Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mom Memory: The Feeling

This month at Mile High Mamas I was asked to write about a "motherhood memory" in honor of Mother's Day fast approaching. Being that I've only been a mom for two years I feel like every experience is a memory worth sharing whether it's good or bad.

But since I had to pick one, I went with the first time I experienced "the feeling." Click here to see what I mean and please share with me when you experienced "the feeling" yourself. Was it similar to mine and do you remember the first time it hit you?

Have a great day, Mamas!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Out with the old, in with the new!

There once existed a time in my life where coming home from work was no big deal. I'd greet hubs, we'd chat about our days, pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer, plop down on the couch and relax while trying to decide what we'd make for dinner. Then we'd probably just say, "screw it" and head out for a bite to eat, and some more beers of course, laugh and chat about life, then head back home whenever we pleased, watch TV or relax some more before heading off to sleep.

That was the old.

Then we had a baby. I'd greet hubs AFTER greeting my sweet baby boy. ;) We'd chat about when the baby ate last, when did he nap last, had he pooped yet? Did daycare say he had a good day? Instead of cracking open bottles of beer we were washing baby bottles and prepping them for the next day (Oh who am I kidding?!? We still had beers). We were making dinner at home as often as possible and no longer heading out on a whim.  We would laugh and chat about our baby boy after bathing, feeding, and changing. We'd put him to bed then have some down time to relax and get caught up on our DVR and head off to sleep.

That was the old. And the "old" is now officially OUT.  The "old" is a fable from our days of yore. Now, it's all about the "new!"

I know it has not even been a full week yet since I've been back at work but I tell ya... this week has felt like a year!

Coming home from work now looks a bit like this:

I pump in the car. Ya heard right, folks! From the time I leave my office to the time I get home, there are two freshly pumped bottles and as soon as I walk in the door I don't have to be plugged into a machine, I can start right in with the fam.

I greet hubs who is feeding the baby. The toddler greets me with a giant hug and begs me to come play with him. I explain that I need to take my coat off and put my things down which of course sends him into a major tantrum. He is told he needs to "take 5."

The baby won't be set down without crying so she gets moby wrapped so we can continue on with things. The toddler occupies himself for blips at a time and when his trucks start to bore him he is screaming and whining for attention. Meanwhile, dinner has to be made and although we want nothing more than to give him attention we power through preparing our meal so we can all sit down and eat together.

Dinner lasts maybe 5 minutes before the baby starts crying and before you know it, it gets all "National Geographic" at the dinner table when mom's boob comes flying out to feed the crying babe so we can carry on. The toddler says he doesn't like anything he's been given and wants marshmallows and mixed fruit cups instead. He is excused from the table.

My baby girl has decided to give me the cold shoulder and wants nothing to do with my breast and screams her head off until she is given a bottle. She calms down. The toddler is prepped for bed and for the first time all night both kids are happy and calm. We read three books and just as everyone is having fun it is time for bed after our routine family hug. Hubby takes Little C up and I take P-Nut down to their respective rooms.

After the babes are down the two of us meet for the first time since I've been home, both slightly worse for wear. We glance at the couch longingly and I swear we can hear it mocking us as we can't stop to sit now.

We both get ready for the next day, but not until we've finished our cold dinners. Bottles, pump parts, clothes, coffee, lunches, etc. Did we feed the pets? We are finally done and nothing is sweeter than crawling into our bed.

Well, maybe I lied about that...

Before crawling into bed we creep inside our children's rooms and look at them while they are sleeping. The night's tantrums and baby cries seem like a distant memory. Their sweet little faces, their delicate breath, rosy sleeping cheeks. There is nothing sweeter than that.

So maybe the "old" is long gone and maybe the "new" is kicking my butt every which way to Sunday, but I'll still take it any day.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Heigh Ho...

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's back to work I go!

(photo credit)

Day one back at work is complete. Overall it went really well. Kind of like I never left! My desk was just as I had left it and my co-workers, boss, and I picked right up where we left off. The only minor snag was one of my co-workers sitting in MY chair when I walked in the room for our team meeting. So I kept it professional and simply raised my arm, index finger pointed, and with a swoopy head move and exaggerated voice declared, "OH HELLLLL NO!" He returned to his usual seat, I returned to mine and all was right in the world again. Kendra = 1, Co-worker = 0.

I came prepared with plenty of pictures of my sweet little P-Nut, as well as updated photos of Little C. Seeing their cute faces all day made it easier.

I did have my first ever "pumping at work experience" which also went rather well. At first I was a bit tense being in a room I'd never been in, praying that the lock on the door wasn't going to malfunction somehow and I'd have some random person barge in to find the human cow they probably weren't prepared to see!

My milk wasn't letting down quickly because I was so tense and it took me a moment or two to relax before the "girls" started to flow. I had pictures on my phone to look at P-Nut which really helped, then I received a text from Hubs with a video he had taken of our girl yesterday. He knew I was pumping at that moment and thought it would help me out. It was so sweet and thoughtful!

As for little Miss P-Nut, I checked in with her once before lunch and things were going great! She is actually at home with my Aunt until May 1st when she will start at C's daycare. I think having her at home with someone I trust helped to make this first day back much easier. Also, having done this once before didn't hurt the situation either.

The hardest part about the day was the morning. I felt a bit scrambled trying to get out the door, nervous that I was forgetting something. I must have checked my pump bag to ensure I had all the components at least a dozen times. I also had to go through all of the details with my Aunt when she got to the house and I felt like I was talking a mile a minute to get all the info out.

The other hard part about the morning was my poor Little C. I had been so worked up about getting myself and P-Nut organized for me to head back to work and prepping everything the night before that I never took the time to explain to C that my Aunt would be coming over to watch his sister while he was at school.

:: palm-head:: DUH, Mom!!

So my Aunt arrived and Little C was super excited to see her. He wanted to show her his trucks and read his fire truck book with her. But when it came time for me to have my Aunt's undivided attention C was NOT having it. He started in with the tantrums and couldn't understand why our visitor wasn't there to play with him. He screamed and cried when we explained he had to go to school. Hubs dropped him of at daycare and said by the time they got there he was doing a much better job and he calmed down.

We felt terrible for not thinking about how he was going to react. I'm hoping tomorrow is easier on him.

Last but not least, I dusted the cobwebs off the 'ole high heels to wear to work today and wouldn't ya know it's a freaking BLIZZARD outside right now! So NOT looking forward to heading out and brushing off the car in my heels with no hose or stocking on. brrrrrrr!

Today's Lessons:
  1. Your toddler is not a mind reader, you idiot.
  2. I've sat in the same chair for SIX years here at work and will continue to do so. thankyouverymuch!
  3. Chill at the pump
  4. No matter how late you may be running, grab your dang boots if there is even a chance of snowfall.
Don't let this happen to you. Working mom best practices are essential! ;)

Friday, April 12, 2013

My Maternity Leave with P-Nut

Where do I even start? :: tears up ::

How did this happen? Three months just flew by and it seems just as I'm getting into a groove and a solid routine is when I have to abandon this one, gear up and adjust to a whole new routine all over again.

As hard as it will be I have to say I am looking forward to getting back to work. I like my job and I enjoy what I do for a living. If I didn't have that in place and was going back to a life that I hated then this transition would be all kinds of miserable. So I am lucky for this.

I am also lucky to work for a generous boss that allowed me to take 13 weeks off from work in a small office where having one person out makes a big difference. Being a small business owner he was not obligated to give me any time as the same rules don't apply as they do for large corporations. So I am truly grateful that he values me as much as he does and I also have to say my hard work paid off and I earned and deserved the time I was given.

Now back to my dear P-Nut!

What an amazing time I've had with her! I had an amazing time with Little C when he was a baby too but being a first-time mom I don't think I was able to enjoy my leave as much as I did with P-Nut. I wasn't as nervous or unsure so things went much smoother. Smoother in regard to caring for her but the old cliche rings true that each child is different!

C was very independent from the start and I know I've shared with you how attached to his father he was from day one. Well, P-Nut has been very attached to me and I don't know if it is that breastfeeding has gone better or if it is just who she is, but we are very close.

As I reflect back on my 13 weeks home with my little nut so many things rush through my mind. How quickly things went from being miserable and very pregnant to holding my girl in my arms.

I an in active labor during this photo

The first two - four weeks as a mother of two were IN-TENSE! There is no other way to describe it. I think back to those weeks and I can't believe we got through it. Sleeping in two hour chunks, changing diapers in bed as she would go to the bathroom at every feeding. Then she would go to the bathroom again right after snapping the last snap on her PJ's. She wouldn't sleep in her bassinet she would only sleep in bed with us. A toddler that wakes up at the same time every single day despite how little you slept or how exhausted you are.

I got through the breastfeeding battles and I'm doing so much better now. I think back to crying in the middle of the night from the pain or from P-Nut not latching on and how far we've come.

I think about my first full day with TWO KIDS!!! It had some highs and lows but for the most part it was a huge success and I realized that I can do this and although it may get hairy at times, there is nothing I can't handle.

I learned that my husband is only a phone call away and that he is unequivocally my rock. I'm embarrassed to say I called him in tears too many times but he was always able to talk me down and snap me out of whatever had my panties in a bunch.

I learned that my daughter will not sleep in her crib for naps. She is a "power napper" just like C was, only sleeping for short chunks of time. She is also a very sensitive sleeper. She loves toys that she can grab a hold of and that make a jingle noise or a crunchy paper noise. She doesn't mind if you play with her feet. She is eager to sit up and play with her brother and I think she is "over" being an infant. She could take or leave her paci. Classical music soothes her, as well as Bob Marley. Her changing table is one of her favorite places. She has a girly cry, flirty eyes, and a mischievous grin. She is by far the stinkiest little thing but I think we are starting to get past that. Her giant gummy smile slays me and I fall in love with her more each day. 

I will miss her.

I've done this before but it is not making this transition any easier. What is helping is that I know I can do it. I know things will become more manageable as time passes. I know daycare will be good for her. It has proved to be for Little C. I'm confident about being a working mom and I have no doubts. I just simply will miss her.

I will also miss Little C as I've been able to spend more quality time with him as well on my leave. He is growing so fast and I swear I was just bringing him home yesterday.

This kid cracks me up!

I will also miss no make-up, the luxury of no blow dryers or curling irons. Yoga pants, sipping coffee and watching Grey's Anatomy re-runs while I nurse. I will miss having all of our chores and errands done before the weekend starts so we can enjoy our time as a family. I will miss my husband coming home during lunch for a little afternoon delight to eat leftovers. I will miss having dinner prepped and ready for my family.

But the #1 thing I will probably miss the most? Going to Target during off hours in the middle of the week. There is no greater thing than an empty Target parking lot! HA!

Of course I kid. The #1 thing I will miss the most is the obvious...

When I first requested 12 weeks off for Little C's arrival I knew that was a huge amount of time but I felt like I only had this one chance. One opportunity to get this right with my newborn. I was always the girl who worked from the time I was old enough to do so. I never went on spring breaks, winter breaks, or summer breaks. I always worked. So when it came time for maternity leave I took every opportunity to be selfish and take the time I felt I needed not only for myself but for my baby. I took the same approach with P-Nut.

So now it comes to a close. I will charge into the workforce with my head held high. I will attempt to stay strong as I leave P-Nut for a full eight hours for the first time since she was born. It will be ok. And knowing that so many of you are out there doing the same thing brings me comfort and reminds me I'm in good company. Solidarity, sista!

My sweet baby Marlow,
Thank you for this time. I will treasure it always and now we start a new chapter. It is going to be great, I promise.

All my love,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Taming Tantrums

Over a month ago I told you how I was at a loss regarding Little C's behavior. He was a tantruming fool and Hubs and I were at our wits end. We knew something had to change but we weren't sure where to start.

While at an appointment for P-Nut, our Pediatrician asked how C was doing. When we shared with her the behavior we had been experiencing (which was all completely standard toddler behavior) she recommended a book called 1-2-3 Magic.

Guys, I'm telling you it was a game changer!

The premise of the book is simple and you've probably even heard it before. Maybe your parents used it on you. You know, "you have until I count to three to stop doing that or else..."

According to the author, we have three jobs as parents. Job #1 involves controlling obnoxious behavior, Job #2 involves encouraging good behaviour and Job #3 involves strengthening your relationship with your child.

The obnoxious behavior they refer to as "stop behavior." This consists of:
  • whining
  • teasing
  • arguing
  • pouting
  • yelling
  • tantrums
  • etc.
Basically the things that your toddler shouldn't be doing are the behaviors you want to "count." For example, Little C has started to climb on anything and everything. Once I see him starting to mount the coffee table I will say, "that's 1." I won't start explaining what he's doing wrong or why he shouldn't be doing it. The idea is they are smart enough to know and they are also able to make a good decision for themselves.

In typical toddler fashion C will just look at me and continue right on climbing onto the table with a smirk on his face because he knows he shouldn't be doing it. At this time I calmly say, "that's 2." Hopefully this would be the end of the climbing for a child that is used to this system and in a perfect world you wouldn't have even needed the second count. But this is the real world and instead C ignores his first two chances to correct the behavior and is now completely on top of the table. At this point I say, "that's 3, take 5" and he is escorted to his room.

His timeout doesn't last for more than a couple of minutes but it was long enough for him to understand that climbing on the table is not allowed and will result in a "take 5."

As I mentioned in my scenario I didn't bother explaining to C what he was doing wrong or why he shouldn't be climbing on the table. The book explains that using too many words and reason when dealing with a toddler will get you nowhere. They call it the Little Adult Assumption. This means that we talk to our toddler like they are a small adult and that they have the capability to be reasoned with. The truth is simply that a toddler cannot be reasoned with. It does not mean they aren't smart, it simply means they don't hold the capacity to understand what we need them to.

As adults we instinctively want to explain things to our toddlers so breaking this pattern has been the biggest challenge for the Hubs and I. This method is designed to give the parents the control when stopping bad behavior but also gives the child the power to make a good decision for themselves. And trusting that a 2 year old is capable of making such decisions is also a big step to take. But I assure you, they are capable.

This is all pretty basic and I'm sure you've heard most of it before. At this point you may be wondering where the so-called "magic" comes to play. The "magic" occurs when your toddler responds to this for the first time. When you say, "that's 2" and he instantly stops doing whatever it is you need him to stop doing. He doesn't fuss, he doesn't cry, and most certainly does NOT throw a tantrum. He simply stops and goes on about his business. That, my friends, is magic as far as I'm concerned.

You've just told your toddler he can't have a snack before dinner and he instantly throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming. You say, "that's 1." He then stops with the antics, picks himself up off the floor and everyone carries on as they should. Pure. Magic. ;)

Now the premise is simple but the hard part lies in all the grey. Knowing when to count, agreeing with your spouse on what behavior should be counted, following the no talking and no emotion rule. It can all get tricky. That is why it takes a good deal of consistency as well as commitment from both parents.

There are times when I'm starting to lose my shit and I want to snap at C and explain to him why what he is doing is wrong. I want him to understand what I'm saying and I want him to say, "okay, mama. I get it." But when all I get back are blank stares and he just keeps on doing what he's doing or even worse says, "NO" when I ask him to stop... I get even more upset and now we are on the verge of an adult tantrum as well as a toddler's. These are the moments I rely on Hubs to remind me not to even waste my breath. He reminds me to count Little C then remove him when he reaches three. Then I have time to cool off, C has time to cool off and we can all go back to whatever it was we were doing. I've done the same for Hubs and although at the moment we may shoot each other an icy glare because we are already upset about what is going on, we then realize the other person is just trying to help.

Then there are the times when one parent feels like they are handling the situation and maybe the other parent is coming in late or had just been sitting there quietly until they feel necessary to jump in and now the toddler isn't sure who to listen to. Or the times when one parent doesn't feel that the toddler is necessarily doing something that needs to be counted when the other person does.

See what I mean? A lot of grey. But as long as you and your spouse communicate as much as possible most of these instances rarely occur and it can be as simple as it is intended. It really does work, or at least it has for us.

My primary recommendation to anyone that is feeling as overwhelmed by the tantrums and at their wits end like we were, is to seek help. Of course you don't need a book, a class, online research or anything similar to help raise your kids. Of course you are capable of figuring things out. But if those resources exist and you really are at a loss, then what is the harm is seeking out something that might be a good fit for your family AND might actually work?

I also want to say that this would not have been as successful for us if both Hubs and I hadn't been dedicated to giving it a shot. In fact we both read the book and would then talk about what we read and how we were going to apply it. That may sound ridiculous but when it comes to discipline it is so important to be on the same page as your spouse. Also, children and especially toddlers, thrive on consistency and routines so all the more reason having two parents on the same page is very important.

Bottom line, you don't have to feel helpless any longer. Give this a try or if it isn't for you at least find something that can help and can bring order and happiness back into your daily lives. It isn't all sunshine and roses all day every day but at least when you are armed with resources and guidance you can feel less helpless and more empowered and in control.

Good luck!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Remember that thyme?

Once upon a time I would share recipes here on the 'ole blog. But then, I stopped. I discovered how time consuming it is to take photos of your food as you go and I do not have the best camera to make all of my food look enticing.

Another reason I stopped was morning sickness. For five weeks with P-Nut there was not much cooking going on because I felt awful. I eventually started up again but didn't have the energy to be snapping pics as I went.

Then, I had two kids. My cooking went from elaborate to anything fast and easy but still tasty. I now make recipes that take 30 minutes or less. If they take longer it is because the meal is cooking in the oven or in the crock pot. As I head back to work this will be even more important as I will want to spend maximum time with my fam and not in the kitchen all night.

I do feel like I've been holding out on you though. I've been whipping up some tasty treats and I feel I should be sharing with people. Plus, this blog is called "My Full-Thyme Life" because I am forever and always a foodie in addition to the many other hats I wear.

So gear up, people! I will be once again sharing some delicious eats with you. It may not be with consistent frequency and the photos will NOT be taken with a top of the line DSLR, but you will still love me, right?

First up is an appetizer I have made several times but most recently served at Easter Brunch/Little C's 2nd Birthday. They are super easy and very delicious. I hope you like them too!

Smoked Salmon Pizzettes

These tasty morsels are perfect for any brunch, bridal shower, baby shower, or cocktail party. It is a spin on the lox and bagels that people are familiar with but presented in a much more elegant way. It couldn't be easier to pull together and I even prepare the pizza rounds, mix together the cheese, and chop the chives all the night before. The day of the party all I have to do is assemble.

  • Flour, for work surface
  • 1 (8-ounce) ball purchased pizza dough
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained, coarsely chopped and dried on paper towels
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 chopped fresh chives


Special equipment: a 2-inch round cookie cutter (I use a biscuit cutter)

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pizza dough into a 1/4-inch thick round. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 15 circles. Arrange the circles on a heavy baking sheet. Using the tines of a fork, prick the dough all over. Drizzle with olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix together the mascarpone cheese, sour cream and capers until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the mascarpone mixture into the center of each pastry round. Top with a piece of smoked salmon and press gently. Arrange the pizzettes on a platter and sprinkle with chopped chives just before serving.

** Two things. 1) I add a bit of lemon juice to the mascarpone mixture to brighten it up a bit. 2) You must say, "pizzettes" like Giada De Laurentiis. You just have to. Repeat after me... "pizz-e-tehs." ;)

Source: Food Network via Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mama and Baby - Month 3

This has been the fastest 12 weeks of my entire life!!! Not only the fastest but also the most challenging and the most amazing.

I can't believe P-Nut is 3 months old! Do you think I will say that every month we get to? Probs.
Little Miss is doing so well and I think all of us are excited to be out of the newborn stage. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing in this world like a newborn. Their smell, their sounds, they ooze preciousness out of every pore. But they are also loaves of bread, pooping machines, and A LOT of work!
We are all having fun with the fact that she is interacting more and more and I think even SHE is pleased to be out of newborn status. This girl desperately wants to sit up or stand up any chance she gets. Yes, I said stand! Whenever she is on her back she squeezes her tubby little abs and pushes her chin up in an attempt to sit up. And when you are holding her in your lap all you need to do is hold her hands to give her something to use as leverage and she will push up to standing!
She holds her head up on her own and she is starting to really chat up a storm. Mostly making cooing sounds and loud bursts of noise which is darn cute.
Little C is still in love with his sister. I was nervous that the novelty would wear off at some point and he might ask us when she would be leaving, or something like that. But he wants to be near her, hold her, and talk to her every chance he gets. Currently, his favorite game is to try and get her to say, "Ahh-goo." He still calls her, "Baby Sis" but also picks up on what we call her and will often refer to her as, "Smiley Girl" or "Sweetie." So. Stinking. Cute.



We are still trucking right along with breastfeeding and supplementing with soy formula when necessary. I have definitely turned a corner with breastfeeding and I have to say it is getting easier and...
I am starting to enjoy it.
I know, I know, after writing that long drawn out post about how I don't like it I am feeling a bit silly. It's just that, at the time I wrote the post those feelings were very real and if there is another mom out there that feels the same way I am here to say it gets better.
The pain is relatively non-existent at this point and I've even become used to the vasospasms after pumping. P-Nut does very well going from the breast to the bottle so I am very lucky in that regard and I'm hoping that will help for when I go back to work.
The journey continues...

My darling girl is now sleeping through the night!!! She is put down between 8pm-9pm and sleeps until 6:45am. Not 6:30am, not 7am, but 6:45. Of course there are nights where this varies but we've seem to find our groove. Can I get a "Hallelujah!!"
P-Nut has had a cough for about 2 1/2 weeks. That has been a killer. The poor thing wakes up from naps or at night having coughing fits that seem so hard on her. We are doing everything we can to keep her comfortable: humidifier, saline drops, suction when necessary, elevated crib mattress or she sleeps in her car seat, steam baths, etc.
Luckily, there is no fever or ear infections so we are just going to keep doing what we're doing. If it starts going into next week I think the Pediatrician will come up with plan B.
Mama Update:
I am doing very well. The solid nights of sleep really make a difference. I'm gearing up to go back to work which is now going to be on 4/15 instead of 4/8. I had to negotiate a later start because of daycare issues and I am very fortunate that my boss allowed it. I'm ecstatic to have a little more time with my P-Nut.

Physically I'm doing pretty good. My back gets tired from carrying my girl and chasing after a toddler and even the way I sit while nursing or pumping can leaving by back tense or sore. I think I need to find a different way of doing both. I am back down to my pre-pregnancy weight which is truly a divine intervention because I assure you I have not been working out. Like, at all. I'm not bragging because Lord knows I still have a long way to go to be at the healthy weight I would like but I do bring it up because it is something I'm proud of.
I've been eating well, and often because breastfeeding leaves me feeling as hungry as I did while pregnant. Plus, not being able to eat dairy has probably helped as well. But now I'm ready to start working out again and firming up. I may have lost the weight but there is plenty of jiggle I'd be happy to get rid of.
Lastly, I just want to state for the record that not only do I feel silly for my "not liking breastfeeding" post, but also my "I'm sad I didn't have another boy" post. Again, the feelings at the time I wrote both were totally legit and real and felt necessary to get out. But now that P-Nut is here to enjoy, I am on cloud nine. Having a girl has been a wonderful experience so far and I am so in love with my daughter. ::foot inserted directly into mouth::
But who couldn't love this little Nut?!?!



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Boy and His Rhino

For the second installment of Little C's 2nd birthday, I need to first lay some ground work. As I mentioned, C is in a jungle/zoo animal phase. I suspect his adoration of the creatures stems from us going to the Zoo very, very often.

My parents gifted us with Zoo membership last year and it honestly has been one of the best gifts we've ever received. We live very close to the Zoo so it makes for a quick and easy outing when our toddler needs to get some energy out. Plus, it's educational and there is plenty of space to run or explore. And since we are members we don't feel pressed for time or the need to see the entire Zoo in one visit. It rocks!

At some point on one of our visits Little C became captivated by the rhinos. The Denver Zoo is home to two Black Rhinos and every time we go we have to visit them first and we spend a great deal of time just staring at the big grey animals. Little C refers to them as the "two buddies."

We bought him a toy rhino once we knew how much he loved them and that thing has gone everywhere with him. His sleeps with it, takes baths with it, takes it on outings with him. And as silly as it sounds, I even took "Rhino" with me into the delivery room so I could have a little bit of C with us while welcoming P-Nut into our family.
So, you get the idea. C-man looooves rhinos!
One day while we were at the Zoo, in the pachyderm house, staring at the rhinos, for only the 118th time, we saw a family go into the rhino habitat and feed them with one of the zoo keepers. Hubs and I immediately looked at each other and said, "we HAVE to do that for C's birthday!"
After a number of phone calls and chatting with the rhino's keeper we arranged a "meet and greet" so Little C could get up close and personal with his beloved rhino.
It was AMAZING! The rhino's name is Mushindi, "Mush" for short. He is so docile and it was incredible to be that close to a 2,000 lb animal. C was a bit timid at first and would drop the rhino's food before reaching his mouth. Can you blame him...
Here are more photos of our visit. I did not zoom in on any one of these shots. We were that close!
The rhino keeper was teaching us how the jaw and mouth work

C dropped the food before getting it into Mush's mouth

Dad had to show him how to do it first.

Mush's skin is very rough.

C liked his furry ear.

The whole fam with our new friend Mushindi


P-Nut wanted in on the action!

The top flap of the rhino's mouth is like a hand so we were encouraged to give him a "high five." Little C loved this!

Look how tiny his hand is compared to that huge head!

Mush comin' in for a smooch!

Hey there, big fella!

And those are just a few of the awesome pics! Little C is still talking about how he got to touch a rhino and feed him. Hubs and I were so pleased with how everything went and we are so glad C wasn't too scared to enjoy it. That was our biggest fear. But our fearless animal lover had a blast!
Now we have the fun task of explaining to a toddler that the next time we are at the Zoo why we can't feed the rhino again... should be easy, right?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Little C turns 2!!!

Sunday, March 31st was a perfect day. The weather was impeccable, it was Easter, our family spent the day with us and it was Little C's 2nd birthday.

Since it was Easter we had the table set for a lovely Easter brunch and the around the lovely table were jungle themed decorations.


Being that he is only two I don't think C truly grasped that it was Easter AND his birthday. When he came downstairs in the morning the house was decorated for his party and he was more excited about that than he was about hunting for a basket of goodies!

In fact he was so captivated by balloons hanging from P-Nut's swing that he didn't even notice his Easter basket hidden right next to him!
He finally caught on and loved what the Easter Bunny had brought him.


Even Baby Sis got in on the action!

Our guests arrived around 11:00am. All of C's grandparents, his aunt and his uncle. Brunch was delicious and we incorporated all of Little C's favorite foods. The whole family pitched in and brought something which we were really grateful for. The menu included:
  • Ham
  • Baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms
  • Smoked salmon pizzettes
  • Shrimp cocktail
  • Blueberry muffins
  • Sausage
  • Fresh fruit
  • Roasted breakfast potatoes
After enjoying our food it became apparent that the Birthday Boy was getting a bit fussy and tired. We tried in earnest to get him to take a nap knowing it would be for his own good. But with all of this family around the last thing he wanted to do was sleep and miss even a second of the excitement. So no nap was had and the little man kept right on trucking.
We moved on to the presents and all I have to say is our son is one lucky kid! His grandparents, aunt and uncles are very generous and he received some very cool gifts. Including a new sandbox for the back yard! He loved scooping up the sand but he did not care for having sand on his feet!

Next up was cake and ice cream! You guys, check out the cake my sister-in-law made for C...
Could that be any cuter?!?! My SIL is the best and one very talented baker!
Birthday Boy approved!
After cake and ice cream it was time to stretch our legs and walk to the park for even more fun.
As I said, our day was perfect. Hubs and I were beaming with pride over our two-year-old and seeing how happy he was and how much fun he was having all day made our hearts swell.
We all went to bed early that night, wiped out from the fun. Hubs and I fell asleep knowing that we had one more special treat in store...
That will be tomorrow's post. ;)