As a matter of fact, you rarely finish a bottle.  You are just content to be in the moment.  You'll just grab whatever is nearby and put it in your mouth.

You're tongue is always sticking out.

And your brother is your favorite person in the wide world.  (He's not too sure of you yet, but I think you're growing on him.)

Everyone you meet just can't help but love you!  Your blue eyes are mesmerizing, your golden strawberry hair always a topic of conversation, and your smile contagious.  You're a beauty.  And you've added immense joy to our family.

Happy half-birthday, my sweet baby girl.



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