My Little Artist

One of the things I love about kids is the carefree nature they have. I love watching Connor play without a care in the world. He has the rest of his life to worry about things, so I would rather him enjoy himself now. He doesn't get self conscious and just lives life. He farts when he wants, he lifts up his shirt and shows strangers his belly. And he paints like no ones business! He doesn't even care where he gets the paint. He just enjoys himself and I love that.

This weekend we went to our local farmers market. They had an area set up for kids to paint. I couldn't resist letting Connor have some fun. And the little individual painting stations were too cute. I couldn't resist them...or my little artist.

Carrying a wet painting home wasn't easy, but Ian did it. And now we have a beautiful new piece of art to adorn our walls.

What I Wore {seven}

Yesterday was my birthday. It was a day full of family, fun, food and relaxation. Now that Isla is taking a bottle (a very recent development), Ian and I enjoyed a leisurely dinner out together. It was fun getting all dressed up and heading to a nice restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, so thanks for that Ian! After Ian told me I couldn't wear a certain purple dress I've been sporting a lot lately, I tried on practically every nice outfit in my closet before settling on this one.

Dress: Topshop...from Scotland
Shoes: River Island...from Scotland
Bracelet: A gift from a few years ago

It was a Scottish kind of day I guess! I took a nap before dinner and my hair looked awful, so I ended up pulling it back. I was afraid it would look too casual for the look I was going for, but I like how it turned out. And I have to admit, this dress made me feel pretty dang good about myself. I may consider wearing it daily. 

Awkward/Awesome {seven}

Awkward: A trashed rental that smells oh-so-bad
Awesome: New paint and flooring remedied the smell 
Awkward: The tenant didn't even come to his walk-thru and has been avoiding us
Awesome: We have a deposit

Awkward (times infinity): Being solicited like I was a prostitute. I kid you not. I was mortified. And it happened in the middle of the day. Seriously?!

Awesome: Good heigene

Awesome: Having lunch with an old friend
Awkward: Connor deciding to only consume butter while we were at lunch

Awesome: Running into former co-workers
Awkward: So many of them admitting to reading my blog, yet not commenting
Awesome: Wait a second, there is nothing awkward about that...come on people, its super flattering that you actually read my blog!

Awesome: Unexpected mid-morning naps! If only that nap was for me!

Awkward: I was changing Connor's diaper and he started to laugh and said, "That tickles, tickles my kee-kee"

Awesome: Dinner with my aunt and uncle

Lately {in photos}

1. Connor "driving"
2. Connor helping with the yard
3. Cuddle time
4. Fun at the park
5. Go Giants!
6. Isla getting some fiber
7. Connor slept on the floor!
8. Saying goodbye to a local hero
9. Loving the new backyard swing
10. Enjoying a little snack
11. Bathing in sissy's bath
12. Checking out a train from inside a train

The Silver Lining

We drove down to LA to paint our house in between tenants. We thought it would be a simple job. Take a full day and then we would be done. We had no idea what would greet us when we arrived. The smell when we opened the front door. The look of the carpets. Poop splattered on walls. Urine sitting on the kitchen floor. The place was a mess. I felt like I needed a hazmat suit on just to go in there. After the initial shock, we started to work. My week of plans went out the window. I will now be dealing with this mess. Through it all, I can't help but think, at least I am blessed enough to have an incredible man at my side to help with it all and heck, we were blessed enough to buy a place at the height of the market (and that is the reason we still have it as a rental!).  And that is not even the silver lining.

The silver lining is the fact that after a hard day's work and our kiddos were in bed, Ian and I got to slip out for a late night dinner while my parents sat at home with our sleeping kids. That's the life!

Super Mom Failure

Once I realized how economical it was to make baby food rather than buy it, I started making all Connor's baby food. And as weird as it sounds, I had fun doing it. I made up my own recipes and enjoyed doing it. The one thing I never made for him though was baby cereal. When I realized how easy it is to make, I just knew I wanted to try it with Isla.

Now that Isla is six months old, I was all excited to let her try some food. I pulled out our blender the other day to make her some rice cereal. In the middle of blending up the rice, I decided to go all Jamba Juice on the blender and shake it. In the process of shaking it, I managed to pull the pitcher off the teeth that spin the blender. And in doing so, I managed to break all the teeth off it. Talk about an epic failure.

So, until I get a new part for my blender, Isla will have to deal with store bough rice cereal. I hope she doesn't grow a third eye or something...I kid. Anyway, here is Isla getting her first taste at some real food.

She is obsessed with holding the spoon herself and putting it in her mouth. Such a smart baby. She knows how to feed herself! Ha, ha! She also forces all the food out of her mouth with her tongue. I don't think it has anything to do with if she likes it or not, but just that she doesn't know how to eat. So weird to think that you have to learn to eat. At least she looks cute while learning!

The Tipping Point

I like having a clean car. Not necessarily on the outside, though it does slightly matter, but I appreciate a clean interior. Back before Isla was around, Connor and I used to take weekly trips to the car wash. I would vacuum and wipe down the inside, then get the outside washed. Heck, I was freaking out about needing a clean car for Isla to come home in...a little secret here, I asked Ian to go thru the car wash while I was in labor. On the way there, I decided I was in too much pain, so we went home and I got in the bathtub instead. Anyway, since my car didn't get washed before Isla's birth, I made Ian do it before I got out of the hospital. A little obsessed. I told you.

Anyway, the tipping point for having a clean car seems to be two kids. No longer does my car look like this:

Sure there are stains on the carpet in the picture (and in real life), but I would take seeing those stains any day over seeing what I normally do when I go to pull my kids out of the car. Here's what normally greets me:

How does this happen, you may be asking yourself. Well, Connor generally always brings a toy or two or three with us where ever we go. And by the time we get back home, it is just too much for him to take those toys back in the house! Then there is the diaper bag...and that is just one bag, if I am lucky. Throw in some random baby blankets, spit up towels, clean diapers and a couple trips to Starbucks and voila, a trashed car.

You would think I could clean it out every time I get home. Sounds simple enough. Except for the fact, I am usually trying to keep my toddler from running away, while bringing in a baby and my Starbucks of course. By the time I get in the house, I am making lunch, changing diapers, feeding baby, putting kids down for naps...I forget about the car sitting in my driveway, trashed.

And that, my dear friends, is how you go from clean to trashed. My tipping point seemed to be two kids.

Isla {6 Months}

Weight: 17lbs, 3oz
Length: 26.75 inches

Sits up unaided...until she notices and falls over!
Grabs & picks up anything and everything

Half a year! My baby is well on her way to not being a baby anymore.

Isla is in the "stick everything in sight in her mouth" phase. Because of this, I try to do a good job of having toys around at all times for her. Toys and burp cloths...she seems to love sucking on rags. Whatever makes her happy! A few days ago, I gave her a frozen celery stick to suck on...I did the same thing with Connor when he was a baby. She was all excited to grab it and stick it in her mouth. Then she got a horrible look on her face, pulled it out and looked at it, then stuck it right back in. I'm guessing it was the cold that caught her off guard. The next time I gave her one, she again went to town on it, so I guess that means she likes it.

Isla really prefers to be sitting up rather than lying down. She lets me know this by crying. Since she doesn't sit up for very long without toppling over, that means she spends a lot of time in my lap, in the corner of the couch, in her walker...mostly in my lap though. I am a sucker, I know. 

At her check up, Isla's pediatrician said she had enough fat stores to sleep through the night. And she said it as she poked one of Isla's rolls. I kid you not. It was funny. But then she said, I need to do whatever I am comfortable with in terms of Isla sleeping. She is still getting up numerous times a night and each time I feed her back to sleep. A bad habit, I know. But I have been telling myself, we will sleep train her once Ian's busy season is over...which is in just a few short days. You see, I think I need Ian to go into her at night when she cries so she realizes she can't eat. I think that will help a lot. Hopefully. Notice this is all based on my thoughts and assumptions. And raising babies, it is never as easy as one thinks. But a mom can hope, right?

Isla seems to be going through a bit of a stranger-danger phase. Whenever someone new comes up and talks to her, she looks at me before smiling at them. It's almost as if she is asking, "Are they ok mom?" And she doesn't like people she doesn't know holding her for long. Usually if she is crying when someone else is holding her, she stops as soon as I take her. Last weekend, I decided to put her in the nursery at church for the first time. Just like with Connor, I was sick to my stomach when dropping her off. I couldn't focus in church because I was so nervous. I kid you not. I am so freaking pathetic. Anyway, I was paged before worship was even over. As soon as I took her, she stopped crying. So I hung out in the nursery for a bit with her, holding her and rocking her. Then I put her in a toy and she still seemed fine, so I left. In the middle of church, you could hear a baby crying. Ian told me it sounded like Isla and I said I thought the same thing, but that they hadn't paged me. So, Ian went to check. Then I got a text from him saying that he had Isla, so I went and found them. Apparently the nursery tried to page me, but the pager wasn't working. And of course Isla was fine once in Ian's arms. To make a long story even longer, I think I am going to wait a little while before trying the nursery again...for my own sake!

Bath Time Fun

My friend Mallory recently talked about an idea she found on Pinterest to put glow sticks in the bathtub. Since I had bought some for Connor for his Easter basket, I thought it was the perfect way to use them.

Last night I filled up the tub and threw in the glow sticks, while making Connor wait outside the bathroom. I told him I had a treat for him in the bath. He was pretty excited. He ran and jumped in the bathtub and immediately began collecting his "treat".

Over the course of the bath, I kept taking the glow sticks and spreading them out in the tub and Connor would quickly collect them while repeating over and over "my treat".  He even had to get every single one of them out of the bath before he would get out. One of them was stuck behind Isla's bath chair and he about had a cow until we got it for him. It was pretty cute.

And I would say, given that you can get a pack of glow sticks at the dollar store, this is the perfect treat to do with your kid every once in a while.  I definitely think we will be doing it again.

P.S. I would like to say that I am proud of myself for actually doing something from Pinterest. I have been refusing to join, but recently did. It is full of great ideas. But unless I never do them, that is all they are, great ideas. So here is me, trying to put some of those great ideas into action.

Weird Week

So this picture has nothing to do with my post. Who cares? The kid is cute and I thought it would liven things up a bit!

It's just been a weird week around here. Lots to process and work through for a week that I thought was going to be rather mundane.

Our neighbor's work trailer was stolen and along with it all of his tools. He was a handyman, so someone stole his livelihood. That man works hard too. Nights, weekends, all the time. I felt such sorrow for him as I stood there in the street and he told me what happened. Ian and I decided to give him a gift card to Home Depot to sort of help out. When Ian took it over, the guy said no one had ever done anything like that for him before. I was speechless...I've had many random acts of kindness bestowed upon me by relative strangers. It made me glad we did it.

Yesterday a sheriff in our city was shot and killed, so I spent the day hearing and watching that was a standoff situation that ended in the building getting torched. Just so surreal to watch something like that happen a mere mile or so from your house.

Connor switched to his big boy bed and is doing well. This morning he managed to pull his curtains down...and the curtain rod remained intact on the wall. So, yea for that!

Isla had her 6 month check up today and I got in an argument with the nurse at the doctor's office. It was stupid. She said they were busy so I would need to take Isla to the clinic to get her shots and I said that I didn't have time. She stressed the importance of Isla getting her shots TODAY (as if she would die if it did not happen today) and I said I wasn't going to sit in a clinic with 2 kids by myself for an hour and a half to get shots done when I was supposed to get them done at the doctor's office. Anyway, my doctor (who is totally awesome) came in and said she totally understood and got them done for Isla right then and there.

And then it freaking hailed here the middle of April!!! I told you its been a weird week.

Connor's Growing Up

Sure, its happened before. Two times to be exact. Both times it stopped just as suddenly as it started. But this time it just felt different.

The other day, Connor started climbing out of his crib again. But this time it wasn't just in the morning or when he didn't feel like napping. This time he did it when we would put him down for bed too. It was like he was saying he was ready, ready for freedom. So yesterday I converted his crib into a toddler bed. A wave of memories swept over me. It seems like yesterday that we were in the store in Edinburgh picking out a crib for the little man we now know as Connor. Yet, at the same time, that seems like a lifetime ago. I remember thinking "how practical" that it came with a little foot board to make it into a toddler bed. And here we are, 2.5 years later, turning that crib into a toddler bed.

Last night was Connor's first time in his new bed. I didn't know how he would react. He seemed very excited when we showed him his new bed. He got out of bed four times and would yell "hello" at us before one of us would go in and tell him to go back to bed. It was all cute and adorable. Then, magically, he went to sleep on his own (well, with a couple books) in his bed and slept all night.

Here he is trying out his new bed for the first time

And going to bed in it last night 

Now this is how I found his room this morning...

I'm not even sure what to say here because I have NO FREAKING CLUE why Connor would pull his mattress off his bed! But it is pretty funny.

I feel various emotions about Connor leaving his crib, and babyhood, behind. Makes me kind of sad. Somehow, I don't think I will be as sad once he finally stops wearing diapers!


This past weekend we decided to add to our garden (if you can call it that...we have 2 blueberry plants) and got two wine barrels to plant some plants in. In one, I planted a roma tomato plant and in the other I planted zucchini and red bell peppers. My friend came over to admire my work and informed me that zucchini plants are massive vines and the 4 that I planted in one small barrel will probably take over my whole backyard. Slight exaggeration, but you get the picture. Oh well. We like zucchini, so it will all be good.

After planting our plants, I discovered Connor found them a perfect spot to play in. He kept driving his trucks over my newly planted plants and I couldn't allow that, so off to the store I went. I picked up a storage bin, dumped the rest of our potting soil in it and bam, instant play place for Connor...that will hopefully save my little plants from him and his trucks!

Oh, boys and their dirt...and their trucks...and destroying everything in sight! I would have it no other way. I love my little man.

An Unconventional Easter

For Easter this year, we decided to go to church on Saturday night and to head out of town on Sunday. We took a day trip up to Railtown 1897 in Jamestown. Given that Connor is obsessed with trains, it was the perfect little getaway for him.

We got to ride a real steam train. Connor had been talking about it all week long. He was so excited. It's so stinking cute to hear him say "ride steam train". He enjoyed the ride. He wanted to look out the window the whole time. I was afraid after the ride was over that he would freak out when we made him get off the train. Thankfully that was not the case. Yea for not having to deal with a public meltdown.

After the train ride, we have a picnic outside and wondered around for a few minutes before heading back home. Ian's parents went with us and needed to get home to start working on Easter dinner for the family. But it worked out perfectly because both kids slept on the car ride home. Connor fell asleep holding Ian's hand. How cute is that?!

And since we are members of the Railroad Museum in Sacramento (yes, we are cool like that), we get into Railtown 1897 for free, so I am sure we will go back for more train rides in the future.

True Friends

True friends are the one's you call to help you out when you screwed up your son's hair trying to cut it yourself. They help you fix it without judgement. I would know. This just happened to me.

The other night while giving Connor a bath, it was bugging me that his bangs were in his eyes. So, I decided to cut them. In the bath, they looked fine. When he woke up the next morning, I stared in horror at what I had done to my poor son.

The problem was, I didn't want to "fix" them because I was afraid he would end up with no hair in the front. So I called my friend and headed over to her house where she helped fix Connor's hair.

He is now the proud owner of a little boy hair cut. No side swept baby/old man style hair for him anymore! And it was so easy, I am thinking of buying some clippers for myself and keeping that boy's hair short!

Lately {in Photos}

1. Driving
2. Happy in the sun
3. Another day out in the sun
4. Bath time fun
5. Playing with MeMaw
6. Swimming
7. New toy
8. And an old one
9. Backyard picnic
10. Playing at a friend's house
11. Connor playing in Isla's walker
12. Squeaky clean

A Keepsake from the Past

Last week my mom told me she had something I would want and asked me to put out my hand. Given that my mom was laughing and my brothers were there, I refused as I figured my brothers had put her up to something. Finally she convinced me that it was something I would want to see and something that I had once greatly loved. In my hand landed this

A locket that once adorned my neck daily. I definitely remember this locket. It took me back...way back. More than half my life ago. Wow, when I say it like that, it seems like so long ago! Anyway, my mom told me to open it and this is what I found.

Prince William. The boy practically every girl my age, admittedly or not, had a crush on. We laughed at the irony that I ended up living in Britain for a few years and all that fun stuff.

I love it when little memories get to be relived. When I get to remember what I was like when I was a wee bit younger. So fun!

Speaking of which, today I found a box of old photos. Ian and I look like such babies in them. There are even ones of me from before Ian, back when I was real young.  Given that part of my life took place before the age of the digital camera (yes, I am that old) I will have to scan them and share them with you. Some of them are just too good not to be shared!
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