Thursday, March 29, 2018

* Gracie’s 6th Birthday Week *

Our gal is 6 years old, you guys! SIX and you know what that means – she’s officially a big girl. When Gracie turned 5, I thought to myself, this is the last year that she’s a baby. I don’t know why but 5 just seemed like the end of her baby years. Six-year-olds do go to elementary school, after all. They are big sisters and big brothers, who ride bikes and climb trees. They feed themselves, wipe their own butts, read on their own and are pretty darn self-sufficient in most aspects. They are old enough to have best friends, like real best friends and so for the Bean’s 6th birthday week, we knew it was kind of a big deal! She knew it was a big deal too and literally counted down the weeks leading up to her “birthday week” with every intention of doing something fun and awesome every single day of that big deal week! Her mom's were happy to oblige! ;)

We have a tradition that we started for the Bean’s first birthday that for breakfast on her bday, she gets a breakfast cupcake instead of the usual cereal, eggs, etc. Gracie’s first birthday cupcake was her first taste of real sugar when she turned one and she devoured it! Ever since then we’ve baked or purchased a cupcake for her birthday breakfast and it’s obviously one of her favorite family traditions. This year’s was from our favorite cupcakery, Smallcakes. It was vanilla bean with Bavarian cream filling and strawberry frosting with baby pink sprinkles on top. We decorated it with Peter Rabbit d├ęcor as that was the theme of her party this year and like every year before, we woke her by singing happy birthday with a delish cupcake in hand. She was all smiles!

We had a BIG birthday surprise for our gal this year! We filled her room with balloons, using all her favorite colors the night before her birthday and she thankfully slept right through our ninja like setup. We quietly placed her wrapped birthday presents on her toy box and could not wait to see her face in the morning! She was of course super surprised and just could not believe that we were able to fill her room with balloons without her waking up! She’s really into making and building things right now, so she LOVED her 3-D Magna-Tiles and Princess Aquabeads sets. I LOVE that she's into these big girl type toys now, because they keep her focused and busy for long stretches of time and what's not to love about that!

We had our work cut out for us this year in the: celebrate a birthday at school department. As I've mentioned in previous posts, Gracie's elementary doesn't allow sugary snacks at school, like birthday cupcakes. They also discourage parents from bringing food to celebrate birthdays, but ask that we bring things that encourage learning and being active instead. The Bean is an awesome reader now and she had the idea to make her classmates bookmarks to celebrate her bday. How great is that idea?! I was very impressed! G took the Bean to the craft store and together they picked out the bookmarks, stamps and colors they wanted to use and they got busy crafting. Not surprisingly, Grace was really into it in the beginning, but after her 5th or 6th bookmark, she moved on to the next thing and Georgia was left finishing the other 20, LOL! G also found the cutest little hopscotch kits complete with dice, chalk and game instructions, so Gracie gave her school buds each one of those too. I laughed telling Georgia, "who's birthday is it anyway?! These kids are making out like bandits!" 

Didn't the bookmarks turn out so cute? The back has a pink heart stamped on each along with Gracie's signature. Props to the wife for jumping in on this project (as I was busy with birthday party stuff). We make a good team, babe!

Georgia and I took Gracie's actual birthday off mid-week to have a special day with her. Her bday fell the week of parent / teacher conferences and the same day as the monthly PTA meeting, so we figured we should just spend half the day with her at school and that's exactly what we did. Gracie didn't know it, but we also made plans with her bestie's mom, K who is a good friend of ours (our girls have gone to school together since they were 2.5 years old). We planned a Zoo day for the girls following the PTA meeting and when we finally told Grace as we drove up to the Zoo, she literally screamed, haha! T, her mom K and T's baby sister joined us and together with our big 6 year olds and their little sibs (both under 1), we had the absolute best day! As crazy as it sounds, all of Gracie's besties (all age 6) have little brother/sisters who are born with months of each other. The timing of several good friends all having siblings who are 5 years younger and all born within 6 months of each other is just crazy, but we love it! Who knew the 5-year age gap was trending. ;)

The Zoo was completely empty. Like zombie apocalypse empty, which is why it was the best day ever! The girls rode the carousel like 6 times in a row, with zero lines. They had their pick of endangered animals to ride, as they were riding the park's Endangered Species Carousel and just had to feel like royalty. We all had maps and let Gracie decide, along with T where we would go. The girls had us ping-ponging back and forth from one end of the Zoo to the other, but they were in charge, so we happily followed. Will and baby P did great and just loved watching their big sisters run around like crazy kiddos. Will got in on the mapping action and spent his day laughing at everything that was going on. It was just such a great day - top 3 Zoo visits for us, for sure.

After the Zoo we let the Bean pick where she wanted the group to have her birthday dinner and she picked Red Robbin, for the sole reason that they give out big red balloons, haha! We visited, had dinner, Grace got serenaded by the staff and we all shared her cake and ice cream, which was delish! The following day Gracie had her 6-year check-up and did great. According to her doc, growth/size is right on track as well as development and with that, we ended BIRTHday #6 for our first born. Six years, SIX. I just can't believe it.

I'm still working on a post all about sister bear's Peter Rabbit birthday party, so in the meantime, I'll leave you guys with a few clips from our sweet girl’s birthday week – a week that she described as the “best week ever”! #momwin

12|52: Almost One

Less than 2 weeks until the big ONE... but I'm not crying, you're crying!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Baby Bro's First Haircut!

We did it! We cut our sweet boy’s beautiful, long and super straight hair a few weeks ago. I never imagined that we would cut Will’s hair before his first birthday, but when you’re born with this much hair, you end up needing a cut sooner than later. Baby boy came out of the womb needing a haircut, if I’m just being honest, haha! Then the poor guy developed a bad case of cradle cap, followed by eczema that caused him to lose almost all of his hair and even with that, it grew back and he still needed a haircut at 10 months old, because his bangs grew to completely cover his eyes and he was growing a mullet. Mama refuses to have a baby with a mullet. ;)

Thankfully, this little stinker’s uncle D owns a barber shop and was happy to stay open after hours so that Will could get his first cut from him without there being a ton of people around or too many distractions. I was a bit nervous the day of because of our dude’s “stranger anxiety”, which showed up around 8-9 months old, when he really started teething and stopped sleeping through the night. Uncle D obviously isn’t a stranger and see’s Will on a regular basis, but even with his Nani and other relatives he knows but doesn’t see every day, he shows some uneasiness, especially if there’s a lot of noise or lots of people. Surprisingly, we had absolutely nothing to worry about because he did great!

When we arrived around 6:30pm, little man was all smiles! He loved all the colors and flashing lights in the barbershop and was itching to explore. My brother’s barber shop is located across the street from the University and is decorated using the University’s colors, so there’s lots of bright things to see, which Will loved. We got right to it after uncle D was finished with his last client and as soon as he started cutting our dude’s hair, I realized that in the 15 years that my brother’s been a barber, I had never watched him cut hair AND he’s so dang talented at it! He uses all sorts of cool, old school barber tools and proceeded to give our baby boy a full service, 30-minute big boy haircut.

Will stayed perfectly still anytime uncle D had to wet his hair and when D used the clippers, he froze like a statue with this very curious look on his face like, what the heck is going on back there, haha! There were zero tears, no fussing when he would get wet and if anything, the whole process must have tickled him quite a bit because he kept laughing!

When we were all done, uncle D cleaned him up while I took a few (dozen) more pictures. He wouldn’t let us pay him, of course, but considering the fact that William will be coming in on a regular basis, we’ll need to figure out some way to compensate our barber in the future. We headed to dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant afterwards, at which point I realized that I didn’t save a clipping of our son’s first haircut! I was so sad and just could not believe that I forgot. I was just so disappointed but also didn’t want that to overshadow the excitement of the night, so I got over it pretty quickly. Moms can’t remember everything, all the time – right?!

Look at this sweet boy. Who knew he could get even more handsome! Thanks Uncle D. :)

11/52: B E S T I E S

Our birthday girl & her bestie, T!

Monday, March 19, 2018

10//52: Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

These little stress-free, lowkey holidays are my absolute favorite! Cute outfits, fun accessories and an excuse to go out and have a family meal are always welcome. This year, Gracie and Will wore their matchy matchy St. Paddy’s Day outfits on Thursday, as it was Gracie’s last day of school before the holiday weekend and she was dying to wear her fluffy green hair poof. This was Will’s last “baby’s first holiday” and that made me a bit sad. I know I say this all-the-time but I just can’t believe how quickly his first year has gone! Like, it’s nuts.

On St. Patrick’s Day we took the kiddos out to brunch where Gracie ordered Leprechaun pancakes and Will nibbled off our plates. Our guy showed all of us that he now knows how to say, “no, no, no” while shaking his head back and forth and it had us cracking up. I don’t think the kid ever hears the word “no”, so I’m not even sure where he learned it, but he has and he uses it in context – which makes it even funnier. ;)

Georgia and I were supposed to have our first date night out with friends since Will was born, but then both grandparents who were going to have a slumber party with our littles came down with a stomach bug and had to cancel. My BF and her husband were in town and a group of had planned to go out for weeks, so G insisted that I still go. I was super bummed but ended up having so much fun and literally danced all night, which I haven’t done in years! I’m glad the wife forced me to go because I needed some time to just have some carefree fun.

Excuse the happy face. Our friend JM is a State Representative here in NM, so I try not to post his party pics, lol!

We ended the weekend meal prepping, cleaning the house and preparing for the week ahead. G started her new job last week with an awesome company as their Senior Project Manager. Her new schedule requires that I do the dropping off in the mornings and as things have timed out so far, it takes me an hour and 10 minutes to get from our home to drop the baby off with my in-laws before heading to drop Gracie off at school and then make it to work by 9am. As miserable as that routine may sound, I’m loving it! I feel like I’m getting more time with my kiddos and it’s at the best time of day, when they’re rested with bellies full of breakfast and happy to start their day. G’s a bit sad that she doesn’t get to drop the Bean off any longer, because with her mom picking Grace up from school in the afternoons, she’s never going to be at our gal’s school. I told her that once she’s through her first few months, I’m sure she can request a 9-6pm day or two during the week so she’s not missing out, but we’ll just have to see.

Our Sonnie wore some St. Patrick’s Day gear for his monthly pictures this month and that post is in the works. I still also want to share the adorable pics from Will’s 1st haircut and Gracie’s 6th birthday and party! Hopefully I’ll get at least one of these posts up this week. Happy Monday, friends!

To read about Gracie’s 1st St. Patrick’s Day, click here. :)

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Letter to My Wife

Marriage isn’t easy. It doesn’t often reflect what you see in the movies, or how you think it should be based off romance novels and reality TV. Marriage is actually really fucking hard at times, and it’s okay that it is; because sharing your everyday life with another adult can get frustrating as hell! What I don’t think most people realize, is that the dating, carefree and childless phase of a lifelong relationship, is rather short-lived in the grand scheme of things. In what feels like no time at all, the real world takes center stage and you find yourself knee-deep in bills, working too many hours, all while raising tiny humans and dealing with all that comes along with that. There’s loads laundry to be done (my God, so much laundry), exhaustion ensues, navigating in-laws and a family that you didn’t grow up with can be tough and this is all done while also working to remember why you fell in love in the first place, and why you want to stay in love. All of these day to day stressors are then magnified when you bring a new baby into the family.

As expecting parents, or new parents, we tend to focus solely on the beauty of expanding the family. The squishy, lovie fun and exciting things, which are amazing, are all that most of us plan for and expect. When you only hear and talk about the good, it can leave you feeling sad and defeated when bringing that sweet baby home gets hard and changes the dynamics of your marriage, which it 100% does, 100% of the time. So why don’t we talk about it? Why don’t we talk more about the hard stuff?

G and I did a pretty good job of navigating the world as a family of 4, in the beginning. We started to really suck at it right around the time Will decided to stop sleeping through the night at 8 months, all while growing a few teeth and being super pissed and in pain because of it. G had left her job of 18 years and the stress of canceling our Hawaii trip + financial burdens + Gracie acting out for a few weeks, had us fighting more than I’d like to admit.

We eventually weathered the shit storm and made it through to the other side, but not without a lot of hurtful words said to one another, days and days of not talking at all and some serious thoughts of spending a few days apart. It didn’t come to that, thankfully, but shit got hard. Like, really hard. The great thing about our marriage though, is that we’re both willing to admit when we overreact and when the fighting gets to a boiling point, it breaks our hearts and we always end up reach out to make things better. That happened about a week ago and following the making up, we went to dinner. At dinner Georgia asked me why I love her. I paused when she asked me this because I couldn’t remember the last time she asked me something like that and I couldn’t remember the last time I told her the reasons I love her.

We both decided to make a list of 10 reasons why we love each other, for each other. We decided to write 10 reasons why I choose her and why she chooses me and so that’s what we did. Below is my list, to my wife. I’m sharing this here to be transparent and show anyone out there admiring our happy pictures and reading our happy stories – that we’re a real family, with real problems. We aren’t perfect parents and we make mistakes often. We don’t have a perfect marriage. Far from it, but that’s ok. It’s all ok. It’s ok to feel jealous of other relationships that appear to be perfect. It’s ok to feel like you need a break from your kids when they’re draining you, and it’s ok to argue with your spouse and want to scream at them from time to time. These things are normal, so try not to beat yourself up when they happen.

Instead, trying writing your spouse a letter, or a list of why you chose them all those years ago and why you still choose them today.     

To my wife, these are 10 of the many reasons I LOVE you – in no particular order :)

1. You have the softest lips and you’re a great kisser!

2. Our kids are the luckiest kiddos on the plant to have you as their Mommy. I love that you’re such a natural at mom-ing. Every decision you make and everything you do is with Gracie and Will in mind. You live to love and care for them and you make sure to show them in all of your interactions, that they are your entire world.

3. You completely get me. You know how I’m feeling just by looking at my face. You know my noises and what they mean and you know when I need you most.

4. I love that you’re an amazing daughter and take such great care of your parents. You are there for them in every way, whether it’s accompanying them to their weekly doctor appointments, helping them use electronics (oy vey!), lifting all the heavy things in their home or just being their go-to person for everything. They are so blessed to have you!

5. As you know, I love your booty. It my favorite of all your body parts!

6. You’re so dang handy and you aren’t afraid to learn how to do, build, create and install complex things, which I love! I appreciate that you’re never afraid to get on ladders, climb to the roof, or do anything else needed to care for our home and our things. I can’t even imagine all the money we’ve saved having never needed to call a handyman, lol.

7. I appreciate that you’ve taught me to be more patient, to hold onto less and to be more forgiving.

8. Your face. I love that it’s covered in freckles and that you have the longest lashes and full lips and you’re just so dang beautiful!

9. I love that you’re my #1 supporter and my biggest fan. You believe in me, even when I don’t believe in myself and you have no idea how much that helps ease my fears and anxiety.

10. And as cheesy as this last one may sound, I love that we have the same goals for the future and for our kids. The things that are most important to you, are also most important to me and I’m so thankful for that.

And there you have it. 

There’s lots of other things I LOVE the most, but it’s probably not appropriate for me to write them here. ;) 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

8/52: M A R C H B A B Y

Tomorrow, our beautiful March baby will be SIX years old! Yesterday was Crazy Hat Day at her school. Today is Crazy Socks Day and tomorrow, on her actual birthday, she only has to go to school half day due to parent/teacher conferences; so we're taking her out for a Mamas' date day! Then uncle D and uncle C fly in for her birthday party this weekend! So basically, this gal is having the best week ever and she's so dang excited about all of it, haha! Our first love - I just can't believe that she's going to be six! Where does the time go?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

10 Months of William

As I type this blog post, I’m so tired that I could literally lay my head down and fall asleep – right here, right now. *If only parents of more than one kiddo had that luxury… Our Sonnie Bear is going through some sleep regression + teething and has been for weeks and I’m so damn tired, all the time. There are good nights, when he stays asleep, waking once or not at all, but those nights are few and far between, these days. If I were to estimate, I would say that I get 2 nights of decent sleep per week and by decent, I mean 6 hours min, or at least one chunk of uninterrupted deep sleep. I blame G for much of my sleep disturbance, if I’m just being honest, because she comes to bed so damn late and almost always wakes us up and then Georgia and the baby fall fast asleep and I’m stuck awake. I wish so badly that sleep deprivation didn’t impact me the way that it does and that I wasn’t such a crappy sleeper in general, but I am and I always have been. Ugh.

Thankfully, our main man still goes to sleep easily and by the time 8pm rolls around, he’s ready to hit the hay and is always quick to drink his bottle and doze off in our arms. It takes 10-15 minutes to get him down, at which point I usually pick up around the house, pack Gracie’s lunch/snack and get outfits ready for the next day. The babe sleeps through me watching Friends reruns (on volume 1) before I fall asleep around 10:30pm, so I’m happy about that! Then Georgia, my night-owl of a wife and our noisy ass dog come barreling in around 1:30am and wake everyone up. My exhaustion and grumpiness is beginning to get the best of me (as if you can’t tell by reading this post) and I’m thinking it’s time that we transition Will to his own nursery. It makes me sad to write this because I truly adore waking up to his little face peeking at me from over the rail of his bed, and I love that we’ve practiced attachment parenting with him since the day he was born, because that was so important to us. But at the end of the day, I just need more restful sleep if I want to be the best mama I can be. This is right around the time we transitioned Grace to her nursery and I’m praying that it goes as smoothly as it did with her… Now we just need to decide when to actually make the transition.

Our Sonnie is changing and doing new things like crazy and at rapid speed right now. He seems to be ready to walk because he’s decided that he wants to free-stand even if it means he falls back on his little booty over and over. He’s great at standing but can usually only stay standing, without holding on for around 5 seconds, which is amazing to us! He is our little dare devil and dives off the couch now too, head first and refuses to stop; so we’ve had to show him how to safely “dive off”. We’ll be sitting on the couch with him on our lap, or sitting next to us and out of nowhere, he’ll throw himself forward trying to land on the ground on his hands, HEAD FIRST! Sweet Jesus it gave us a heart attack the first couple of times he did it, little stinker! He crawls in turbo now and can get from one side of the living room to the other in seconds, so we’ve had to make a little barricade to keep him safely in the living room while we’re cooking or doing anything that doesn’t allow us to be within an arm’s reach of him. You may be wondering why we don’t just put the boy in his large play yard or jumper to keep him occupied and safe and the answer is, he’s over those things and just must explore and MOVE. When we try to place him in any stationary position, he acts like a caged animal, haha! He makes so much noise and it cracks us up!    

Growth Stats | Height: 29 ½ Inches Tall & Weight: 18.9 Pounds (taken 2 weeks ago, right at 10 months – so I’m sure he’s grown since then). Baby boy’s still wearing size 6-9 months, depending on the outfit. He would probably fit in some 12-month stuff, but we have yet to try any. He can wear 6-month swim trunks and tops because he’s so skinny, but pants have to be 9 months+ because he’s tall! He wears hats of all sizes and thankfully doesn’t seem to mind wearing them. His shoes are a size 3 and sadly, I haven’t been too good at getting him into all of his adorable shoes before he grows out of them. I hate when that happens!

Nutrition | Brother bear is allergic to eggs and we’re totally bummed about it because our family LOVES eggs! We introduced them at the end of January and within 5 minutes he was covered in hives from head to toe and we had to immediately take him in to see the doc. Thankfully everything turned out to be ok, but it’s something we’ll have to watch because he appears to have a very high sensitivity to it. G fed him a muffin without even thinking about it a few days later and the hives came back! So, no egg or anything made with egg for now. :(

Some new foods he’s tried over this past month include: chard, tortilla, eggs, sausage, cantaloupe, French Fries, pumpkin, muffin, honeydew and pizza. This is in addition to the ongoing list of the baby led foods our guy has fed himself and purees that he still loves to eat. His food list is detailed below, for any of you looking for ideas for BLW foods.

{ Pickles, olives, black beans, banana, potato, corn, pinto beans, grapes, tomato, blueberries, avocado, cucumber, broccoli, tofu, roasted seaweed, ground turkey, hummus, toast, ham, spaghetti, lasagna, pita bread, chicken, cheddar cheese, pesto pasta, shredded beef, gelato and popsicle. }

Developmental Stuff | Some new milestones to surface this month include the turbo crawl, mentioned above and our dude can now walk with his little zebra walker! He can play peek-a-boo (which is the cutest thing on the planet)! He can free-stand for around 5 seconds and is showing so many signs that he’s ready to walk. Our guy has also become a “talking” machine! Now, by talking, I’m not referring to the 5 words that he actually knows and can say, but rather his voice that he appears to have found and uses all day long! It’s too funny to hear some of the sounds that come out of his mouth!

The biggest change/development this past month is that our dude finally started Swim School with Gracie! The kiddo has been on the waitlist since he was 3 months old and I literally jumped for joy when we got the call that a slot had opened up. It took forever because the school itself is difficult to get into, as no one ever seems to leave, but we also had to get him into one of only 2 Parent + Tot classes that are offered on the same day and in the evening when Grace has her class. He has done amazing so far and really seems to be enjoying it! No tear as of yet, not even when he’s been fully submerged in water. He’s in class with 5-7 other tots, so I’ve loved getting to see him interact with other babies. He loves it and Gracie is so excited that he’s there with her!

The only challenge I’ve had with Swim School is that G and I have to alternate getting in the pool with the babe, which means that every other week I have to march out in front of 50 parents on the other side of the glass wall, in my bathing suit... Now, I’ve never been one to be self-conscious, but seriously. It’s the worst, LOL! Thankfully I’m quickly over it once we’re in the water and then us water babies have a blast together! I’ve purchased adorable swim suits for will since we first found out that G was pregnant, so it’s been so great to see our boy wearing them. I just can’t wait until he’s taking laps around the pool like his big sis! Here’s a video of Will swimming with Mommy. :)

<< Mama's Sweet Lovies >>

And I’ll end with this adorable comparison picture of Gracie at 10 months and her bro at 10 months. I really can’t believe that our boy will be ONE in just 6 weeks! I’m currently in the process of finishing up prep for Gracie’s 6th birthday: Peter Rabbit themed bowling party that’s in just 9 days! I’m also mid-prep for Will’s 1st birthday extravaganza --AND-- Georgia’s 40th birthday, which all fall within 3 weeks of each other. It’s a lot to plan, pay for and execute, but I got this! Challenge accepted!

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