Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013.

It was a really good year.

It was a life-changing year.

Life-changing because we started off 2013 going from one child to two. And that was a game changer for sure!


We didn't go on any big vacations. Hubs and I didn't find ourselves in new jobs or advancing our careers... yet. We pretty much hunkered down and parented the crap out of 2013! (Is parented even a word?) We balanced two babies and two full-time jobs and that was enough for us to take on at the time. I've said it before and I'll say it again... this two kids stuff is no joke!



When Miss D-Nut arrived Little C was only 21 months old. I think back on the first two weeks of life with a newborn and toddler and I can't believe we made it. It is all a haze now and thinking back on that time is crazy! It was pure survival mode and I'm proud to report that we made it out the other side.

The exhaustion in 2013 was like nothing I've ever experienced. The stress, the worry, the decisions, the balancing, the arguments. All of it was intense, yet manageable.

2013 once again strengthened our marriage and solidified even more that I'm one lucky lady to have the love of my husband. We make a good team and in 2013 we celebrated 7 years of marriage and 15 years of being together! That's practically half my life! Oofta. I love that man of mine!


Little C turned 2 on Easter and continues to bring our family so much joy and laughter. The things he says are too much and (like all parents) we beam with pride at how smart he is. He is a leader and a calculated risk taker. He tackled potty training like a boss and he welcomed his new role of big bro with enthusiasm and wears the title proudly.


Baby D-Nut entered our family at the beginning of 2013 and we can't imagine our lives without her! She is our blonde-haired, blue-eyed little ray of light. She is a silent observer compared to her boisterous big brother but she speaks up when necessary. And unlike her calculating and cautious big brother, Baby Sis is all out adventurous. We have our hands full with her for sure! Having a baby girl has been such a blessing and I can't wait to celebrate her birthday in a couple of weeks.


My reflection of 2013 is a positive one. Nothing too over-the-top and nothing too dramatic or tragic. Just life. Simple and pure. And having said that...

I hope 2014 is the opposite!!! K & K are ready to shake things up and make some new life changes. Now that we've settled into our parenting gig pretty comfortably it is time for us to turn our focus on our careers and to make some advancements. Look out 2014, we're out to get you!

Dream job, are you there? It's me... Kendra!

We are going to be moving and I can't wait to see where our new home will be. We've never owned our own place either so that is going to be a HUGE deal for 2014. It's like we'll be grown-ups or something. Weird.

So goodbye, 2013. You've blessed our little family and you've been mighty kind to us. I am beyond grateful for having a quiet and happy year and now I'm ready to get out of some comfort zones and push some limits. 2014 will be all about taking chances, putting myself out there and living big! I can't wait!

Lastly, I just want to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by here and share in My Full-Thyme Life. I've received so many thoughtful and kind comments this year and your support, solidarity and humor has been such a comfort.

Happy New Year! Here's to an exciting 2014. Let's live BIG!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Up next...

Hello! How was your Christmas? Ours was great! Exhausting, but great. I think the kids even felt the same way because for the past two days they slept in till nearly 8am!!! That's unheard of!

Perhaps you've seen or at least heard of the movie Four Christmases? Well that is us. I have a large family so we do our best to make the rounds. It is a lot of fun but leaves us drained once it's all over. Our kids get a bit overwhelmed as well.

Little C probably feels it the worst. When he doesn't have structure and there is a ton of sensory overload for him he lets it show in the way of temper tantrums and grumpy behavior. He did his very best and truly did a great job but we had some moments and I think getting him back to daycare on Thursday to resume his standard routine was welcome for all of us. Is your toddler the same way?

Baby D-Nut's first Christmas was great and as always she just rolled with the punches and held up well. Of course she received some fun and age-appropriate toys but wanted nothing to do with them after seeing big brother's loot. Whatever he had, she wanted. Such is the life of siblings, yes?

All-in-all Christmas 2013 was a success. C was at a fun age and having a baby girl meant ALL THE PUFFY DRESSES!!



Now that Christmas is behind us, we're gearing up for Baby D-Nut's 1st birthday. I didn't get my act together to print off fancy schmancy etsy invites for my girl's party. So Evites were recently sent out and that will just have to do.

I saw this post on Mommy Shorts recently and it gave us the brilliant idea for a breakfast/pajama party. We did a Cookie Monster 1st birthday for Little C because leading up to his big day he was a huge Cookie Monster fan and it was a no-brainer. But Baby D-Nut honestly doesn't have anything she is specifically drawn to or that we notice as her most favorite thing so for a while we were struggling with what to do for her.

I know a "theme" isn't necessary but Hubs and I do enjoy having one for the kids. And when I say "Hubs and I" that is just what I mean. He plans these shindigs right along with me and enjoys the details as much as I do.

So when I showed him the post about the pajama party he was sold and I told him the best part would be because her nickname is Baby Donut and because we'd be serving breakfast there would most definitely have to be miniature donuts on the menu. I mean... come on! How cute is that?!?!

So that's what's up next for us. I'm so excited for our girl's celebration! I still can't believe we are closing in on her first year. It was a good one for sure. And just like I did leading up to Little C's first birthday, I do plan to do some reflecting. That is, if I can stop myself from welling up every time I sit down to type! Good thing I recently stocked up on tissues. ;)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Warriors

Arapahoe High School is my alma mater. It is my brother's and it is even my dad's. We grew up in the Littleton community. I was a senior in 1999 when the tragedy unfolded at Columbine High School. I had peers that were affected.

I'm devastated for many reasons about what happened on December 13th. I'm sad that something so negative and senseless occurred in the the hallways of a place I loved. I'm sad that the Littleton community once again had to endure another tragedy.

I'm beyond devastated for the Davis family. I can't possibly imagine...

The Arapahoe High School shootings did not affect me on a personal level but it sure did hit close to home. As I ran an errand on my lunch break last week I had to go directly into what I consider "Arapahoe territory." All around were signs and messages throughout the community saying, "Pray for Claire." My old middle school had "We love you Arapahoe" on their sign and I know even Columbine High School put "We Are All Warriors" on their letter-board. As I drove through the area the true sense of community was palpable.

I then carried on about my business and my life. I'm pretty sure I complained about ridiculous first world problems. I'm certain I took for granted that at any given moment I could have picked up my phone and called out to any of my loved ones and they would be on the other end to receive my call. Then as I started to wrap gifts for my family on Friday night I tweeted how I had so many presents to wrap and no scotch tape to wrap them with!

As my tweet hit my timeline one hit right above it with details about a vigil being held for Claire Davis. I felt embarrassed to have just complained about something so trivial.

I know it is normal and just a part of human nature for us to carry on after learning of bad news, especially if we were not directly affected by it. So I'm not beating myself up for carrying on with my life but what I am hoping to do as I am surrounded by loved ones during this wonderful time of year, is to cherish it and not take it for granted.

I hope I can keep a clear perspective about what's truly important and when I start to lose that perspective I hope to be humbly reminded.

Arapahoe High School and the Littleton community will rise above this incident. They are Warriors.

My thoughts are with them all and especially with the families of the two lives that were lost.
 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Working Mom Moments

Today I'm at Mile High Mamas sharing a tender moment between Little C and I . It was one of those moments where, for a second,  I did not want to be working mom. I wanted nothing more than to be at home with my little man and have nowhere to go.

Between you and me, I think I'm feeling this way a lot lately because I'm not crazy about my current gig any longer. In turn wearing my "working mom hat" becomes harder when I don't love the time I'm forced to spend away from my kids. I know I have the power to change this and I'm not feeling sorry for myself, it is just a fact.

I love working and my career is something I look forward to building on. But that doesn't mean hard days don't exist where soldiering on to work isn't tough. Thank goodness for the tender moments and the treasured time I do spend with my little loves. They are the moments that as of late get me through the day.

Click here to read the whole post.

Can you relate? Do you find yourself daydreaming in a business meeting about your kids?  

Friday, December 6, 2013

Baby Update - Month 11

Here we are! 11 months old!



I am very much in denial but mostly... I'm just flipping exhausted!! For the last two weeks the sweet, precious little face you see above has made it her new life mission to NOT SLEEP through the night any longer.

I don't know why. I don't know how to fix it. I don't know if it's a growth spurt, teething, ear ache, stomach ache, etc. I have purchased the Wonder Weeks on my Kindle in hopes to shed light on things, but I'm too damn tired to read it.

We've tried crying it out and soothing techniques. We've tried to convince her to use a paci. We've tried white-noise in her room. We've tried everything short of standing on our heads and reciting the Gettysburg Address if we knew it would get her to stop this madness.

We've been giving her bottles in the middle of the night as it is the only thing that will calm her down from the uproarious cries she bellows from her crib at all hours of the night! But it boggles our minds because she guzzles a full 8-9oz bottle before bed every night. Is it not enough?!?!?

Of course, now we think we've created a monster because she is so used to these "after hours feedings" that breaking her of them is going to be all kinds of difficult.

She's exhausted and out of whack. Hubs and I are exhausted and out of whack and I'm really starting to dread the nighttime like a trip to the dentist or something.

She cut a top tooth recently and the second is close behind so I'm hoping that is all this is and it will be over soon. But if it's not... I just.... I don't know what else we will do. It is so hard not knowing how to help her out and not being able to understand if something is troubling her (like pain or an ailment of some sort) or if it is developmental. The guessing game is the hardest thing for me. I want to know what is wrong and I want to fix it.

As for an 11 month update... All I can say is that despite this episode she is doing great. Her eating likes and dislikes are changing by the day. She is so close to saying simple words and I wonder what her first real one will be.

It is clearer to us now than ever before that this girl is a force. She marches to the beat of her own drummer and she will do things on her own terms without any persuasion from anyone. She demonstrates fearlessness at her very young age and it is such a fun sight to see! Give this girl a playground or jungle gym to climb on and watch out!

Still not walking and she doesn't seem too eager to get moving. She uses her Vtech walker like crazy but when we hold her hands to walk around she immediately sits down. We aren't pushing her but we keep at it to hopefully get her more comfortable with being bipedal. ;)

I'm sure there are more poignant things to address and update you on but I can't seem to recall them at the moment because I can barely see straight to type this post out!

The next time you get a "Baby Update" our D-Nut will be ONE YEAR OLD!! Can you believe it? We are so behind on party planning because, you know, the Holidays and such. But we are gearing up to get all the deets squared away. I hope we learn how to juggle the whole Holiday/birthday grind much better as each year passes. Because right now it is a bit overwhelming at times. Fun and exciting, but overwhelming for sure.

So that's my drone update for the day. And if anyone out there has any suggestions or helpful tips for this sleep regression we are experiencing, I'm all ears! 

She may be driving us batty with her maddening middle of the night shenanigans, but we are still having fun with our D-Nut!



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just The Two of Us

"Let's have it just be us this year."

My response to hearing this from Hubs was an astounding "Whaaaa? Just us? As in, no parents? No GRANDparents? No HUSTLE and BUSTLE?!?!?!?"

After a prominent eye-roll and telling me to CTFD, Hubs said "yes, just us and no one else."

I couldn't comprehend this idea. For as long as I can remember Thanksgiving was always about loud, and at the same time, comforting get-togethers with my ginormous family. Would my mom understand? And further more... Are we allowed to do this? To break-free from tradition and ::GASP:: do our OWN THING?!?

In 2010 I was pregnant with our first baby. Hubs proposed the idea to spend Thanksgiving as just the two of us because after that year, it would never be "just the two of us" again.

I loved the idea and after I wrapped my brain around not partaking in the annual hullabaloo that is our family's Thanksgiving, I was on board. I broke the news to the 'rents, Hubs broke the news to his and it was done!

You guys! It was hands down the best Thanksgiving we have ever had! Now let me just clear the air and say that picking the best Thanksgiving ever is a ridiculous thing... Because in my book? They are all great. I love having such a big family and all the chaos that goes along with it. But I think 2010 was the best year because of what it represented...

The closing of one chapter and the beginning of another. For 12 years it was just me and my guy. K & K. Now here we sat with a turkey in one oven and the proverbial "bun" in the other. Just a man and a woman desperately in love and entirely clueless as to how that "bun" was about to change their lives forever.

Two people doing what they always loved to do together... Cook! Every detail of the big feast was prepared by the two of us. We modernized our family classics and even invented a new pie recipe that we have treasured ever since!

We laughed each time we realized an ingredient had been forgotten and we'd take turns running to the store one. more. time. I think we went back out six times!!! Needless to say, we were beyond thankful that the nearest grocery store stayed open until 2pm that day!

We cooked all day long and then sat down to a perfect candle-lit Thanksgiving dinner for two. We had music playing which was undeniably the soundtrack to our lives up to that point. We relished in the fruits of our labor from the day and we shared visions and ideas we had about our son.

The day before Thanksgiving we had our 20 week doctor appointment and ultrasound. We had the big reveal that we were going to have a boy! We were so excited because, although we wanted a healthy baby first and foremost, we really wanted our first-born to be a boy. Our dreams had come true!

After we finished our delicious dinner and dreamily talked about our growing family it was time to get back up and tackle the dishes. Only...

I couldn't move. I had been on my feet all day long and once I finally sat down for a while my pregnant body felt the wrath. My sciatic nerve went haywire and I had to watch my sweet husband handle most of the clean-up.

By now it was starting to get late and we were exhausted from the day. The longer I sat the more stiff I became and the harder it became to move. Our glorious day ended with Hubs practically carrying me up the stairs and literally helping me get into my PJ's and hoisting me into bed! Talk about sexy! ;)

Our first, and last, Thanksgiving as "just the two of us." It was perfect.

We went to bed that night stuffed out of our minds, happy and content. Fulfilled, in love and... Thankful.



Happy Thanksgiving to all of you out there! I hope you enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Life is fragile and it is precious and be sure to tell those you love how you feel about them. Be thankful for what's most important in life and enjoy the heck out of it.

To my family, I love you.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Potty Training in Public: My Inaugural Encounter

Today I'm over at Mile High Mamas sharing my first public potty experience with Little C. We've been having a really positive experience with potty training overall and I don't know why I was ever dreading getting the process started!

I'm sure that means we will have a doozy of a time with Little Miss D-Nut but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, I'm really proud of how well C took to all of this potty training stuff. I plan to write a post about what worked for us in the near future. We aren't there 100% but we are so very close.

Click here to read about the experience.

How is potty training going for you? Have any funny public potty training stories to share?

Friday, November 15, 2013

What a First Time Mom Really Needs

You may have seen something floating around called 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood. This really got me thinking... It's good, it's funny and it's true.

But what gets me about a post like this, and others like it, is the hindsight it involves to write it. Can you really have that kind of clarity and perspective about your first year of parenthood as you are living it? Is a first-time mom really going to change her ways and chillax after reading something like this?

Don't get me wrong, I love reading these posts and like I said they are funny and true, but I can safely say I probably would not have read it in my first year of parenthood and had an ah-ha moment. The first year of parenthood was survival and I wasn't seeking out posts about how I need to take a chill-pill and calm my ass down. I was seeking out posts about sleep regression, what foods to feed my baby at what age, how to break him of his paci, and what milestones he would be hitting next.

When my poor baby was sick I was researching like a mad woman why he kept getting these stomach bugs every 4 weeks like clockwork. I was exhausted and clueless and gathering up as much information as I could because that is the type of person I am. I don't think it has anything to do with the type of mother I am but everything to do with how I'm hard wired.

If I have a question, I want it answered. When I was pregnant I read the books and I was a Baby Center junkie. A lot of it had to do with gathering information but at that stage, it was just fun! After Little C was born my nose was in What to Expect every month and I was working that index like a BOSS! All the information helped me and I felt more equipped to tackle each hurdle as it arose.

But that's just me. The books didn't make me stressed out or confused, they were my life lines. Along with other moms, doctors, bloggers, etc. And I couldn't relax and calm down because I didn't know what was coming around the bend. I was a new mom and that is just how it was.

Now that I have a second baby? Man, oh man, is it a whole different game! I can read a post like the 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood and I can laugh and say, "damn skippy, that's how it is!" But only because I've lived it for myself. Instead of having my nose in a book, this time I can feel my way through parenting another baby and rely on instincts and more importantly, experience.

My second baby is nothing like my first so even now I still have moments where I feel like a first-time mom all over again but this time I can relax because I am resourceful and I can handle anything.

In my opinion, a first time mom doesn't need to be told to calm down, that their baby isn't like all the others, or that the books will overwhelm them. I believe a first-time mom just needs to be. She needs to figure it out for herself. She needs to have a hard time and learn what she is capable of. She needs support and whether she gets it from her partner, her family, friends, books or the internet, she will seek it out for herself.


A new mom needs to have triumphs and days where she feels like she knows a thing or two. She needs to laugh at herself and at life in general because some days that is all you can do.

She needs to cry by herself at times because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to pour herself a heaping glass of wine at the end of the day because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to just be. Be a first-time mom making mistakes and learning from them. Be put together and confident one minute and a clueless hot mess the next. It's all okay and a new mom will be better for all of it.

So if you are a first-time mom reading this, my humble advice to you is... just be. Keep at it and do whatever you need to do to get through your first year. The resources are there if you need them and your own instincts will take you far. But you have to figure it out for yourself.

And if nothing else, always remember... You're doing a great job.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

#12ThingsILoveAboutMe - November

Get excited, people... Not only is today 11-12-13 but it is also #12ThingsILoveAboutMe day! Try to contain yourselves, I know it will be hard.

Have you been thinking about all the things that you love about yourself? As I've shared with you before, negative self-talk has plagued me for many years and I wanted to do this #12Things exercise to starting thinking about myself in a different way. 

It is easy for me to look in the mirror and immediately focus on things I don't like or wish I could change about myself. I notice it all, big or small, and I don't even see or appreciate the good that is there. This is why I'm doing a monthly shout out. To start appreciating who I am and get over all the negativity. 

No one can do this for me, self-love and self-confidence has to come from within which is why I am shouting out loud what I love about me!

If you are a confident person and this is the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard of... well good for you! I'm happy that you have confidence and don't need to force yourself to list 12 things that you love about who you are. I'm happy for you and also, I want your secret!

If you are like me and want to put an end to negative self-talk and start feeling inside and out that you are a worthy of being beautiful and special... then join in with me and share your love! 

This month I love my...


I love my nose! It's not too big, it's straight, and has a nice round tip. When I was a baby it was so round and just sat on my face like a little ball. In fact, my uncle called it a "Snoopy nose" because it was so round. 

As I mentioned earlier I not only want to love "things" about myself I also want to start appreciating them more. So despite being cute to look at, I appreciate what my nose does for me. Just like my hands, I love that my nose serves me well in my day-to-day life.

The smell of a fresh cup of coffee early in the morning can't be beat. I am able to experience the intoxicating smell of butter, onions, and garlic sauteing in a hot skillet (probably my favorite smell of all time). I can smell the seasons... Fall spices and damp colorful leaves, Holiday scents in the winter, rain in the Spring, and fresh cut grass in the Summer.

My husband has a smell that I simply adore. And my nose even picked up the pheromones he was giving off when we first started dating. That's straight up Science, yo!

Of course I have to give thanks to my nose for the ultimate gift of being able to soak in the sweetness that is the smell of a baby. Oh, I can smell it now... nothing compares. 

There are so many other scents of life that I know I take for granted but today I give thanks to my schnoz and I say to the world, I LOVE MY NOSE!


What do you love about yourself? Put a stop to your negative self-talk and start appreciating beautiful you! Shout it out here or on Twitter.

Love yourself.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

T-minus two months...

Real talk for a minute... I'm not gonna lie, this whole "my baby is 10 months old" thing is hard for me. I had the same feeling with Little C. It's just that I have two more months with my tiny little baby and then POOF! She's a toddler.

Don't get me wrong, I love toddlers and all the boundary pushing and tantrum throwing that go along with them. (read: sarcasm)

Of course I can't wait for D-Nut to start walking, running, talking, exploring and showing us more and more of her personality. I can't wait for her to play more actively with her brother. And there are so many other wonderful things that come along with turning one year old. But there are so many sweet little baby things that we say goodbye to as well.

I love the baby stage. I do. I'm a big giant puddle of goo just thinking about babies. Sure the newborn stage is really demanding and exhausting but once you get to 3 months and beyond it is all so glorious. Still demanding and exhausting, but somehow that's not what sticks with me. The exhaustion and the struggles fade away and what sticks is the baby smell, the soft skin, the gummy grins, and the rolls for days.


Truthfully, it's not that I'm sad... No. Wait. You know what? I have to be honest here. I AM sad. It is hard for me to be saying goodbye to the baby stage. I love it so much and even knowing how much fun is ahead and how awesome toddlers are, it still stings a bit.

I think I'm sad because this could be it. After Little C we always knew we wanted to add to our family and have a sibling for our little man. But now baby #3 is a HUGE question mark that is so big Hubby and I can't even fathom thinking about it let alone discussing it in full at this time. We are 100% completely enjoying the heck out of our two beautiful children and that is what's important.

It's just that if we do only have the two then I am saying goodbye to this baby stage forever and I am getting sentimental as all get out about it. Did I really slow down enough to enjoy it? I know I tried but honestly getting through the baby stage this time with a young toddler really kicked my butt. 

When Little C was a baby everything revolved around him including all of our time and attention. But for Baby D-Nut? Our time and attention is shared between our two kids, sometimes one receiving more than the other. She has spent more time in her jumpy-roo on certain days because it is a safe place to "set" her while we run around getting things done. But that's just life, right?

I hope I've soaked in her baby-ness as much as I should have. It has gone way too fast and I swear it was only yesterday when I was at home on maternity leave, nursing my newborn daughter, and snuggling her as she slept on my chest. 

I am beyond grateful for the blessings I have and I take none of it for granted. But I am an emotionally-charged-softy and as happy as I am to see my girl grow and as excited as I am for her future and the future of my little family... It still stings and I am a bit sad. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Baby Update - Month 10

HOLD THE PHONE. 10 months?!?!? Surely I'm not really writing my baby P-Nut's 10 month post. It just can't be. Time slooooooow down!


Fun fact: Have I told you guys yet that Little C refers to his baby sister as "Baby Doughnut?" It started months ago and it is probably the cutest damn thing any of us have ever heard! We have absolutely no idea where he got it from but we do know it's here to stay.

Little C will tell random strangers passing by at the store, "this is my sister. Her name is Baby Doughnut." Or even if she is not with him he will talk about her and refer to her as Baby Doughnut. The people he tells get a kick out of it and sweet Baby Doughnut just sits there and smiles.

So don't be alarmed if we have a name change here on the 'ole blog. From P-Nut to D-Nut. Whaddya think about that?!?

Anyways, little Miss Dough-Nut is just growing and developing like a champ. She is seriously a very easy baby and we are beyond thankful for that. She goes with the flow and seems pretty darn happy most of the time.

The Scoop:

Teeth: Still only two on the bottom but there is something brewing up top and based on some minor fussiness, snotty nose, and a hand constantly in her mouth, I'd say we're close to getting some more.

Talking: Nada. Just the single syllable babbles but nothing is really coming together. I swear she has designated a sound for "brother" and for "dog" but most of the time she just says "ba." It is clear she understands many things now. For example, if you say hi or bye-bye (without the motion) she will start to wave.

Sign language: We started introducing this around 7 months and she is just now starting to pick up some signs. We've seen her do "hungry" and "more" but not consistently enough to say she's got it down. But she's close!

Movement: D-Nuckle is the fastest crawler in the West! It is currently her method of choice for getting places. Her brother likes to tease her by running one direction until she starts to follow him then he will switch trajectory on a dime and she has to slow her roll, switch directions, and then she takes off after him again. Rinse and repeat. They both giggle and have a blast.

We are working on walking. We have a VTech Walker that she has recently become very proficient with. But she will only do it for bits at a time before she's right back to crawling. She'll get there...


Eating: We've started letting her eat table food at daycare so she is now getting 3 bottles a day and 3 full "table" meals a day. All the teachers have commented on how well she eats and how MUCH she eats. Baby Doughnut is doughy! ;)

Hubs and I love that she is on table foods now because it makes dinner so much easier and it is fun to see what new foods she likes and to learn what she doesn't care for.

When I was breastfeeding The Nut you may remember I had to cut out dairy. The cow's milk I was eating did not agree with her at all. Once we moved to formula we had to get soy formula and she's been on that ever since. The Pediatrician recommended starting to introduce dairy via yogurt and cheese before we start introducing through formula. She has been responding great so far to the little bits we've given her so I hope that keeps up. Although, I have noticed she will spit up her bottle more lately and I'm wondering if the dairy in her system has anything to do with that?

Be bop a lula: I'm trying not to get too excited about this because I don't want to push my interests on my daughter but... every time she hears music she starts to DANCE!! She be bops her booty up and down with an ear-to-ear grin.

I was a dancer and love all things dance! I know she's only 10 months old but it genuinely makes my heart flutter with excitement at the very thought of little girl tights, leotards, ballet slippers, tutus and such. We'll see... ::crosses fingers::

So there you have it! She's such a joy and she is mastering all of this baby stuff pretty well! We're so proud of her and she impresses us everyday with how much she is learning. Of course there are still plenty of things she has yet to pick up...


You'll get there, baby girl. 

What's your baby up to? Go on, brag a little! I'd love to hear! 

Did you have a baby that was sensitive to dairy but grew out of it? How did you reintroduce the dairy? I'd love some advice!



Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm a Royal, Hot Mess, Doing the Best I Can Mom

I really want to be "that mom." The mom that is always put together and can handle a multitude of stress with the greatest of ease. I want to be the mom who's kids never have boogery noses or food crusted to their faces. I want to not be constantly picking dog and cat hair off my kids clothes. I want to put healthy homemade meals in front of them every night. I want to sew for them AND make them costumes and damn it... I want to bake for them!

I want the house to be permeated with the smells of fresh baked cookies, cupcakes, and breads. I want to be the working mom that bakes their kid's treats for the Halloween party and doesn't just buy it at the store.

I want all of these things, but you know what? Turns out it's not my style.

You see, my style is to appear put together (most of the time) when really I'm just taking every day one minute at a time. Who knows when my panty hose will run, my shoe with get scuffed from our stupid rock-lined driveway, the button will pop off my pants, I'll loose an earring or the under-wire in my bra will poke its way out of said bra and then deep into my side boob.

I'm learning I'm more of "that other mom." The mom that is wiping off her kids faces as she's taking them out of the car to head into daycare. I'm the mom who is so excited to look at the thousands of pictures she just took at the Zoo only find there is food crusted to her baby's face in all of them.

I'm the mom who last night very meticulously removed all of the pet hair adhered in a static cling situation to my son's fireman hat before I tucked it into his backpack for the Halloween party.

I'm also the mom that can't sew to save her life. That button I mentioned that popped off my pants? Yeah... I'm gonna need to buy new pants. I can't even sew a button so I'm for sure not sewing any Halloween costumes!

And baking? Bwahahahahaha!!! I'm the mom that ruins box cake. BOX CAKE.

Last night I was the mom who tried in vain to bake the easiest monster cookie recipe I could find for Little C's Halloween party. I read over the ingredients and the instructions at least a dozen times and then I set in. I even let C help me as I was envisioning us chatting and laughing the whole time. Bonding over butter and sugar. Letting him lick the spoon and thinking I was his hero as I pulled the delicious cookies from the oven.

But remember? I'm "that other mom." C was a good little helper and we were having a nice time. We got the dough to the perfect monster green and then it was time for it to chill in the fridge. C retired to the play room to watch a cartoon. Thank goodness he wasn't in the kitchen because as I was transferring the dough to the fridge I dropped it.

I dropped the dough in it's GLASS mixing bowl and in a nano-second there was glass shattered all over the floor, I had a bleeding foot, and my perfectly green monster creation lied on the cold kitchen tile riddled with shards of broken glass (and pet hair).

Hubs did all of the clean up, I tended to my war wound, and there were no cookies for the party. We scrapped the homemade meal for dinner that was in its early stages of production and ordered Thai.

I was sincerely devastated only because I was trying really hard. But now I know I was trying really hard to be someone I'm not. I don't bake and that is OK!

I'm a working mom and there are going to be times where phoning it in is not just okay but necessary.

I don't sew, but my kids have a wonderful Nana that does. And there are also these things called "stores" where I can buy costumes!

I have to pick pet hair off of my kids clothes but they have furry companions that love them and that make our family whole.

My kids have food on their faces when I drop them off to school because they have just been fed and I'm sending them off to have a fun-filled day with a full belly and we are fortunate for that.

Some days I am a "super hero" mom and some days I'm a royal, hot mess, doing the best I can, mom. But to my kids I'm just, "mom." Little C will never know how much I wanted to proudly display my monster cookie creations for him at his party today. But what he will know is that I'm there with him and I bet he will even be proud to have me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween 2013: A Letter to My Pumpkins

Dear Little C and P-Nut,

Halloween 2013 is right around the corner and last weekend we got you both suited up in your costumes for a fun-filled weekend. I have to say you both make the CUTEST fireman and ladybug I. have. ever. seen.


See what I mean? You guys kill me with your cuteness!

But I did not sit down to write this post about how stinking cute you both are, that speaks for itself! I wanted to share with you how much I enjoyed the past weekend. We did so many fun things and my mama heart was bursting with love the entire time.

It all started on Friday night when we took you out to dinner with our whole family. Your great-grandparents were there, your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. One of your cousins asked Little C who his best friend was. After a brief pause C said, "my Dad." Everyone got a huge kick out of that and I glanced up at your Dad's face after your announcement and he was beaming with a prideful grin ear-to-ear. You two... Ack! It gets me every time!

Next up we took you guys to Boo at the Zoo with your Nana on Saturday. We have never seen the Zoo as busy as it was and all the kids in costume were a hoot! I think we probably saw the least amount of animals in all our trips to the Zoo but the most fun was had riding the train and the carousel.

Little C, you rode the train with Nana and the huge smile on your face was so special to see. That train is one of your favorite things and you never tire of it's slow moving loop around the grounds. Next up was the carousel and it was a first for P-Nut! Two very precious things happened on that carousel ride that I hope I never forget.

P-Nuckle, you couldn't wait for the ride to start. You sat on your animal and bounced your sweet little legs, clapped, and smiled. But once the ride started going, you lunged your tiny arms tight around my neck and it took a second for you to resume the care-free fun you were having before. Soon you lighted your grip on me but never took one hand off the collar of my jacket. It's pretty minor, but having you need me like that felt pretty good. You are such a brave little baby but I get it, even brave girls need to hold on every once in a while.

C, you rode a giant tiger on the carousel right next to your sister and I. Nana stood by your side ready to provide comfort and stability. But wouldn't you know... You didn't need her to hold on once! Of course Nana and I were so proud of you but the moment that made my heart swell was when you announced to the both of us, "Look at me! I'm doing it all by myself!" And with the supreme confidence of a big boy you looked down at me as your tiger was on its way up and said, "I'm not even scared, Mama!" Your pride and your confidence in this feat was so much fun to behold.

And speaking of confidence...


Walking like you own the place! Seriously, I could walk behind you for miles. You are so sure of yourself and your saunter instantly brings a smile to my face.

Saturday night the four of us carved pumpkins. Well, Mom, Dad, and Little C carved pumpkins while Baby Sis looked on and provided her moral support. Your Dad helped the most with design and execution. They turned out pretty good!


After pumpkin carving we introduced you guys to the wondrous, the glorious, the oh-so-delicious...


S'MORES!!!

P-Nut, you just had yourself a million graham crackers (you seriously can't get enough) and the rest of us enjoyed our ooey, gooey treats. 

We all went to bed on Saturday night with full bellies and your Dad and I went to bed with full hearts on top of it!

And just when we thought this already blissful weekend couldn't get any better... it did!

Sunday we had to divide and conquer our errands, Mom and C went to Target and Dad and P-Nut went to the grocery store. In the spirit of the season, we let you where your fireman costume after you begged us to and as we were walking up to the store we received many smiles and comments. And as we were almost to the front door another mommy told us we should hurry because there were REAL FIREMEN right inside! 

We entered the store and the firemen where walking the other direction and were kind of far away. That was of no concern to your 'ole Ma! I scooped you up and took off after those men (only slightly looking like a crazy person) and I was able to get their attention (again, only slightly looking crazy). 

Now this is when I about died from a cuteness explosion...

Little C, you marched right up to those men and without hesitation you proclaimed, "I'm a fireman!" They all shook your hand and introduced themselves. You told them how you were a captain and you showed off your hat and your boots. You looked them straight in the eyes and you spoke very clearly; you were completely in your element. 

They told you they were looking for a captain for their crew and their truck was parked right outside. Before we knew it we were being escorted for a tour of their engine! As we approached you noticed it was a ladder unit and one of the firemen was very impressed with your knowledge. 

You climbed right in and I was able to fumble my phone out of my pocket and through shaky, adrenaline stricken hands I was able to snap one decent photo to capture the moment.


At this point I asked you what do firemen do? You said, "save the people!" One of the men asked you who you were off to save and without hesitation (and as no surprise to me) you enthusiastically said, "MY DAD!"

It broke my heart that he wasn't with us when this all took place and when I recapped the story for him he even got slightly verklempt. (Don't tell him I told you. He has a tough guy image to uphold)

So there you have it. My very long reflection of a truly memorable weekend!

Little C and P-Nut, I hope you know how much your Dad and I love you and how much fun we are having with you! P-Nut, your cuteness and your go-with-the-flow-ness has us adoring you every single day. And C? Your toddler confidence, the things you say and your kind heart make us so very proud. 

Happy Halloween you two! I can't wait for next year. 

All my love,
Mom






Thursday, October 17, 2013

Baby Update - Month 9

I'm a little late on this update but here it is nonetheless. Can you believe P-Nut is 9 months old?!? That doesn't sound as shocking as when I think about there being THREE MONTHS until she turns ONE!! That is cuh-razy.


Her 9 month check-up went very well and she is as healthy as a horse! Even with her stint with strep she didn't lose too much weight which I was relieved about. We were literally struggling for every ounce when it came to Little C so not having to worry about it so much with P-Nut has been such a nice change of pace.

We still suspect an aversion to dairy. So far butter doesn't seem to be an issue and if milk is a minor ingredient in something it doesn't seem to matter either. We recently tried to give her some regular formula and she instantly broke out in a rash and her stomach was very upset. Needless to say, we're sticking with soy!

Here are some more highlights: 

Teeth: Two pearly whites are fully through her bottom gums which makes for some pretty adorable smiles. 

Talking: She is quiet for the most part but when she chooses to she is babbling up a storm. No real changes in this department.

Standing: She now can pull herself up to standing no problem and can cruise like a champ! The other day Little C was running around the house and I started thinking how there will be two of them running amok before we know it. I think Sis is ready to get bipedal so she can keep up with her brother. 



Eating: P-Nut is enjoying table foods with us at dinner and I am so happy about that! It is nice to just give her bits of what we are eating instead of finding a time when one of us can spoon feed her either before or after dinner. Now, she just eats right along side of us! We are basically on a try anything and everything diet at the moment just to see if she likes it. Of course, when I say "anything and everything" I mean of the items that are appropriate for a baby, but not much is off limits. So far her favorites are:
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Avocado - cubed or mushed
  • Cauliflower - roasted with light EVOO, salt and pepper
  • Pasta - any kind, plain w/ light butter 
  • Black beans - whole beans
  • Green beans - steamed, given whole so she can gnaw on them
  • Rice
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Chili - we gave her a tiny spoonful with her pasta the other night and she really liked it. 
Bottles: We are currently weaning her from 5 per day to 3. It is time for her to start getting more of her calories from solids instead of formula.

Miscellaneous: 
  • She can wave. The cute baby open-and-close of the hand kind of wave.
  • She plays peek-a-boo anytime she is holding a blanket. It is so cute!
  • She loves, and I mean loves, to hang upside down. Sometimes when I'm holding her in my lap she will fling her head and neck backwards for me to dangle her. Her body lays in my lap and she just hangs her head back and we sway. She can't get enough! 
  • She loves swimming.
  • Her hair is slowly but surely growing in and it continues to be a shiny, bright blonde. 
Mama Update:
Not much to report here. Which I consider a good thing! I'm just loving life with my baby girl. :)




Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Contentment: Is it Being Fulfilled or Settling?

There is something about this time of year that fills me with so much contentment. I consider this to be such a great thing!
I feel that “contentment” can sometimes get a bad rap for being viewed as “settling.” But I see it differently…
Being in my early thirties it is easy to always be in an “I want” mentality. I want to go further in my career, better job, I want to earn more, (or some days) I want to be able to stay home, I want a better house, I want a better car, I want to travel, I want, I want, I want. {click here to continue reading...

Friday, October 11, 2013

#12ThingsILoveAboutMe - October

Tomorrow is the 12th. Are you ready to love yourself this month?

I have a confession... Turns out it is harder than I thought to pick 12 things I love about myself. I feel like I've done the obvious ones already and now I'm trying to think about other things than just physical aspects that I love. I also admit that it can feel a bit strange for me to be flaunting these "things" about myself and sharing how great I am with the world.

But then I remember that is the whole point of this exercise. It may be a bit uncomfortable but why wouldn't it? I am living proof that after years of negative self-talk, re-training my brain to focus on the positive is not as easy as it sounds. I could probably look in the mirror and come up with 12 (or more) things I wish I could change about myself but that is precisely what this exercise is trying to abolish! No more self loathing!!!

Therefore... On to what I love about me!

This month I love that I'm a nice person.

Now that may sound ridiculous and completely vague so allow me to explain.

In 8th grade I was voted "Nicest Person" in our class and it was a pleasant surprise that has stuck with me my whole life. It took me by surprise because I didn't even know I was nominated for something like that or that my peers felt that way about me. To me it meant more that being voted for any other category and it made me feel very proud.

In school for as long as I can remember I always had friends in every "group" or "clique." I tried my best to be kind to everyone and I think people would say that about me.

I also have to admit that my niceness wasn't always a strong suit. You know the saying, "nice guys always finish last," well they say that for a reason. I can recall a number of times in my life where I did the right thing (at least in my mind) and it resulted in someone else taking advantage of my kindness for their own benefit. Sure I'd feel good for being kind but when they'd rub it in my face it made me feel like a chump.

I don't have a really good example to explain this more clearly but the other "nice girls" out there know exactly what I'm talking about. ::fist bump::

At times being nice means giving a lot of yourself to others without reciprocity.

Other times your kindness is met with gratitude and when you see how you've impacted someone for the better it is the most amazing feeling in the world.

You see, being a nice person may mean you get stepped on from time-to-time but it doesn't matter. I've learned over the years from getting burned when giving too much of myself isn't necessary. I'm a nice person, not an idiot.

So there you have it. This month I love that I am nice. I'm no saint and I'm certainly not perfect but I know deep down in my heart I am much more suited to be a nice person than a stone cold beotch. Now I may say some bitchy things, and I can cop an attitude with the best of them but I have a sincerely kind heart and that is something I am very proud of and that I love about me!

What do you love about yourself? Don't be shy! Share with me here in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #12ThingsILoveAboutMe.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Great Pumpkin (not so fun) Fun Fair

Hey guys! Little C here.

So you may or may not know that I am a major Mickey Mouse enthusiast. I beg my parents to watch at least one episode on the daily. I mean, what's not to love? Mickey and his pals are always doing super fun things and I just can't get enough!

Currently on rotation is my new favorite episode called Mickey's Farm Fun Fair. You guys!!! The gang has a fair with animals and games and surprises and it is loads of fun. So you can only imagine my level of excitement when my mom told me the other day that we'd be going to a REAL LIFE fun fair!

She said it was a Pumpkin Patch Fun Fair and that it would be our third year in a row attending.


2011 - I'm 6 months old and quite the looker!



2012 - 1 1/2 years old and I taught you all how to pick out the perfect pumpkin. Remember?

Of course I was so excited and I couldn't wait to do super fun things just like Mickey Mouse! So the whole fam hopped in the car and off we went!

Well, it didn't take me long to realize that this was clearly NOT like Mickey's Farm Fun Fair. Oh no. There were no games, no surprises and instead of Mickey's awesome tractor to take me on a spin...

(photo credit)

There was this...


Take a close look, people. Those aren't horses. Nope. They are donkeys! Yeah. A donkey-drawn carriage. I mean, where's the excitement with that?!?

I couldn't believe I had been duped! And what's worse is my parents then wanted me to act all happy and SMILE in pictures with Baby Sis in the pumpkin patch. Mom was like... "oh how cute, my two little pumpkins in the pumpkin patch!"

How original, mom. Really.

I didn't cave and I sure showed her how I was really feeling. There were no smiles, no laughs. Just pure, genuine...



Indifference.

That showed 'em! I decided to let Sis have the spotlight and I took my grumpy self out of the equation and kicked the proverbial can down the street in displeasure. 


"C'mon buddy," they'd say. "Cheer up!" "Give us just one smile." "Pleeeeeease..." Fine. You want me to say cheese? I'll give you cheese...

CHEEEEEEEEZZZZZZ!!!!!

I felt better after that and I just couldn't stay mad at my Ma for too long. Besides, Dad came to my rescue and knew just how to put a smile back on my face.


That guy. He's the best!

My spirits lifted and we ended up having a pretty great time. I was the keeper of the map and led the way for us to listen to music, explored the grounds, and I even shared some love with the crazy donkeys. It was a fun day after all!


I even spent some quality time with Sis and I have to say, she's pretty cool. 


Cool, and down-right gullible! At one point I thought I'd have a bit of big brother fun and I told Sis that the real reason we were at the fair was to find a good Gypsy family to send her home with...


Bwahahaha!!! Oh, Sis. It's too easy! 

Pumpkin Fair 2013 was great and I can't wait to see what next year brings! Until then, dudes. It's Little C... Over and out.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Don't worry, babies never get strep.

Sweet Baby P-Nut went down HARD yesterday. Man, oh man, was it a toughy to witness!

Sunday evening I noticed she had flushed cheeks and was drooling like a mad woman. She was in great spirits, eating fine, and her temp was only 99.9 so we assumed there was some teething going on... We were wrong.

She woke up in the middle of the night and threw up. Not baby spit up, full-on vomiting. We were able to get things under control and we eventually got her back to sleep. In the morning it was as if nothing even happened. She ate her bottle and kept it down and she was once again in a happy and playful mood. I had already called in to work thinking I'd have a sick baby to deal with but at this point I thought she pulled a fast one on us and was just fine... Until she wasn't.

In the middle of playing with her toys on the floor she reached up to me and practically climbed in my lap to rest her head on my chest. She did not want to move. I thought she was ready for a nap so I tried to put her down but she would not have it. So back to my chest she went.

Within seconds, not hours, not minutes... seconds, she became so hot but started shivering. I wrapped two warm blankets around her as I held her to my chest and it didn't seem to help. Then she start moaning. Her eyes were closed but she was not really sleeping. Hubs came over to look at her and it didn't take long for him to call the Pediatrician and say we were on our way. At this point her lips even started to turn slightly blueish-purple and it took a lot for us to get her to open her eyes. 

We were seen right away, her fever was 104.8 at this point and they tried to administer Motrin to help lower her fever and bring her some relief from pain. Of course she threw it up instantly. :( Her oxygen levels were good and her poor little heart rate was racing due to the fever. 

After her full assessment it appeared she had a virus of some sort and I could tell they were about to send us on our way and tell us to "tough it out." But as the doctor was getting ready to head out she said "I'd like to do a strep test just in case." "Don't worry, it is very rare for an 8 month old to get strep. I'm positive it will come back clear, but lets run it anyway."

And wouldn't you know... it came back positive! Next they said they were going to prescribe her amoxicillin and that's where being a 2nd-time mom was in my favor. I very sternly and politely said, absolutely not! I'm allergic to amoxicillin and so is Little C. We found out the hard way with him and I was not about to put P-Nut (and Hubs and I) through the same mess on top of what she was already dealing with. I'm sure the odds of her being allergic as well are pretty slim, but so are the odds of an infant getting strep and here we are!

We were prescribed some different antibiotics and sent home. She finally was able to keep some Motrin down and once it kicked in she went down for a much needed nap. We were able to administer the antibiotics, she started keeping fluids down and by the evening we had a whole new baby on our hands! Not 100% by any means but light years away from where she was.

Thank God for modern medicine and antibiotics! Now we just need her to get back to 100% and we are crossing anything and everything that we can possibly cross as well as taking every measure we possibly can to ensure Little C doesn't get it. Especially because I leave for a business trip tomorrow and I don't want to leave Hubs with a sick toddler.

You guys, what a crazy month it has been! Hubs and I have had some stress to deal with regarding our jobs, P-Nut was sick less than two weeks ago, I came down with the sinus gunk last week, Little C has the cough now, and then baby strep! The lack of sleep we've had lately is down-right laughable but we have handled it all so well. You'd even be proud of me because with this whole strep thing I really didn't get worked-up at all! I honestly was able to CTFD and take it all in stride. Of course I was worried about my girl and when she was almost unresponsive I did start to panic a little but soon snapped out of it and remained calm. I knew she'd be okay and I knew she'd be better soon. There was no point in getting worked-up.
After getting through Little C's allergic reaction to amoxicillin, his numerous tummy problems and taking into consideration the lesson's I've learned in dealing with it all, I'd say I handled this episode like a boss! 

Here's hoping things start calming down for us and we can stay healthy for a good stretch of time!

Have you had a baby with strep? Everyone happy and healthy with your fam? Any triumphs lately with being able to CTFD?


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Boxed Wine Besties to Winefest Warriors

Last weekend I embarked on a child-less, husband-less, girl's weekend. It was spectacular!

Unfortunately, the week leading up to my weekend getaway was anything but spectacular. Baby Sis was very sick with high fever, body rash, diarrhea, the whole nine. It was not pretty and we were not sleeping and juggling days off to stay home with her. By the end of the week she was back in fighting shape and wouldn't you know... Little C started in with the high fever Thursday night.

I called by girlfriend and gave her the sad news that I probably wasn't going to be able to make it because Baby Sis was just starting to get better and C was now coming down with what his sister had. And after what we'd just gone through with P-Nut, I wasn't about to leave Hubs alone to handle it all.

But then something wonderful happened. You see, all throughout the year of misery when Little C was getting stomach bug after stomach bug, colds, coughs, fevers, etc., we kept hearing how he was building his immune system. At the time I hated hearing that because it didn't help and quite frankly with as often as he was getting sick, I just didn't believe it.

Until NOW!!

He woke up Friday morning fever free! You guys!!! Fever. Free. He went to bed with 102 degree temp and woke up good as new.

I immediately called my friend and told her I was on my way and I hit the dusty trail for what was going to be much needed girl time and me time and... WINE TIME! My trip coincided with the Colorado Mountain Winefest where you can sample hundreds of wine made right here in Colorado.

First up? "Me time" on a four hour drive from Denver to Grand Junction, Colorado. Thankfully, it is a very beautiful drive through the mountains and of course I had my arsenal of good tunes to keep me company.


I arrived in GJ Friday around 5:30pm and my friend, K, had made a delicious dinner for me after the drive. I was seriously running on empty from the long week we had with the sick baby and having a home-cooked meal and a glass of wine to greet me was such a nice treat. 

We put K's daughter to bed (she's exactly two months younger than C) and left her husband behind while we headed off for a Friday night cocktail. We sipped, chatted, laughed, you know the drill when two gals get together.

Back story: K and I met at CSU. We worked together for the Provost of Colorado State, struck up a conversation one day and learned we had a lot in common and we have remained friends ever since. In college I'd head over to her house and we'd drink boxed wine for hours and watch ridiculous TV providing snarky commentary throughout. Now we both have kids and being that our toddlers are so close in age it has been a blessing to have K to call for seeking advice, to vent, cry, laugh and all the other things you do as new moms. 

Saturday morning we woke up, had some coffee, then laced up our sneakers to go for a run. K is training for a half marathon and she really wanted to get a run in before we imbibed in all the wine and food for the day. I am NOT training for a half marathon and I'm NOT much of a runner so I wanted to walk after an embarrassingly short amount of time. In true friend format, K did not run ahead even after I told her she could and we went on a lovely walk. 

Next up...


BRUNCH!

It was so freaking delicious and after stuffing our faces we were ready to head out to the Winefest! Talk about a fun day. We were in heaven sampling all the wines, tasting the food, people watching, listening to live music and this...





Check "grape stomping" off my things I never thought I'd do list! 


I couldn't have asked for a better weekend! It was relaxing and delicious from start to finish! I can't tell you how much I needed this little break. Of course I can't get enough of my two babies but I was in need of some time away and this was the perfect small escape. Next time we'll have to really get away so K can have a full break herself!

I feel so fortunate to have a friend like her in my life and I'm starting to think we need to make this Winefest an annual thing.

Cheers!

How was your weekend? When was the last time you had a girls getaway?