Friday, February 28, 2014

//if not warmth, then light//

I know it is a cold and long winter when even my friends and family in Minnesota are complaining.
No matter where you live, though (okay, maybe except Florida) I think we are all just a little sick of the bitter wind chill and the random snow dumpings.
I think we all just want a little warmth.
Thankfully the past few days have been sunny.

I know that is no substitute for actual spring, but at least you can look out the window and feel the warm sun on your face.

That's what we've been doing around here.

After both kids wake up from their naps we've been playing in the nursery and future 'big boy room' solely because they are the rooms that get the most afternoon sunlight.
my tripod ended up as a fun toy one day.
My kiddos and I are obviously unbelievably pale -- we need to get some sun (outside!)
I even went so far as to go out and purchase an large indoor ivy plant...
just because I miss the color of green leaves so much.
this is literally what happened when I told her to come "kiss the camera." She is really into kissing now.
about to kiss her reflection in the mirror
Spring, come soon!
We are in dire need of outdoor play
and large doses of Vitamin D.

Friday, February 21, 2014

finola - 9 months!

Dear Fin, 
Lots to report this month!  You have gotten crazy mobile - 'real' crawling, pulling up on everything, climbing stairs, and a bit of cruising on occasion.  I actually have to watch you now. Sigh.  You continue to be my happy, quieter baby...although maybe a little less chill than before?  You didn't really like your nine month doctor's appointment so much.  There was actual crying and fussing instead of your normal quiet, angelic self.  You now let your feelings known through a series of yells and squeals, which I find really adorable.
You've mastered the "fake cry."
You are fascinated with my hair and any jewelry.
You love climbing up on my back when I'm crouched down and getting a piggy back ride.
You love flipping the light switch on and off.
You sorta like books, depending on which one.
You love the rocking horse and any other 'riding toy' I set you on to rock or roll around.
You like to grab around my neck at bedtime, nuzzle your face into my chest, and then bite my chin.
You are very persistent.  "No" has yet to have an effect on you.
(I used to say "no" to Cormac in my "mama voice" and he would immediately burst into tears.  You start laughing.  This may not be a good sign.)

Naps are the same, two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon.  You are too cute when I put you down now, because before I put you in your crib I hand you your "Lambie Poo" (soothing noises sheep plush toy) and you nuzzle it immediately and get sleepy.  Then I lay you in your crib and sometimes you'll stand up immediately and I'll have to say night-night to you while you stare at me open-mouthed over the crib rail.  Sometimes you'll fuss for a couple minutes but typically you just play quietly until you fall asleep.  Nights have gotten exponentially better -- you now sleep through the night most nights!  Hurray!  About every third night you'll wake up and cry for a bit, and if it sounds like you are really upset and probably won't fall back asleep on your own we will soothe you with a small bottle. 
Pretty much anything soft, in tiny pieces and able to be gummed/chewed by your two tiny teeth.  You get very disinterested in your bottle if there is other food around, so I now have to give that to you before meal time.  You drink three bottles a day, 6-8 oz of formula each...and three meals of plenty of baby-friendly foods.  You started drinking from sippy cups sometimes this month, and bananas are still your favorite.
Sibling Relations:
Your brother loves you, and you love him.  However, you already have started to enjoy tormenting each other.  You have no problem grabbing his face, pulling his hair, grabbing toys away from him.  All in a playful, innocent, baby way, of course.  He loves to whip things at you, poke you, and grab toys away from you.  All in a possessive, a-little-too-rough, toddler way, of course.  You have no concept of personal space, and will crawl up to and on to whatever you please...which sometimes big brother doesn't like so much.  It is funny how I can already see you guys in the future, fighting and teasing each other.  And having loads of fun together, for sure....
This one begged for a caption -- perhaps something a teenage Cormac might say?
20.5 lbs.  Wearing all 12 month clothing.  Just the usual - runny nose and teething.  I am very ready for cold/flu season to be over and lovely warm weather to arrive.  Maybe then the snot will cease dripping from your poor baby nostrils, and your face will stop being chapped.  All the Aquafor in the world doesn't help.
Peekaboo!  I love steps!
Things You Say:
"Maaaah" only a couple times, when really upset (of course.)
"Buh, buh"  (not sure what it means)
typical mealtime scene.  I sometimes feel like most of my day is spent feeding these two.
"do I have something on my face???" 
  • you abandoned your 'army crawl' for 'real crawling' just after you turned eight months.  
  • started drinking from a sippy cup on occasion
  • started pulling up
  • just recently began cruising
Mama Feels: 
Most days like I am completely in-over-my-head. With you being super mobile now, and Cormac in the midst of potty training, I feel pulled in a million directions and am constantly reminding myself that 'tomorrow is another day, with no mistakes in it' -  a la Anne of Green Gables.  The added hassle/stress of home renovations in full swing (aka always having some sort of contractor in the house pounding, sanding, getting the dog barking, etc, etc) doesn't really help.  Neither does the recent snow, ice, cold weather, which has kept us inside most of the month.
Let's just say Mama needs some sunshine.

This Month's Memories:

  • Your first Valentine's Day!  We basically just stayed at home and played...and I tried to take cute pictures of you, which didn't work out super well, since you were tired and teething...

Finally, as requested by Dada, a look at your little face throughout the months since you joined our little fam...

Finola, you are my sweet, cuddly little drool face.
My joyful one.
My go-with-the-flow, (usually)
sock and shoe grabbing,
chin biting,
ray of sunshine
even on dark, cold, icy days.

Love you -
Mama + Dada

Monday, February 17, 2014

valentine's date

Some say Valentine's Day is just a ridiculous Hallmark holiday...
but I tend to sway the other way and call it -
These people may roll their eyes and say
"You shouldn't have to wait 'til Valentines Day as an excuse to tell/show someone how much you love them!!!"
These people must know a secret to life that I don't.
Most of us get sucked into the monotony of everyday life,
whatever it is.  
Most of us appreciate a reminder.
Permission, maybe.
An excuse.
An excuse to get cheesy and romantic.
To dress your kids in pink or red or hearts
 (or all of the above.)
To buy or receive flowers.
To write a sappy love note.
To eat a lot of chocolate.
To drink a lot of wine.
To go to a fancy restaurant.
To wear a new dress 
and say
"Dang - I am lovely!" 
and maybe have someone else
tell you that, too.

However you celebrated, I just hope you celebrated
and used the excuse to have a little
mushy, cheesy romantic fun.

* * * * * * 

This year the kiddos and I just had a fun, low-key day at home.

I dressed them in the proper color scheme of red and hearts.
I talked about Valentines Day all day long, 
and all day Cormac was saying,
"Happy Valentine's Day to you, too!" 
in his super cute 2-year-old voice and fun little grin.

I tried to take some cute photos of me and the kids for a DIY gift for Hubby...
but I had a hard time getting them to both get in the photograph and actually smile.
 My mini-Valentines...
Then came the night.

Hubby and I have had some really fun Valentine's dates in the past.
Ice skating.
Fun restaurants.
You know, quintessential Valentine's day stuff.

But this year we did something different -- 
we stayed home.
Yep - no babysitter...
just drinking wine, playing music,
cooking a fancy, outrageous seafood feast together.

While the kiddos didn't get to eat lobster with us,
I did let Cormac have some strawberries and whipped cream. 
Spraying whipped cream mustaches on him 
and hearing him giggle uproariously and yell
"Take my picture!"
was one of my favorite moments of the night...

Other favorites...
I made my first risotto.  
(Checkin' that one off my 'foodie bucket list.')
 Risotto takes a long time and needs a lot of I took a selfie or two...and drank wine.
We also boiled our own lobster. (another 'check'!)
  Pink roses adorned the table.
I'm a stereotypical girl.  I like flowers.  A lot.
 A delicious bottle cabernet sauvignon was consumed in its entirety.  
The lobster was delish.  As good as I've had at any fancy restaurant.  
(and cheaper...right, babe??? ;) )
We ate A LOT.  Not even any room for dessert.  
(Although I think I ate some anyway.)
My valentine...
Thanks for another beautiful Valentine's Day, my love.

Here's to many more 'at home date nights.' 

Better than any restaurant I know.

Monday, February 10, 2014

a 'love' shower

Saturday I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower at my home
for a kind + beautiful mama-to-be.

Her name is Laura Love. 
Love is literally her 'middle name.' 

So we decided to do a 'love theme' 
since the shower was so close to Valentines Day.
It was a very small, intimate gathering 
of seven fun and generous ladies.
The food was pot-luck style,
and each of us 
contributed a couple delicious items.

I put together these 'adult sippy cups' 
to make sipping a little more fun...
The cupcakes were, well, fabulous.
We all chipped in on getting her pack-n-play, then filled it with more gifts for the little one (gender unknown!)
I did a few jars full of baby's breath for centerpieces...
 We decorated some bibs for the little babe...
I made a bunch of poms from tissue paper and kind of got addicted to the process...
It was an amazing spread of sweetness!
My dear friend/co-host Alicia and the guest-of-honor.
We each took a turn posing with the mama-to-be...
Thankfully she doesn't mind people touching the tummy!
Pretty sure she is the most beautiful pregnant lady.  All belly and no waddle!  
A couple of the group...

The day also made me look back on my own baby showers

So much fun to shower mamas with LOVE.  

Hope you enjoyed our little celebration, Laura!
Can't wait to meet your little 'mystery baby!'