I feel like I am constantly surrounded by people whose kids are all sweet and loving with their siblings. Then I look at my kids - Connor shoving Isla to the ground as he runs by or throws a bucket of water in her face making her cry. Isla pinches and bites Connor any time she senses he may do something to her and she loves grabbing the toy he is playing with and running away, leaving him screaming and chasing her. Yeah, no sweet, loving siblings over here.

So you can imagine my excitement to find them coexisting on the same bed together. No fighting or anything. Sure, one was under a blanket. But life isn't perfect and I'll take what I can get.

If I'm going to be totally honest, Connor was hiding under the blanket because he stole my phone and was hiding from me while playing on it. But Isla, in a her sweetness, was sitting on the bed reading a book...of course it was Connor's current favorite book and he freaked when he realized she had it. But still. 

I remember fighting to no end with my brothers when I was growing up. And you know what? I went to lunch with my brother today and neither one of us hit each other or yelled, so there is hope for Connor and Isla!

And every time I get jealous hearing of other parents perfect siblings, I try to remind myself that no one is perfect and I am sure (or at least I tell myself) their kids struggle with things my kids don't.


I love this time of year. I love seeing corn in it's varying heights while driving around. And I always have the urge to run through it. Ian always reminds me that it would probably hurt and that there are probably nasty things in the middle. But still, it just looks so fun. And it always makes me happy when I can score produce grown locally. That alone makes me happy for living where I do (because, let's face it, there aren't many perks to living in Modesto!).

This week:

  • I had a "girls night" on Friday. Four of us went to a Giants game in San Francisco. It was so much fun. 
  • In the middle of story time at the library, Connor lifted up my shirt and loudly asked, "Mama, is there is baby in your belly?" For the record, there isn't. 
  • Connor had two more swim lessons this week and is doing amazingly well. 
  • Everyone attacking Duchess Kate's post baby belly was bumming me out and I really liked when my friend Anna over at Two Cent Sparrow had to say about it. 
  • An unexpected gift in the mail made my day, and was much needed after the public meltdown from Connor I had endured earlier in the day. 
  • Isla gets all giddy over new clothes...this makes me nervous for her teen years! 
  • Popsicles, popsicles and more popsicles. I am glad Connor asks for them all the time because I like eating them all the time too! 

Nuby Clik-It Sippy Cup {nuby product review}

I am sure I am not the first mom in the world to constantly run into the problem of not correctly putting a sippy cup lid on when in a hurry. And as every mom knows, if that lid isn't on properly, there WILL be leaks. And no mom likes having to take the extra time to clean up the mess from said leak. So, the idea of the new Nuby Clik-It sippy cup line seemed rather ingenious to me. And it's quite simple. When the lid "clicks" it's locked on. 

Connor and Isla had never tried a "sipper" cup before, where it is more like a cup as it doesn't have a spout. But they both like it and have had no problems drinking from it. And I like that the silicone sipper fits securely in the lid so I don't have to worry about it falling out (please tell me I am not the only mom that deals with parts falling out in sippy cups!?!). This basically makes the cups two pieces, which is another win in my book. This is especially important because those kids of mine are constantly emptying out our sippy cup drawer and those parts end up all over my house. 

The Nuby Clik-It range of sippy cups are launching at Target this Monday, the 29th. Be sure to check 'em out the next time you are there. And if you can't wait until Monday, hop onto Nuby's Facebook page where they are hosting a giveaway for the new Clik-It cups.

I did not receive any compensation for this post, although as part of the Nuby Mommy Blogger program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. 

You can stay up to date on all things Nuby by liking the Nuby Facebook Page, following Nuby on Twitter, following Nuby on Pinterest, and watching for Nuby Photos on Instagram.

Awkward/Awesome {fourteen}

Awkward: My 3.5 year old throwing a fit and screaming his way through the store. 
Awesome: The lady in line behind me saying "I totally understand. Is he 3?"

Awesome: My new way out of talking to solicitors is by telling them I am the nanny.
Awkward: Connor coming to me just as I am closing the door yelling, "mama, mama!"

Awesome: When you get popcorn at Target and ask for it to be split in two bags, they pretty much fill up two bags for the price of one. 
Awkward: My kids can't consume that much popcorn. 
Awkward x2: When one of those said kids decides to swing the bag of popcorn while we are driving and cover the inside of my car in popcorn. 
Awesome: I have a carwash membership...hello free vacuums! 

Awkward: The car in front of us breaking down in the In-N-Out drive thru. 
Awesome: Hubby getting out of the car and helping push it thru. And don't you worry, the driver of the broken down car still got his food! 

Awesome: Randomly running into your own husband while at lunch with a friend. 
Awkward: Because I thought he was going to a different restaurant, I bolted out of my seat and across the parking lot to say hi. 
 ** I know the sensible thing would have been to pick up my phone and call him, but I am so not sensible! 

Awesome: Connor sleeping in until 9:30am! That kid never sleeps in. 
Awkward: Isla deciding to wake at 7:30am.

Anything awkward or awesome happen with you lately?

Project Distraction

Please tell me I am not the only person that takes on a project when my house is totally trashed. I am dubbing it "project distraction" because it is totally my excuse not to have to do the laundry/clean the bathroom/vacuum, etc.

This project distraction involved me deciding to make a home for all (not really all...we have way too much) our coffee stuff. My kitchen and its lack of organization has been one of the things I don't like about my house. One of the many reasons I struggle with my kitchen is there is only one set of outlets on the counter...and next to the sink, for that matter.

We have this weird little counter between the stove and refrigerator that has always had a special place in my heart. Why, you ask? Because, like I said, it is a weird little counter and because of it's odd size and location things never seem to get dumped on it, so it stays clean. But it has no outlets, so is kind of useless to me. But don't you worry, I came up with a solution!

I plugged a power strip in behind the refrigerator and brought it over to the counter. Once I set all most of our coffee paraphernalia on the counter, it became obvious I didn't have enough space. But I had an extra wall shelf left over from when I redid Connor's room. And it's obviously the little things in life that matter because every time I look at this little coffee counter now, it makes me smile.

And because I know you totally wanted to know, I got Ian the coffee sign and fancy canning jar grinder for our 10 year anniversary. Romantic, I know.

And out of total shame for the amount of coffee related products we own, I won't bother telling you what didn't fit on the's actually more than what did.


The Beach

The past few weeks have been so busy for us. I am excited that we don't have any upcoming trips planned and can just get back into a routine and enjoy playing in our yard. Two weekends ago we went to the beach. Neither of my kids have been insanely into the beach up until this point. In fact last year, Connor didn't even want to get out of the car. So just making it to the sand was a big deal and we managed to coax him to not sit right at the entrance to the beach. Isla, on the other hand, wouldn't even touch the sand and freaked out when any got on her. Fun beach trip, right?

Soon enough Ian and his dad were able to coax Connor closer to the water to make a sand castle. Well, the tide was coming in and one thing lead to another and before I knew it, Connor was soaked. 

^^ Just look at that smile! 

And it was like a trigger. All the sudden the water was super fun and Connor went for it. He kept running into the freezing cold water. He was chasing the tide and enjoying himself so much. Here's the end result:

Nothing a bath and some new clothes couldn't fix! Isla didn't exactly warm up to the beach the way Connor did, as evidenced below. But she did allow a toe to touch the water before she realized it was freezing and didn't want to touch it again. As for the sand, she never did warm up to it.  

^^ Connor used to do the same can see a similar shot of him like that here

And one more, just because I think it is rather funny. A little sequence showing Connor running and tripping. Don't worry, it didn't ruin his mood. He was loving getting all wet and dirty. Such a boy! 


When I started this journey, I had this idea of amazingly adorable pictures every week that showed perfectly well behaved children or at least artistically crazy pictures. And except for this one time that hasn't really happened. But I feel like I need to take a chill pill and let it be what it is. I can't control things when I am not behind the camera and I certainly can't ever control my children, so there you have it. Real life folks! 

Oh, and did anyone notice that for the past six weeks I have apparently thought there was 53 weeks in the year. I just noticed that mistake tonight. Nice one Jessica! 

This week:
  • Connor got the above fire getup last weekend and has been wearing it every single day, in triple digit heat...even with rain boots one day.  
  • Isla has learned how to spit and apparently when I say spin it sounds like spit. 
  • We (and by "we" I mean Ian) finished the swing set in our backyard. Connor has gone in the backyard a couple times since. This is a big deal folks! 
  • Our air conditioner broke. A friend came and saved the day and fixed it. Even better, it was a simple, cheap fix. 
  • We went to the fair. What started off as a bad trip (think one unhappy Isla) actually turned out quite nice. 
  • I have been in a purging mood and I love when I get like that and start cleaning the clutter out of our home.

P.S. I actually really like this picture because it is pretty much how things are around here. And we generally do smile through the chaos. And Connor pretty much always smiles when he is running away from me! 

Isla {21 months}

Weight: 24lbs (my measurement)
Length: 33 inches (my measurement)

18 teeth (still working on those last two painful molars)
Climbs in and out of her chair
Knows most body parts (even the random ones like elbow and shoulders)
Says two to three words together 

Even looking at her, I can tell there is no baby left in Isla. This girl has become so fiercely independent. She wants to do everything on her own and do everything her brother can. But when she is tired, she still wants her mama. 

People are always commenting on how tough Isla is. But that is to be expected given the beatings she takes from her brother every day! She is learning to dish it back though. She will grab Connor's toys and run away while looking back at him running after her. It is pretty funny to watch. Isla literally has no fear of anything, even when a healthy fear would be nice. She loves playing with duplos and can stack them and build things all by herself. She also enjoys puzzles and being read to. Elmo is her absolute favorite, which is funny because we don't watch much Sesame Street or anything, but she saw him one day, latched on and hasn't given up her obsession. 

When Isla doesn't get her way, you know it. In fact, everyone within a mile radius knows it. She especially doesn't like to have to stop playing. And she isn't quite old enough yet to be reasoned with. So, she resorts to making her body stiff as a board and screaming at the top of her lungs. It's awesome. Thankfully, once we are out of the situation (like in the car leaving the park) she calms down rather quickly. 

A couple months ago now we switched her out of her highchair and into a youth chair. (youth chair - like a normal chair, but higher and smaller for a kid). She now even climbs in and out of it on her own. But don't worry, she still eats like a toddler. You know, food smeared all over the table, down her shirt and lap and all over the floor. Isla is now also drinking out of a cup at the table. She only gets small amounts because you never know when she will decide to turn the cup over or dump the whole thing on her face. 

I'm still nursing Isla and that has become an interesting thing in and of itself. She was down to twice a day, then started getting her two year molars and it became an around the clock thing again. Think hourly nursings at night. Exhausting. Because of this, she is getting night weaned. Amazingly, after Ian goes in to comfort her at night, she will sleep pretty much the rest of the night. But it can't be me going in there, because she gets angry if I withhold the cantaloupe juice from her. 

Most of the time Isla will tell us when she poops. She even likes to take toilet paper and "wipe" herself over her clothing, but she is still completely against sitting on the toilet. If I try to set her on it, she goes stiff and cries. I've even tried with all her clothes on and she still won't sit on it. I tried pulling on the little potty we have, but that just resulted in Connor using it and Isla not, so it got put away again. I'm not concerned with potty training her, but was excited she was showing some interest, that turned out to be just that, interest. 

And just a few things I want to remember about Isla right now. The coy look you have...your big eyes do all the talking, how you want to take everything out of your bed with you when you wake up, going along with that, you wanting to carry far too many things at one time, then get frustrated when you drop something, the way you lay your head on your daddy's shoulder, your laugh, how close you want to be to me when you sleep. You are one special kid Isla. 

Swim Lessons

Connor had his first swim lesson on Tuesday. I have to admit, I was a little nervous. The kid hates getting in "big" pools. On the way there he kept saying he only wanted to get in the little pool and not the big one. Awesome. When we met the swim instructor, Samantha, and she told him to come to the big pool, though looking hesitant, he went without incident. He even got in the water without incident. Who's kid is this?!?

Everything was going well until Samantha made Connor float on his back. He hated it. He hates getting his face wet, so I don't think he liked it being close to the water. He was straining his neck trying to keep his head away from the water. And he started crying out for Ian and I. But he made it through and for that I was proud.

The last thing Samantha worked with Connor on was hand strokes. By this point in the lesson, I am thinking the novelty wore off and Connor was starting to act like himself. He was refusing to even try and crying out for me to him get out of the pool. This is where I was super impressed with Samantha. She held her ground (well, so did I) and refused to let Connor out of the pool until he at least tried. And he did. I was proud.

After all was said and done, guess what Connor remembers from his swim lesson? "My swim teacher took her shirt off and then got in the pool." Awesome. I'm glad that totally out of context, you remember that and are repeating it. Now before every young guy I know shows up at Connor's next lesson, it was just her taking her swimsuit cover up off. She had her bathing suit on the whole time. But seriously Connor, why do you have to remember that?!


What feels like forever ago Just over a week ago Ian and I spent four days in Santa an Airstream trailer. This amazing getaway was for our 10 year anniversary.

This amazing find came about after I discovered that nice hotels in Santa Barbara during the summer run $800 and up a night. So I started looking around for some other alternatives and came across Santa Barbara Auto Camp. I thought Ian would think I was crazy, but he didn't and we booked our trip. Only a couple weeks after booking our trailer, SB Auto Camp was featured in Sunset magazine. Then I knew it was legit!

I felt like staying here was the best of both worlds - camping and hotel staying. We had our own little outdoor area and it was so nice to sit outside and drink our coffee in the morning and relax outside at night...complete with little lights in the trees! It also had a full size, real bed with a large tv (and cable!) at the end of the bed. The bathroom was amazing with a real toilet and a beautiful shower. And there was a small kitchen, stocked with coffee and everything. Didn't I tell you it was great? Oh and I should mention it had free wifi which is pathetically really important to me.

Now about our trip. We had an amazing time. Ian and I loved just being able to do whatever whenever and we didn't stress about anything. There's a two hour wait at the restaurant we want to go to? Not a problem! It was great. We enjoyed lounging around, eating great meals in peace, going to too many coffee shops, hiking and more. Like I said, amazing.

Of course, I was still constantly texting my mom to get updates on the kids. And every evening we facetimed with the kids. Aww, modern technology. It really does make things easy. This was the first time Isla has really gotten into facetime and it was cute. And Connor just kept asking where we were, before dropping the phone and running off to play. With my kids, it felt like getting them to talk to us for just a minute or two was a win. But still, seeing their smiling faces made being away from them so much easier.

The next time you are looking for a fun and easy getaway, I highly recommend SB Auto Camp. I even think it would be fun for us to take the kids back there...camping without any of the fuss is a win in my book! And Santa Barbara, who can say no to that?!

From the Mouth of Connor {two}

Just a little fun to brighten your Monday. This kid seriously comes up with the funniest things all the constantly asking for Isla to be put down for a nap so he can play alone! But here are some of his recent one (or two) liners:

I like doggies. I like it when they sleep. 

I know how to hunt in the jungle. 

My brother said to Connor, "No way, Jose!" and Connor said back, "I not Jose. Jose is at JJ's house." (JJ is our neighbor and Connor's friend. Jose is his grandpa.)

Connor called me "babe" so I asked him who he hear's call me babe and he said "daddy". Talk about making my heart swoon.

Connor closed his eyes and said "When I have black eyes, I can't see."

A friend of mine asked Connor:
What does Connor do? Play
What does daddy do? iPad
What does mommy do? Laundry
What does Isla do? Play

Connor says to Isla when she crys "Be happy sissy!"

Connor got in trouble and said to me, "Don't say anything to me!" Yep, the teenager in him is already making its way out.


This week:

  • I learned that I certainly get angry when finding out than someone (a grown adult) dissed my child behind my back. Thankfully I took some time to cool off and didn't do any of the things that were going through my mind after I found out. But it also was a reminder how much gossip hurts people. 
  • Parks with water play areas are the best. But when adults are playing in them without children, it's kind of weird. 
  • No matter what you do, you literally can't control where toddler vomit goes in a car. 
  • Hanging out with a friend and drinking a glass of wine can relieve almost any tension from the day. 
  • Isla now tries to get out of her car seat. I don't ever remember Connor tinkering with his buckles this young. 
  • I had an unexpected three day break from cell phone and internet service. I literally thought I wouldn't survive. It was a tad bit pathetic. 

Life has been busy the past couple weeks, but things should be slowing down again here shortly. So I am sorry if you have to be reading up on my old news in upcoming posts, but this is the place where I document things I don't want to forget and well, it is life as I know it, so yeah. But, here's to life getting back into a routine again!

Step-Up Stool {nuby product review}

I have to say, the Nuby step-up stool has quickly become one of the most used toddler products in my home. It mostly stays in the bathroom and is used for turning on the light, going to the bathroom and washing hands. It's so light that both Connor and Isla can pick it up and take it where they need it...though sometimes this works to my disadvantage!

With grippy surface not only on all the feet, but on the top of the stool as well, it makes it amazing for kids to use. This bad boy has been used a gillion times in our house already and not once has it slid out from under the little person (or mama) using it. Also, it is easy to clean. And we would know given it has taken a direct hit from some well, uh, pee a couple times now. Cleans right off, no fuss. Here's the crazy part, this stool is rated for up to 800 pounds...yes, you did read that correctly. So it is certainly able to handle more than one set of feet at a time.

The Nuby step-up stool is available for purchase at BuyBabyDirect,, and Kid's Land.

I did not receive any compensation for this post, although as part of the Nuby Mommy Blogger program I may receive items to sample or review. All opinions are my own and 100% honest. 

You can stay up to date on all things Nuby by liking the Nuby Facebook Page, following Nuby on Twitter, following Nuby on Pinterest, and watching for Nuby Photos on Instagram.

Neverland Ranch

Almost four years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant with Connor, Ian and I were supposed to go see Michael Jackson in London at the concert that ended up leading to his demise. I was never a huge Michael Jackson fan, but was super excited about the concert. I knew it would be a great show and due to hotel points, we were booked at an amazing hotel in London. Alas, Michael Jackson went and died on me. I still remember getting a text from Ian when I was on my way to dinner with a friend, I was totally bummed. Of course, as opposed to those close to MJ, things turned out well for me. We transferred our hotel arrangements to Amsterdam and enjoyed some time there instead.

On our way home from Santa Barbara today, I asked Ian to drive us by Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. I didn't know what the state of it would be and if I could see anything from the gates. I have to admit, I was shocked that it is literally in the middle of nowhere. You drive down this tiny little desolate road for SIX MILES before you get to it. And you know when you arrive. Everything, I mean everything, around it was brown and dead, then we arrived at this grand entrance covered in lush green grass and beautiful flowers. I totally wasn't expecting it to still be all kept up. There were even a few cars inside the gates, so people obviously are still on the property. I was unable to see anything else from outside the gates, or from driving along side the property. Then I did a little googling and found out Neverland Ranch is more than 3000 acres. Dang!

Though we never saw anyone else while traipsing about, I did notice tons of handwritten notes on the stones in front of the property, so knew other's had been there as well. It's just weird how it is out in the middle of nowhere. And it's kind of weird how well the property is kept up when no one even lives there. But hey, I am kind of weird for driving into the middle of nowhere just to look at a gate!

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