Happy Halloween!

Happy halloween from my little minion and little garden gnome. 

One of these children is more excited about their costume than the other...can you tell which one?! Isla is determined not to wear her gnome hat and this mama is determined to get her to wear it for at least one cute picture! We shall see who wins this throw down tonight. I just had a thought (that wouldn't end in a meltdown), maybe I should sew a handle on her hat and turn it into her candy bag...decisions, decisions.

And now we are off to the pumpkin patch. I know, I know. But I won a contest on facebook last night for free pumpkins so I need to go claim my prize. I love winning things. And I am excited it's pumpkins because I was going to wait until tomorrow to buy some on clearance so I could roast some pumpkin seeds. But now I got them for free!

Adorable pictures of my kids by the ever so talented Kori & Jared Photography. As you can see, Connor hammed it up for the camera and Isla ran from the camera. Family pictures in a couple weeks should be interesting...

One Last Pumpkin Patch Trip

With halloween literally right around the corner, I knew I wanted to sneak in one last trip to the pumpkin patch. Because of preschool, I knew it needed to happen today or Thursday. I figured it would be crazy busy on Thursday given that it is halloween and all, so today it was.

Lets just say I wasn't the only person with this idea. The pumpkin patch was crazy busy. But the fun part was running into a few people that I know. I always find it fun to randomly run into people I know. Plus, I had good company with my friend and her kids joining us.

There is just something about being out on a "farm" and watching the kids run around. Isla literally just rolls around in the dirt and has a grand ole time getting herself all dirty. Though I am pretty sure she wasn't too fond of getting hay in her diaper. But that is a risk you have to take when you roll around on the ground!

Both my kids are into walking on things. Connor had fun skipping from tire to tire. And Isla was into walking along the hay bales (and falling/getting stuck in between them).

And just to prove that sometimes it is the simple things in life that are the most fun (as if playing in dried corn isn't simple enough...) the kids had a blast jumping around on what I assume to be old mattresses covered in a tarp. That sounds so ghetto, but just look at those happy faces!

Well pumpkin patch, I sure do wish you were open longer than you are. But I am pretty sure you would lose your charm if you were. Until next year, my friend!

Want to see our past pumpkin patch visits? You can see the one when I was pregnant in 2011 here and when Isla was a newbie here. Then there is 2012 and of course, the trip from just a couple weeks ago

Because Fall Weather Has Finally Arrived

And because the in laws got me a new scarf...

I am gone for a week and come home to fall. It is pretty amazing actually. My lawn is covered in yellow leaves. And I can actually get away with wearing a long sleeve shirt all day without overheating.

And my in laws got me this totally adorable scarf while they were on vacation. And I now forgive them for not taking me with them on their fabulous vacation. But, I have to say, the scarf meant a lot to me. My MIL remembered that I have been wanting an infinity scarf...she made me one last year, but it turned out more Isla's size than mine. But this one, oh it's so pretty. I am going to be wearing it a lot this winter.

Shirt: JCrew (super old)
Scarf: Anthropologie (from the in laws)
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Old Navy

On a side note, I too am in shock that I am not wearing my Toms (because, well, that is pretty much all I ever wear). However, I just got home last night after being gone for a week and couldn't locate any of those little tiny socks I was raving about, so no Toms today. But I do love these Old Navy ballet flats. They are actually my second pair (the first pair looked identical). I liked them so much, when I wore out the first ones, I got another pair. I am one of those people that finds something I like and sticks with it.

Now I am off to unpack and tackle the laundry that is overtaking my house...


Oh Pride...

Please don't complement me on my parenting or on the behavior of my children because the results will be disasterous for me. 

Last week I had Isla's 2 year check up. In the middle of Isla rolling around on the office floor, the doctor starts tooting my horn about what an amazing mother I am. And you bet I ATE IT RIGHT UP. I walked out of that office feeling pretty dang good about myself. Two hours later, when I went to pick Connor up from school, my children knocked me right off my high horse. Isla was screaming and uncooperative. I needed to talk to Connor's teacher, with a screaming two year old in my hands. And Connor? He ran not only out of the classroom, but out of the building and one of his teachers had to run after him. Awesome. I sure was feeling more humble after that experience. 

Then today this lady started going off on how adorable Isla is. She was haming it up, smiling, and talking to the lady. She was being a total doll. Not two minutes later, Isla started down a path that turned into the worst tantrum that I have ever seen or experienced...from anyone's child. It was brutal. Nothing could stop her. It lasted for about 30 minutes. 

So please, for my own sanity, just never complement me or my children again. That way I don't get a big head that will NEED to be deflated. Thanks! 

Buy Now, Thank Me Later

One of the first things I did when I moved back to the states was get me some toms...because, well, all the cool kids had them. And it didn't take long for those amazingly comfortable shoes to stink oh-so-bad. And other than my super rad (and super honest) friend Karen, no one else would admit that their toms made their feet smell. I eventually wore out those toms and moved on.

After living without toms for a while, I decided I wanted another pair in my life. When at the store buying them, the lady mentioned that toms are supposed to be worn with socks. Uh, what?! I then admitted to her that my last pair smelled not so good and she convinced me to get some socks to wear with them. Let me just say, these socks have changed my life! I can now wear toms AND not have stinky feet (and shoes).

So for all of you stinky feeted tom-lovers out there, you are welcome. Go get you some little tiny socks for your toms and you will thank me...and so will anyone else that has to smell your feet after you wear your toms. And for all of you that don't have stinky feet from toms, whatever. I still don't believe you.


I'm out of town and forgot the cord to my camera. I hate when I forget something that I would consider essential. And I am sure that I will break down tomorrow and go buy another one because don't you want to see this adorable picture in it's real glory and not just a phone picture of my camera screen?!

This week:

  • When driving 340 miles with Isla the other day, it occurred to me over the span of a week, Isla and I will clock over 1300 miles in the car together. I sure hope her car seat is comfortable! 
  • In case you were wondering, I am driving to Arizona and back. And my mom will be with me on the Los Angeles-Arizona leg(s). 
  • I have been noticing Isla purposely puts pieces of her hair in her mouth and sucks on it. As weird as I want to think that is, I totally remember sucking on the end of my braid as a kid...maybe I should keep that to myself?
  • I took Connor to a park and discovered it was actually a workout "park" and not a park at all. Surprisingly Connor had an amazing time playing with all the workout equipment and didn't want to leave. 
  • I bought the kids "share" Christmas present this weekend off craigslist and got it for half of what I was hoping to spend. Score! 

Now I'm off to stare at the amazing view of the downtown LA skyline my parents have...

Fall Style

Fall is an interesting season in California, or at least where I live in California. The temperature changes by about 40 or so degrees during the day. This makes it hard to know what to wear. It also makes cardigans my bff (best fall friend).

Even though I didn't manage to participate in Fall Fashion Week this year, I did take pictures and thought I would post all my fall fashion in one go...I say all my fall fashion because right here is just about all of it!

 Shirt: Old Navy
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Toms
Necklace: Street vendor in San Francisco

Have you ever had your husband take pictures of you and you pose in the dorkiest way ever and he happens to not tell you? Well, that happened to me. I have no clue what possessed me to hang on the fence and why I thought it would be cute.

  Shirt: Old Navy - thrifted
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Converse

  Shirt: Anthropologie
Cardigan: Madewell
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Toms

  Tank: Old Navy
Cardigan: from Scotland
Necklace: Forever 21
Jeans: Madewell
Shoes: Toms

Dress: Forever 21
Leggings: from Scotland
Shoes: Old Navy

And just to get it out in the open, your mind is not playing tricks on you. I do in fact wear my Toms almost daily and I do pretty much only wear two pairs of jeans and they are both from Madewell. They fit me so well and I feel so good in them. Oh, and the Forever 21 dress, I am pretty sure it was the first piece of clothing I bought at F21 many, many moons ago. 

Isla {2 years}

Weight: 27lbs, 3oz
Height: 34.75 inches

Says several words...too many to count
Says 3 to 4 words together
20 teeth

Foods - apples, red hots (the candy), tomatoes
Elmo, Ernie, bracelets, purses
Mama - this girl is a mama's girl all the way

I've come to realize just how important these updates are as there is just so much I forget so quickly. Oh how I wish I could remember every little detail of my kids lives, but I just cant.

I would say Isla is the epitome of a 2 year old. She can throw a temper tantrum like no other. Usually because something was taken away from her or because she was told no. Isla has also fully embraced the question "why?". Yep, have hit that stage. Fun times. Isla also likes to copy everything both Connor and I do. Hence it was only fitting for her to throw a fit because she wanted to hold my purse and keys when I was trying to her picture. And as you can see, she won. Some things aren't worth the fight. Now, when she decides to empty the contents of my wallet, that is where I draw the line. 

Isla has been out of a highchair for a while now. I switched her to a youth chair about 6 months ago when she was getting really antsy in her highchair (i.e. fighting being put in it every single stinking time). Well, now she no longer wants to be in her youth chair. She either wants to be on my lap, or in a normal seat. Food wise, Isla is a great eater. She will tend to try anything at least once. At the table, I give her a normal cup to drink out of. In true Isla style, she has copied her brother in dipping all her food into her cup before eating it. Yummy! 

When Isla is tired, she twirls her hair. When Isla isn't tired, she rips her hairbands out of her hair. She even managed to do it during these pictures. See it in the right photo below? Her left pigtail is gone. If she had it her way, her hair would be in her face all the time. And it totally doesn't bother her if it is in her mouth. Even if she is eating!!! Silly girl. 

I realized the other day that Isla doesn't have any girl friends close to her age. She is always playing with Connor and his friends and does great with that. In fact, I think hanging with the boys has made her one tough cookie. But I am sure in the not so near future, she wouldn't mind having a couple girl friends to play dolls with. Speaking of dolls, Isla has been playing "baby" lately. She really likes to rock her dolls in the doll cradle. And she has found it pretty dang fun when I put one of her dolls in a little baby carrier on her. She also is a big fan of puzzles, books and trains/cars. 

Despite these pictures, Isla actually refuses to have her picture taken these days. When I have a camera out, she refuses to look at me. I pretty much have to surprise her. But, if she knows I have a camera out, she won't look at me no matter what I say. And, well, she isn't quite old enough to bribe yet, so pictures have become difficult. 

My little two year old. Two years old! You aren't so little anymore. I enjoy every day I get with you, even the hard ones. I love watching your personality come to life. And I secretly totally love that you are a mama's girl, even on the days that I would love a break. Because, seriously there is no better feeling than your little arms wrapped around my neck and your head on my shoulder. 


Nap Time

Over the past weeks, nap time in our house has changed. If you showed up at my house around 1:30pm, this is what you would find:

Lately, there is only a 50/50 chance that Isla will actually sleep during nap time. The rest of the time, she just chills in her crib. She doesn't cry. I just hear her talking away...or kicking the wall. Many times when I check in on her, she is even laying down. The only problem with her not sleeping during nap time is by dinner, she is less than cooperative with life and starts melting down.

When Connor started preschool, I instituted a quiet time for him. My original hope was that he would possibly sleep after a fun morning at school. Six weeks in and that has yet to happen. BUT, he has fully embraced quiet time. After lunch, I put Isla down for her nap and set a timer in Connor's room for a hour and he can do whatever he wants in his room. Most of the time, every single toy in his room is taken out during this time. Sometimes he will lay down. But never does he sleep. I am really happy with this quiet time. Not only because it gives me a break, but because it gives Connor a designated time every day to play by himself, without distraction. It has worked so well, we even do it on the weekend.

As for me, I spend my free hour trying to catch up on things that are important to me - blogging, spray painting things, reading and sometimes even cleaning the house.


Taking two toddlers (the younger one even went on a nap strike that day) out past their bed time is not for the faint of heart. My MIL took the three of us to see Veggie Tales Live a few nights ago. And we certainly had our ups and downs. Isla was all over the place. Literally. At one point, she climbed under the chairs and went about 6 seats before I went after her. But I know they loved it. Especially Connor. He has been so proud of his Larry hat and talking about Veggie Tales ever since.

This week:

  • Isla went pee in her little potty!!!! once. You know, she wouldn't want to make something like not sitting in her own waste a habit or anything. 
  • Another week, another pumpkin patch visit. This one even included a hay ride. 
  • One morning I had to wake Connor for preschool. This is the kid who is always up with (or even before) the sun. 
  • My fall mantle decorations seem to be growing by the day. I've already added to it (and my porch) since posting about it
  • I have been on a tea kick lately. It's just so nice to drink in the afternoon. And it reminds me of the good ole days in Scotland. 

Isla turns two tomorrow. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one. But whether she realizes it's her birthday or not, we are ready to celebrate. 

Mommy Wars

I'm going to go a little serious on you here and talk about something that plagues all mom's out there, no matter the age of their children. And really, this isn't an issue between good friends because good friends are my fiercest allies. It's all those other moms out there...

All to often I hear people bring up the mommy wars. And for some reason, it is always brought up that social media is the reason for these wars. We all paint a picture of our big happy life and never show the unhappy times. The thing is, whenever I hear that talked about, I am always feeling like that isn't it for me. 

You see, the things that get under my skin and rattle my cage are always said to my face. They are usually those little remarks that are made on the side that make me want to punch someone...or at least insult their children. Remarks like:

Oh, your kids fight. My oldest was just made to be a sibling. He is so loving. 

Your son has trouble listening? My kids know to obey the first time I ask.

You are still breastfeeding your daughter?! Well, that's interesting...(more to come on that in a later blog post)

It's one of the oldest tricks in the book. Hit someone in the back of the knees. They won't see you coming and it will totally knock them down. And to be honest, I don't get why moms do it. 

try to be sensitive to what other moms are dealing with, even if my kids have yet to struggle with it. And if that fact is pointed out, I always quickly point out that all kids have their strengths and their weaknesses. Because, well, it's true. 

Connor never really struggled with potty training (not in the way that some of his friends have), but I tell you, that kid can be aggressive. 

Isla has always nursed like a champ, but the girl didn't start sleeping through the night until she was 21 months old. 

Like I said, all kids have their strengths and their weaknesses. And all I am looking for in another mom is a little sympathy. A little encouragement that my kid isn't crazy. A little gesture that I am not alone. Because, I tell you what, there is nothing suckier than a backhanded insult from another mom. It's worse than dealing with toddler tantrums all day after a sleepless night. It just sucks. That's all I'm sayin'. Ok, that's not all I'm saying.

So ladies, the next time you think about cutting down another mom in her moment of weakness, remember YOUR KIDS AREN'T PERFECT. No matter how much you think they are, they aren't. And really, making yourself feel superior for a moment is not worth tearing down another mom. 

It always goes back to the basics, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. And there is ALWAYS something nice to say. So build other mama's up by looking for that nice thing to say to them when they are spilling out their guts. It will help out, more than you think. 

Making Memories {embrace the camera}

Yesterday Isla and I had this amazingly fun time in the backyard. Why wasn't Connor included? Well, he is once again going through a dog fearing stage and doesn't want to be in the back yard. But, Isla and I, we lived it up.

We started with bubbles. Isla has a bit of a stubborn streak about her. She wanted to do the bubbles all by herself, but couldn't. At first she couldn't get the bubble wand out of the bottle, but after watching me do it a couple times, quickly caught on.

But no matter how many times she tried, she just couldn't blow bubbles. I think it has something to do with the space between the bubble wand and her mouth, but she didn't want to listen to me. Every couple minutes, she would let me blow her bubbles force the bubble wand into my hand, signifying she wanted me to blow bubbles.

We really did have a good time together. But I have to admit, my favorite time in the backyard with Isla has no photo evidence. Isla crawled into my lap and we swung together. Normally she isn't a fan of swinging with me, but yesterday she was.

For a bit, she hung on to the swing and had the largest smile on her face. She even made a few "weeeee" noises for me when we really got going. Then, as we went higher, she let go of the swing and wrapped her hands around my body and squished her face to my chest. It was the BEST FEELING EVER.

At first I thought she might be afraid and started to slow down, but she responded with a "more swing", so back up we went. We spent about half an hour on the swing because between those tiny little arms tightly wrapped around me and the huge smiles I was getting, I literally couldn't get enough.

At one point I even wished I had a personal photographer to follow me around and take pictures of special times like that...or at least if my eyes were a camera because what I was seeing was just so beautiful. Those smiles, those squeals of delight...it was amazing. It's times like that that give me the fuel to get through the temper tantrums, food throwing and door slamming. Because moments like that, are just so beautiful, amazing, perfect.

After having our little backyard adventure, I noticed my friend Anna post about Embrace the Camera and their theme for yesterday was "making memories". Even though I am a day late, I couldn't help but share the amazing memory that Isla and I made yesterday.

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