Sunday, November 30, 2014

November iPhone Dump

A Thankful Heart

This past year has been tough and I’m not going to pretend for one moment that it hasn’t been heartbreaking in more ways than one. With that being said, I also recognize that it has been full of blessings and exciting new things for my family.

For this, I am so very thankful.

Our gal is in a Preschool Co-op now and her preschool is amazing! It was actually just voted as “Best in the City” last month, which was such a wonderful confirmation that we made the best choice for our daughter’s education.

I am once again gainfully employed with an organization I have spent nearly 9 years dedicating my time and energy to. November 15th marked one year that I’ve been back and there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thankful.

My mom, (aka Nani) found love and the man she is set to marry in early 2015 is a wonderful, kind and selfless man who has fit right in with our big family. He is a genuine good guy and that is everything I have ever prayed for.  

We completed more home renovations since last November than we did in the 8 years combined that we have lived in our now updated and beautiful home. That alone was a huge accomplishment for us and something we’re still enjoying everyday.

Our sweet gal turned two and she’s healthy and happy, which is something that not all parents can say. I read stories of babies fighting cancer and other illnesses and then I look over at my daughter and I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. At the end of the day, her cleft lip and the surgeries that followed were but a bump in her road of life. Her health and wellness is our greatest blessing.

And Georgia and I celebrated our five-year wedding anniversary, which was pretty great. Let me just say, TTC and infertility is so extremely hard on a relationship and is a heavy weight on any marriage. Despite this, despite the continued disappointment, the crazy pills that I’ve had to take since last December (hellooo mood swings), and the loss of our little peanut in May, we still have each other’s back. We’re still in this 100% and that’s something to be thankful for. My love for my wife has never faltered and her love, support and commitment to me is always there.   

Considering that these are just a few of the wonderful things that have taken place since our last Thanksgiving, how can we not be thankful? There’s just too much good to focus on the bad.

I didn’t take many pictures on Thanksgiving but I did manage to capture this little moment. Cousins, there’s nothing better.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Little G is almost 3!

To my Gracie girl, can you believe that it’s already been 8 months since mama’s last Gracie update?! Mama Bear is slackin’ on the updates for sure, but it’s for good reason. You keep Mommy and me BUSY. Busy all day, every day! You are so much fun and full of personality. You’re smart as ever and amaze us with all you can comprehend and communicate. It’s just mind blowing! You can also be quite the handful and often put your Mamas parenting skills (and patience) to the test. But no worries little stinker, we’re always up for the challenge. 

Here’s a bit of what you’ve been up to lately. I thought it appropriate that we start this post with a silly video, since we’re pretty sure you think you’re a comedian. You don’t let us take video of you anymore without you performing for the camera. You incorporate funny voices, silly faces, dances or just run in the opposite direction the minute your moms try to record you doing something awesome. I lucked out and was able to get this little clip at bedtime the other night as you were serenading us with Rock-a-bye Baby. The second you noticed the camera, you did this…

Yup, a goofball for sure! Your giggles makes your mamas happier than you could ever imagine. :)

Preschool rules our world right now. You’re just loving it. You get along great with all of your classmates, with the exception of one gal who is still your friend, it’s just you both want to be in charge of the class and there can only be one Queen Bee (or leader as your teacher would say), haha! You have developed a regular group of buddies and tell us all about them every day after school and even some mornings when you wake up because you dream about your friends sometimes too. Your teachers love you and we really like your teachers as well.

You do so many art projects that I don’t even know what to do with all your works of art. I’m thinking I need to start a Pre-k portfolio for you because unlike Nani (who never saved anything that Mama made as a kid…waaaa!) I want to save it all! Right now there is a big stack of beautiful paintings, sketches, noodle art and other projects on the top of the refrigerator just waiting for Mama to do something with them.

You have your family tree all figured out and enjoy naming off all the people you love so much. You’ll name off 10+ family members at a time when describing a family function we have coming up or when you’re missing someone. You’ll say things like, “Uncle Dom is Domonic, Mommy is Georgia, Nani is Elizabeth” and you’ll call me and Mommy by our actual names when you want to be silly. It cracks you up. When Mommy and I read to you at night, you point to the characters in the book and give them names of people in our family and you especially love when we read from our Two Mom Family book collection! You point to the moms on the page and say, “there’s Mommy, there’s Mama and there’s Gracie!” With the progress you’ve made with your MeReader, iPad and everything you’re learning in school, Mommy and I are pretty sure that you’ll be an early reader!

You adore all things girly and anything pink! Pink princess stuff is your all-time favorite but sweets, especially treats like pink suckers or pink frosted donuts send you into an orbit of happiness.

You are a girl who appreciates accessories and often rocks a princess dress with “cha-cha heels”, a tiara, 10 necklaces, a few rings and about 20 bracelets, all while totting a purse around with you wherever you go. I love that you’re not just a princess in training but you love to listen so intently to all the Dis.ney stories and even enjoy watching movies with more complex plots like Maleficent and Hook. The funny thing is that Mommy wanted you to be into sports so bad when you were a baby. That’s why we were the only Mamas around crazy enough to put you in soccer when you were just 18 months old. I keep telling her that you may end up being a girly girl who can kick butt at sports too but for now, you're much more into dress-up!

You are super independent and can be possessive of the things you know are yours. We still hear, “I can do it” about most things and even if it takes you 10 attempts to do something and you grow frustrated, you will keep trying until you get it! You’re a master negotiator and when negotiations fall through and the answer is no, you have the occasional meltdown. Thankfully you have your Mommy’s temperament and to this day have never had a full-blown throw yourself on the floor kicking kind of fit. We have a “time-out chair” and you’re still learning the concept of sitting there until we say you can get up but you’re getting it. You tell us “NO!” more often now than ever, hence the timeout chair but you know when your Mamas mean business and don’t push past that point very often. Surprisingly, counting to 5 still works like a charm. I’m going to be very sad when that no longer works as our regulating go-to technique… 

There have been so many changes since our last Gracie update! You’re now in pre-school, you’re 100% potty trained, you have a big girl room, you carry full on conversations and can follow complex instructions and requests. You now play one on one with other kiddos and not just next to them and you play independently now more than ever before. You still have the most love for your stuffed buddies, Bunny and Monster and Peppa Pig is still your favorite TV show. Something new that you love doing is puzzles. Mommy did them with you at first but now you’ll put together an entire puzzle by yourself that’s for ages 3-5yrs! It’s quite impressive.

And now can we please talk about some of the HILARIOUS things that you say!

“Mommy, I like your pretty boobs.” – said right in front of the Starbucks lady. I thought Mommy was going to melt into a puddle. It was awesome!

G: “Hey babe, I think I’m gonna just pick-up some burgers for dinner.”
You: “No! Mommy, I want sushi! Sushi pleaaaaase!”

“Mama, I have to get out of bed! I have to call Santa and tell him I want a Barbie!”

“Everyone needs to just calm down!” – said in a very stern voice as Mommy and I were debating over something while running errands.

You: “Look, a shooting star Mommy!”
G: “did you make a wish?”
You: “I did!”
G: “what did you wish for?”
You: “to see it again!”

"Mama, can I pick my nose since we're in the car?"

“Holy smoke-a-roonies!”

“Just a few more minutes, Mama. I’m resting.” – said every morning when I go to wake you up.

You don’t know it yet but Mama finally gave in and agreed to take you to Dis.neyland for your 3rd birthday in March so Mommy and I will start planning that BIG trip soon! It’s the same month as Nani’s wedding in San Diego so we may just make a long California trip of it. Christmas is right around the corner and your Mamas are so excited because this is the first year that you’re truly in the holiday spirit and know all about the exciting things that happen in December. So far your Christmas wish list includes, a Barbie, a stuffed Sulley from Monsters Inc. and Princess Elsa dress shoes to name a few. We just can't wait to read stories to you about the birth of baby Jesus and make Christmas ornaments AND decorate! Yippie! 

And that about wraps it up, kiddo. Your the greatest little gal we know and we can't wait to see all the exciting adventures 2015 will bring! 

Love you as high as the sky and as deep as the sea! Xo, Mama 

Friday, November 21, 2014

{Fun Food Friday}

On the menu for our gal's preschool friends today: Turkey Apples! Apples, pretzels, marshmallows, raisins and grapes. Gobble, gobble. :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

45/52: Sneak peek

Our photographer shared this sneak peek on FB yesterday, so it's a bit grainy. Still, a heart melter. Oh how I love her. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Big Girl Room

As of this weekend, the Bean’s nursery furniture has taken up permanent residence in the guestroom and she officially has a big girl room! We’ve had the furniture for a few weeks now and thanks to G, it’s been assembled and mounted in place. Grace had a say in picking everything out and is obsessed with her super girly bedroom. To be honest, her mamas are a bit obsessed with it too!

We had the toughest time picking a bed for our gal, but once that was decided, everything else just kind of came together. We were going to get Grace a daybed with a pull-out trundle but were torn because we also really wanted to have the option to jump into bed with her for things like story time or to have room for slumber parties and such when she’s a bit older. I would have preferred a full bed but once we fell in love with the white Leirvik queen bed frame at IKEA, there was no turning back. Have you ever seen a more gorgeous and girly bed in your life? Considering Grace practically lives in princess dresses, is obsessed with everything Disney and wears a tiara anytime she’s home, it seemed like the perfect fit. We actually had to keep her from crawling under the covers of the display bed at the store because she loved it so much, lol!    

My absolute favorite thing about our gal’s new digs is that it completely represents her. When Georgia was still pregnant and we were putting the finishing touches on our soon-to-be daughter’s nursery, we had all the say in what would go on the walls, on the shelves and everywhere else. Now Grace is the one who decides which stuffed animals are important enough to be on her bed. She decided what her bedding would look like and what books would be in her little library at the foot of the bed. The purses and hats hanging in the corner of her room are all her favorites and if you peek under her bed, you’ll find a chest full of princess dress, wands and fancy shoes along with her giant farm filled with animals that she loves so much. Her room no longer looks like a page out of a catalogue but rather a very loved and lived in space that is all hers. I just love that.

I can’t wait to watch our gal play with friends and cousins in her new room over the holiday season and in the years to come. I can’t wait to hear her and her buddies giggling as they jump on the bed and pull out every toy in sight and I can’t wait until she’s a big sister and can play down the hall with her little brother or sister.

Speaking of little sibs, we’re hoping that like in the movie, Field of Dreams – if you build it, they will come. The nursery furniture is freed up and all yours baby #2. Your mamas are ready for you. :) 

I think she likes it, ha!

Friday, November 14, 2014

*Birthday Road Trip*

It’s been nearly three weeks since we returned from sunny Arizona but with Halloween and the Bean’s school functions, I’m just now getting around to uploading pictures and sharing our road trip with ya’ll! Let me start by saying, once again, how amazing my wife is! This trip was her idea and she spoiled me rotten with LOVE and birthday gifts the entire weekend. I now have a super cute, hot pink gym bag, which means I can throw away the old ratty one I’ve been using for 7+ years and an angel charm for my charm bracelet. Thank you for making me feel so loved and special this year, babe. You know I wasn’t really looking forward to my birthday and would have preferred to pretend like it was any old day if I had my choice. In hindsight, I’m so glad you refused to let me do that. xo

My lifelong bf lives in AZ with her husband and kiddos and we try to visit them at least once a year. This year, our visit was extra special because she just gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Oliver. It’s so hard to live in a different state then your bestie, but I think we do a pretty good job of getting together often. I wasn’t sure if it would make my heart ache to be around a precious baby but it was actually pretty great. Holding that little guy and smothering him with kisses reminded me of what Georgia and I are working so hard to do. It reminded me of how amazing it’s going to be when Gracie has her own little brother or sister to have and hold. I honestly don’t think I let Sara hold Oliver as much as she would have liked to as a new mommy because I couldn’t put him down. I remember Gracie being that small like it was just yesterday. It’s amazing how fast time flies.

Our 7 hour road trip there went as well as can be expected with a toddler. I didn’t realize how easy diapers made things until we had to travel with a little gal in big girl underwear. We stopped just about every hour and did have to have her squat in the bushes for one of our potty breaks, which was hilarious! She passed the time coloring, “reading” books with her eReader, playing with stickers, eating snacks and playing I Spy. Even with all of those things to occupy her time, she did have one meltdown around the time we crossed the AZ border, yelling “I WANT TO STAND” over and over, lol! Who could blame her… I wanted to stand too!

Our long weekend was pretty chill, which is exactly what we were looking to do. We spent my bday at the Arizona State Fair, which was super fun. I had never visited another state fair outside of New Mexico so it was cool to see how another state does it. Grace is fearless so she wanted to ride rides the entire time we were there. Below is a video of her riding a big girl ride all on her own for the first time ever! On this day, it was the first of many!

We ate horribly unhealthy fair food and loved every minute of it! The girls got their faces painted and actually sat still the entire time. We were very proud of them, ha!

The entire trip the girls were like two peas in a pod. They drew pictures together!

The made pizzas together with auntie Sara!

They swam and cuddled!

And they made a Halloween poster for us. :)

We spent our last day of vacation shopping at IKEA. It was a bit of a shopping spree but it was well planned and prepped for! We went with the whole, “if you build it, they will come” philosophy and figured that this would likely be our last chance to purchase Gracie’s big girl furniture and free up our nursery furniture for baby #2. I did some research and we arrived knowing exactly what we wanted… and still we were there for HOURS. It was totally worth it because we LOVE, love her new big girl room. She now sleeps in a Queen size bed with pink bedding (Gracie’s request). BIG GIRL ROOM post coming soon!  

44/52: first noodle necklace!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

{Five Years}

Warning: this post is going to be packed full of sappy love stuff, so brace yourself. ;)

This weekend the wifey and I celebrated 5 years of marriage! I’m still in disbelief that an entire 5 years has passed since we stood barefoot on a sandy beach and promised to love each other forever. Yet here we are {1,827 days} later and even more in love then we were on that day. I know the reason the time passed so quickly and that reason is – my wife makes marriage easy. That’s not to say that our marriage is perfect or without stressful days, because I honestly don’t believe that a marriage like that exists. What I do believe is that when you are with someone who is considerate and kind, selfless and loving and just a happy person to be around, time tends to fly.

I’m sitting here while G and Grace take their Sunday nap still beaming with joy thinking of the special things Georgia did to celebrate our first five years as wife and wife. She got her craft on, believe it or not! Yes, my wife, the self-describe non-crafter in our relationship, not only researched the meaningful gift she made me but went on to use ribbon and glue and pictures and Mod Podge. I can’t even believe it! The traditional 5 year anniversary gift is wood, so my amazing wife made me a wooden plaque symbolizing our 3 wedding ceremonies. She can’t imagine how much it meant to me. :)

And because we seem to share a brain most days, the gift I made her was very similar. I came across this idea on a blog years ago and tucked it away for this anniversary.

{Maps of the 3 places we’ve married, Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Vancouver British Columbia and New Mexico}

We planned to spend our anniversary at a couples retreat at our favorite spa but as luck would have it, both Georgia and Grace came down with a 48-hour bug so instead of the spa we spent our 5th anniversary cleaning vomit and doing laundry. Loads and loads of laundry. I honestly wasn’t too disappointed. It’s just one of those things that sometimes happens when you become a parent. There will be many more anniversaries in our future. I’m just glad both my girls are feeling better and I’m no longer on cleanup duty!

With that, I would like to wish my wife a very happy anniversary. To the love of my life and the most amazing Mommy around, thank you for making our anniversary so special and thank you for all you do to make me feel happy and loved every single day. I absolutely LOVE my anniversary band and will think of you every morning when I put it on and head out into the world.   

43/52: Progress

Slow and steady but progress all the same! I am not near where I ultimately want to be but still, a difference!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

{2014} Halloween Part II

Happy Halloween Tinker Bell! You’re finally napping, which is incredible considering all the sweets you’ve consumed over the past 48 hours! Your trick-or-treat goodies have been put away, costumes packed, decorations are down and another Halloween is officially in the books!

This was a very exciting Halloween for your Mommy and me because this was the first one that you were really excited for! You understood what Halloween was all about. You practiced saying trick-or-treat for days and you loved your costume so much that you cried nearly every time you had to take it off. Our Halloween started at 6am and was SUPER busy, from beginning to end. It went a little something like this…

The day started with school but it wasn’t just any old regular day of school for you! On Halloween, me and Mommy were the parent volunteers for your class so we all threw on some costumes, grabbed the Halloween parfaits that Mama made and headed to your co-op together. You were beyond excited!

You wore one of your princess dresses because we knew you would likely come home covered in paint or glue like you usually do and Mama was worried we wouldn’t have time to wash your Tinker Bell dress before heading back out. Mama dressed up as a friendly witch and Mommy was a panda while you dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Your teachers and all the other kiddos were in costumes too and you guys were all so happy to see each other.

Your school day was filled with Halloween themed activities like pumpkin art projects, Halloween music, snacks and circle time spent reading spooky stories. We surprised your class by arranging for your Nani, who was once a teacher, to come and read to your class! You were so happy when she arrived that you yelled out her name at the top of your lungs and ran into her arms! Nani is the cutest and came dressed as a witch with tons of Halloween books, even one she purchased and inscribed to donate to your class. You are one blessed little gal to have such an awesome Nani. :)

Look at these adorable Halloween goodies Nani made for you and your school buds! These oranges were probably the only non-sugar treats you had all day.

On Hallows Eve, you and Mommy carved a few small and two very large pumpkins to put out for trick-or-treaters and it may have been the most girly pumpkin carving I’ve ever seen. You insisted on wearing another one of your princess dresses and stopped helping Mommy after only a few minutes. As you explained to us, the pumpkin’s insides were “too sticky” and you were “getting so dirty”, Ha!

After school you took a nap and then it was time to put your pumpkins outside before heading to Gaga and Papa’s. While you weren’t a big fan of carving, you sure were excited to put the pumpkins on display!

Every Halloween your Gaga and Papa spoil the heck out of you and this year was no different! When we arrived, Gaga had all her decorations up and her and Papa were dressed up too! You were totally spooked by Papa’s mask so you didn’t go anywhere near him until he took it off and assured you that he wasn’t a monster! You had a special Halloween gift wrapped just for you and were so excited to open it and find that you now had your own Lambie and Doc McStuffins playset. We made some yummy Dia de los Muertos cookies with your grandparents before heading over to your Uncle Dom’s and Auntie Angela’s Halloween party. The cookies turned out great! They looked just like the picture on the box, LOL. ;)

Check out your Uncle Dean! He always goes all out with his costume and make-up but this year was the coolest I’ve ever seen! You were missing your Uncles so we showed you this picture of “The Handsome Devil” all day.

At Uncle Dom’s party last year you won the costume contest and had we stayed until the very end of this year’s party, I’m pretty sure you would have won again (I may also be a bit biased). We did a family theme this year and Mama Hook, Tinker Bell and Peter Pan were a hit! We even took 2nd place in an LGBT families Instagram costume contest, which was so very cool!

This was the first year that we took you trick-or-treating and you were beyond thrilled to go. Together with your Auntie Angela and Mia, we all headed across the street to visit a few houses and you girls got hooked up! The boys all went to another neighborhood with Uncle Dom and according to the neighbors we talked to, they never get trick-or-treaters so to have two little cuties at the door was pretty exciting. You were both so brave! You walk up to each door together, yelled “tick-a-treat” and took turns ringing the doorbells. It was so much fun for your mamas to watch!

Our night ended at Auntie Andrea’s Halloween party! There were tons of kiddos there so you were in heaven and the fact that your mamas let you have a cupcake at 10pm was the perfect end to your crazy sugar-filled day! Thankfully the events of the day wore you out and you passed out as soon as we got home even after having sweets all day.

All I could think as I watched you enjoy the day was just how big you’ve grown! To see you experience new things like trick-or-treating and running around having a blast, filled my heart with so much happiness. We sure do love our little Tink!

Happy Halloween baby girl!

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