Oh the Embarrassment


This little guy managed to embarrassment me so much today that I just wanted to crawl somewhere dark where no one could see me.

We went to the store. When we came out there was a handicap van parked next to us that was open with its ramp down. The people were getting ready to load someone into the van. I was putting Isla in the car. Connor took this opportunity to climb out of the cart and proceed to run up and down the van's handicap ramp. Once I got Isla in the car, I turned around to stop the madness and Connor proceeds to run inside the van and start playing around. Mind you, the people with their wheelchair bound son are just staring away...probably in amazement at my lack of parenting skills. I tried to talk Connor out of the van. That didn't work. So, I had to climb in these people's van and forcibly remove him. I tried to redeem myself by having Connor talk to the people, but he was angry about the removal by force and refused to talk. I apologized and got out of there as quickly as possible...I needed to stop the embarrassment. Oh that kid. 

Splish Splash Stacking Bath Cups {Nuby Product Review}


One of the things as a parent I think you can never have enough of are bath toys. They get played with all the time, sit in pee soaked water (come on, don't act like your kids don't pee in the bath!), and somehow manage to get strewn all over the house. I must not forget that many of them eventually find their way to the trash because of mold. Sure there are a few that seem amazingly mold resistant (and thus make me love them) but that is another story. Bath toys get used and abused more than other toys in my house.


Enter Nuby splish splash stacking bath cups. Not only are they fun colors and have holes in the bottom to entertain the kiddos, but they stack to save room on storage, well and to teach hand/eye coordination, but I like the saving space part a lot. AND, since I mentioned it before, they are made of hard plastic, not the soft plastic that is so susceptible to mold in my house. Who am I kidding, the list doesn't stop there! They are BPA free and an economical choice given that they are currently going for only $4.99 at BuyBabyDirect. Steal!


But back to the fun...holes in the bottom of the cup, you say? Yep, that's right. Isla loved the holes in the bottom of the cup. She loved it when I would hold them in the air full of water and she would play in the water streaming down. She then quickly learned to hold them in the air herself and let the water stream down. And I will admit, I loved the fact that the water left those little holes slow enough that I could get away with using the big cup to wash Isla's hair. Multi purpose in my book is a huge score. 


Have I sold you on the splash splash stacking bath cups yet? They are available for purchase at BuyBabyDirect, CookiesKids, Amazon and BabyEarth. Unfortunately for you though, the cups don't come with my adorable little girl ;)




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. 

The Preschool Visit


Today we visited a local preschool for Connor. I was pretty nervous. I felt like we would be judged on how well the visit would go. And as you know, the wrong preschool could ruin Connor's whole life. So I was nervous to say the least.

I am pleased to say, it went well. Well enough than I am trying to forget that Connor had a meltdown when it was time to leave the classroom and I had to carry him out screaming his head off. Just a minor bump in the road. At least the preschool director was cool about it. She didn't even bat an eye. In fact she said she couldn't believe how quick Connor was able to bounce back from his meltdown. Um, thanks? 

When the director was walking us to the classroom that Connor would be a part of, he kept saying "I want to go to school" and I kept reassuring him that was in fact where we were at. When we got to the classroom, the director said Connor could go interact with the other kids. Without hesitation, he went right in. After a few minutes, one of the teachers asked what his name was. She said the other kids were asking and when asked what his name was, Connor would only respond back about the toys.  Nice one Connor! It was leaving this classroom that Connor had his meltdown.

Now we wait and see. By mid-March we will know if Connor made it in or is on the wait list. I am hoping he makes it in because I have heard nothing but praise about this preschool. Either way though, I am keeping my feelers out for other good preschools in the area as a back up plan.


I can't believe it is almost time for this adorable little boy to go to preschool. But I know he will enjoy it oh-so-much. He loves being around other kids. Hanging with his mom and little sis all day just isn't cutting it any more. Poor mama, already not as cool to Connor as I used to be. 

Its the Little Things


I have found my true calling in life. My world was rocked this weekend. I ask that you please hold your judgement until you know. Because when you know, you will understand. But, back to my true calling. I want to be a sweater shaver salesperson. No need to refresh your browser, you read that one correctly. This magical little device rocked my world and I want to see it change others as well. 


How did I go so long in life without such a cheap and useful little tool?! Seriously, it is less than $10 and works amazingly well. Lets not even talk about the fact that I have gotten rid of sweaters before when they had too many fur balls on them. Yes, I called them fur balls


I am such an instant gratification person, so I loved the sound it made when it chopped off the fur balls. And even better was throwing away the lint. It was amazing! You think that is a lot of lint for one sweater? On my next one, I had to empty the tray two times! Loved it!


I tried to do a little before and after shot for you. Just focus on the disappearing fur balls. Amazing. If you don't already own this amazing product, get one NOW. It will change your life. 

Stop laughing. Seriously. IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

04/52

Every week (like it has been so many weeks already) I think to myself how I should do some planned out shots with the kids. Alas, I find myself at the end of each week throwing my camera on a chair and trying to get the kids to sit still. Actually, this week I will give myself a bit of a break. I have been waiting for the sun to come out so I could take some good natural light photos. That never happened.  There's always next week, right?!



This week:

  • We went right from the flu to colds. Awesome.
  • The amount of crime that has happened in Modesto this week boggles my mind. 
  • Isla is piecing two words together. WHAT?! I am pretty sure it took Connor forever to do this. 
  • We are checking out a preschool on Monday. I am nervous and hoping Connor behaves. 
  • Isla is teething. We have had a couple brutal nights. I am hoping for some more solid sleep in the future. 
  • A worker at Starbucks gave me a free drink and it literally made my day. How lame does that make me?
  • A bath with a glass of wine and a magazine was the perfect way to end the week. 
Even though I don't "work"(yeah, trust me, I work my butt off) I still so look forward to the weekends. 


I'm linking up with Lindsay over at Hello Hue.

Preschool







The other day at my mom's group, the subject of preschool came up. After all, four of us have kids that are of that age, so we need to start thinking that way. A couple seasoned moms started throwing recommendations our way and telling us how things are done. I was blindsided. Apparently good preschools fill up fast. And enrollment/acceptance happens in March. MARCH?! I better get my butt into gear.  

This left me with the same feeling I had right after Ian and I started planning our wedding and finding out that some vendors are booked years in advance. That feeling would be a combination of shock and awe. Shock that things fill up that fast and awe that there are people that plan ahead that much. But there is another feeling that comes along with the whole preschool decision. It is like I am making a major life choice for my kid. Like if I pick the wrong preschool (or he isn't picked for the right one, or if I was too late) that it will be disastrous for his life. Now, the sane part of me know this isn't true. But the mother part of me feels like this is the biggest decision I have ever made. It doesn't help that other moms make you feel that way about it. 

Here's to hoping I get Connor in the right preschool and don't ruin his whole life before he even turns four! 

And just for kicks, here is a little interview I did with Connor today:



video

Looks Can Be Deceiving


I know what you are thinking, "Aww, how cute. Jessica actually made her bed today and wants everyone to know." Though I am immensely proud of myself for making the bed AND washing my sheets today (after all, I did just have the stomach flu!) that isn't the point.

Tonight after Connor was in bed and finally fell silent, Ian went to check on him. And for a minute there, it appeared that the little tyke had disappeared. Alas, he had shimmied his way into our made bed and fell asleep.



Ian said he knew about the clean sheets and wanted in on the whole thing. Whatever the reason, I thought it was cute. It just worries me a little how dang close he likes to sleep to the edge of the bed. He likes to sleep this close to the edge of the bed all the time. Sure he has only fallen out of bed a hand full of times, but it still worries his mama a little.



After all the picture taking, Connor was moved to his own bed. Don't worry, I am sure it will only be a couple hours before he realizes he was moved and comes wondering back in. He is making his way into our bed almost nightly these days. And it is always to my side of the bed. I have a soft spot for it though. I can remember sneaking into my parents bed almost every night growing up. It was my dad that had the soft spot and always let me in.

Um, Yeah



I'm pretty sure when I went into this weekend I was thinking it was going to be a relaxing one. We have had so much going on lately and I was just looking forward to some downtime. Apparently life had other plans. Those other plans started somewhere around midnight Friday night (or Saturday morning, depending how technical you want me to get). Connor came in the living room and broke up our party by throwing up. He continued to throw up through the night and well into Saturday. 


On Saturday, Isla went down for a nap, like always. After a couple hours she woke up. I went to walk in her room and discovered the door locked. Now we live in an old house, with original door handles. And we discovered that the little screw that needs to be turned to unlock the door no longer had a head on it. Awesome. Isla was crying and we were plotting how to get in her room, doing the least damage as possible. In the end we broke off her door handle. Of course, it took a few more minutes to figure out how to get the door open. And Ian was not too happy with me taking pictures of the whole thing. But hey, it was my way of coping. After all, there was no way for me to comfort my crying child.

With Connor seemingly on the mend (though he still is on the mend...or still a little sickly...it's all about how you look at it!) we sent the kids to my in law's house while we went out as planned. And it was a fun night. No drama there. 

Of course, Sunday morning was a little different. When Isla woke up, she was covered in diarrhea. As I was cleaning it up, Ian walks in the room. I was thinking "great, now you can help". He walked in to inform me that Connor had just done the same thing all over himself. Awesome. Into the bath the kids went. Poor Connor just can't seem to catch a break! 

Thankfully the rest of Sunday wasn't bad. Sure, Connor still isn't eating. And we broke a tool and the bathroom drain while doing our diy. But no throw up, so I'll take what I can get. Now I am hoping for a restful and boring week. 

- Insert a day break. I wrote the above on Sunday night and below Monday night - 

My restful and boring week is laughing at my face. I came down with the stomach flu. Have been in my bed (and with my face in the toilet) all day. Why no picture? Well that one is simple. I don't look anywhere at cute as Connor does when he is sick. 

Here's to hoping the flu doesn't spread any further in our house. And that I have enough energy and patience to get through the day alone with the kids. It's times like this that I really miss my mama! 

03/52


These pictures were taken in the bathroom. The bathroom that is mostly done. We seemed to have taken a break from the chaos that is diy this week and I think we needed it. One more little push and things will be done...the biggest thing is we need to get the door refinished and back up. But given our plumbing situation, we don't have guests over right now anyway!


This week:

  • Connor had a meltdown of epic proportions and a guy laughed at us while it was happening. If my hands weren't full, that guy would have gotten a mommy-sized beat down. 
  • I made an asian feast for dinner that the whole family seemed to enjoy. 
  • I got a migraine so bad I felt nauseous. That rarely ever happens to me. So, I ended up in bed at 8. 
  • I won a contest. I won a BunGenius cloth diaper. I was so excited. 
  • Connor and Ian built a blanket fort and Connor loves it. 
  • Isla seems to be trying to bite Connor every chance she gets. Anyone with bitters out there want to give me some advice? Or at least some encouragement?
  • We had a play date at the park. It feels like it has been forever since we have been to the park because of how cold it has been. It was nice to get out and get some fresh air. 

It's been quite the week. I am looking forward to a weekend of having the hubby around...and a date night on Saturday!

I'm linking up with Lindsay over at Hello Hue.

Isla {15 months}




Weight:  22.5 lbs (my measurement)
Length:  30.5 inches (my measurement)


Accomplishments:
Runs
12 teeth
Says numerous words (maybe 10ish)
Gives high fives
Climbs up stairs


Isla is at a great age right now. A sweet spot. Not so old that she is running all over the place, but old enough that she is sleeping well, babbling and just being freaking cute. This little lady is all girl. It makes me laugh. She loves her some bracelets, purses and patty cake. Oh, and let me not forget talking on the phone. She now swipes any phone she sees in sight. She puts it up to her ear and says "hello". So cute. A couple weeks ago, she managed to call my parents and had a couple minute conversation with them before I even realized what was going on. They loved it. As far as I could tell, she just said hello repeatedly. 

Isla is a little diva. If she doesn't get her way, she dramatically throws herself on the ground and cries. And it is too funny not to laugh. Oh the drama. It is so freaking funny. She is especially dramatic about me not allowing her to play on my parent's stairs. When I tell her no, her little lip juts out and she pouts for a few seconds before bursting into tears. Drama, I tell you. 


Though Isla loves other people, when she is tired, she is her mama's girl. BUT, the excitement on her face when her daddy comes home from work can't be matched. She runs from wherever she is in the house toward the front door, yelling repeatedly "hello". She loves her daddy. Speaking of love, Isla loves giving hugs now. She lays her little head on my shoulder and puts her arms around me. Then she pulls herself up, smiles at me and does it all over again. I have to admit, it is one of my favorite things she does right now. So, I let her (and encourage her) do it over and over and over again. Melts my heart. 

Isla is still not sleeping through the night so much. She does have nights every once in a while where she will sleep all night, but in general, she wakes once. And I really shouldn't complain because most of the time, she sleeps 13-14 hours at night. Even with one night waking (which is usually in the 4 o'clock hour), she is sleeping stellar. She is down to one nap now as well. It is in the afternoon. She usually goes down sometime between 1 and 2 and sleeps for 2-3 hours. Again, no complains there. 

Isla is a foodie and oh so easy to feed. She has been off baby food for months now...I think the last time I gave her any was when she was around 10 months. She eats everything we eat, but usually with a couple supplements on the side. And she isn't a picky eater. She has her moments, but normally will eat whatever is in front of her. Also, as long as I take her plate when she is done, she won't throw it. Otherwise, to the floor it goes. 


I just turned Isla's car seat forward facing in the car. I wanted to make it to 2 years, but couldn't stand any longer what was happening with Connor and Isla sitting next to each other, opposite facing. Think feet to face, pinching, biting and more. Car rides were always an adventure. And since Isla's convertible car seat could only fit rear facing in the middle, I decided to turn her around. She seems happy with it. And I am happy to no longer hear fighting/abuse during every car ride. And a bonus is, I can now easily see her and see what she is up to. 

Isla is one touch cookie. She has to put up with her rough brother all day long. She does a good job keeping up with him. I even saw her run after him the other day. Run! She isn't old enough to run yet! She also bites him. It started out as biting to defend herself and has turned into biting to get her way. We are trying to deal with this. Either way, Isla and Connor seem to always gravitate toward each other and the toys that they are playing with. Hopefully someday they will learn to play together and be best of buds...and great friends as adults, like me and my brother. 

Oh Isla. 15 months. It's going too fast. I know I say that all too often, but it's true. I have to admit, I enjoy you so much more with each passing day. I enjoy watching your personality emerge. I enjoy the hugs you give me. I enjoy hearing you talk. I love you little girl. 


How I Met Your Father {three}



Feel free to go back and read part one and part two to get all caught up.


In the fall of 2000, both Ian and I headed off to college...3.5 hours apart. It was the first time either of us were away from home. I can remember us hatching our genius plan of getting the same mobile carrier so we could have unlimited mobile to mobile while apart. And let me tell you, we sure as heck used it. To this day, Ian doesn't like talking on the phone and he said it is because of that year. 

Moving away from home and each other really brings up things in a relationship. To date, this was the hardest year we have ever had. We had to learn to live life separately, yet together. We had to learn to trust explicitly. And when we didn't like things and wanted change, the doors were slammed in our faces. We had to learn to live with disappointment.  


I went to a christian school where boys weren't allowed in the dorm rooms. This was such a pain in the butt for long distance relationships. Ian and I would take turns visiting each other. When he came to see me, we went and stayed at my aunt and uncle's, which was about half an hour from my school. When I would go visit Ian, I would stay in a room with two girl's on his hall...who would have their boyfriends in there as well. Yes, at one point there were FIVE of us sleeping in one small as all get out dorm room, all because I wanted to be "good" and not shack it up with my man. 


As I said, that year came with its ups and its downs. One of those downs came in the form of a girl named Lauren. And if that Lauren ever happens on my blog, all I have to say is NOT COOL LAUREN. NOT COOL. But back to the story...Lauren met Ian during freshman orientation and proceeded to throw herself at him the entire year. It was sad. It was pathetic. It pissed me off. The girl even met me numerous times and still did it. When Ian refused to hug her, she showed up at his dorm room crying to him about it. Really Lauren?! REALLY!? But in all honesty, it really showed me how dedicated Ian was to me. And it certainly built up trust in our relationship. 


Some of the ups of that year came because we were away from home. We could go exploring. We could stay up all night. We could do whatever we wanted when we were together. We would go on hikes. We would go for coffee. We would go to the beach. We would go on drives. We would watch movies. We just had fun. It was fun not having anyone around telling you when you needed to be home (sorry parents!). Aww, the life of an 18 year old! 


The hard part was when we would both be home for the holidays. Our families wanted just as much attention from us as we wanted to give to each other. But also, a lot of our times off didn't line up with each other, which kind of sucked. 

Pretty quickly after going to different schools, we realized it wasn't smart. I started trying to transfer to Ian's school. And I was denied. I can remember the heartbreak. But it also helped me make some decisions. Rather than wasting copious amounts of money at a private school (which I really did love, by the way) when I really wanted to be with my boyfriend, I decided at the end of the year to pack it up and head home.

And that summer of 2001 held adventure for us. My first family vacay with the Grimbleby's. 


Thoughts On Staying Home



I never thought much about being a stay at home mom. Heck, I never even obsessed much about having kids until we finally decided to try. In fact, I actually thought I would hate staying at home. After all, I have always loved having a pay check (dual incomes rock). I have always loved getting promotions. And I loved coming up with something creative when people asked me what I do. 

Enter Connor. I enjoyed staying home with that little bundle of tears (poor kid used to cry oh-so-much) more than I could ever have imagined. I remember literally being physically ill when planning my entrance back into the working world. I just couldn't imagine someone else caring for my child. I couldn't imagine just leaving him behind while I headed off to work. Alas, life changed. We moved back to the states and that awarded me the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. 

Aww, the easy life. Sleeping in until...sorry I was dreaming there. Though staying at home is nowhere near being easy, it really has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. The pride I feel when one of my kids learns something new is unbearable. And seeing their adorable smiles really brightens my day. Now the poop and the temper tantrums are a bit of a downer, but every job has its down side. 

The thing I struggle with is when I meet someone new or see someone I haven't seen in a while and they ask me "What do you do?" In certain circles, I say with pride that I stay at home with my little bambinos. But other times, I almost find myself whispering that I stay at home. It almost feels like I have digressed, that I shouldn't be proud of my decision. The weird thing is, I don't feel this way. I feel blessed that I get to stay at home. I can't imagine doing anything different. I just need to get over my own self consciousness and say with pride that I choose to forego a paycheck to instead work pro bono wiping noses (and butts), making snacks, dealing with temper tantrums, playing with trains...heck, I can tell you just about any sort of technical term for various train things you would like to know! 

So hear I am, learning again as an adult to accept (and be proud of) me for me. I am doing a job I love. I am doing a job that I currently consider the most important in the world. So why should I care if I don't get a pay check and don't have a fancy title?


Lately {in photos}


1. Park fun
2. A little ride at John's Incredible Pizza
3. Good morning!
4. A little tractor riding
5. Busting out of the house
6. Driving
7. Showing some Giants pride
8. Tea time
9. The cardboard house is still fun
10. Getting my ears checked
11. Making some cookies
12. Reflecton

02/52

I can't believe how much the kids are into the timer light on the camera. That little flashing light magically gets them to look at the camera. Now I wonder how long it will mesmerize them for. I give it a couple more weeks before they no longer care!


I hope you all have a great weekend. We will be putting back together our bathroom. Hopefully by the end of the weekend it will be fully functioning (and possibly looking cute too?), well except for the plumbing. The city comes out on Monday for that though, so progress is happening.

Los Angeles


In another life after college, Ian and I lived in Los Angeles for a few years. We had a great time there. We made a lot of memories, did a lot of exploring and had a lot of fun. We even held on to a little token from our time there, a house. After Ian and I had relocated to Scotland, my parents decided it was safe for them to move to LA and they did. The great thing about that is now we have a reason to visit and a free place to lay our heads...not to mention babysitting while we are visiting! 

The thing that I love about LA is that no longer how long you have lived there or how many times you have visited, there is always something new to see or explore. And Ian and I always love taking advantage of the free babysitting (not to mention the fact that everything is open late) and slip out after the kids are asleep to go exploring. 


While we were in LA after Christmas, we visited Syrup Desserts in downtown LA. It sure was scrumptious. But it sure was crowded too. You have to fight for a seat. Like seriously flight. I risked my life for a table for us, but I got it. Ian had carrot cake. I had a waffle. It was delicious and just the right size. It was a great night cap. 

My mom and I went to the Melrose Trading Post. It's a flea market at Fairfax High School. It was full of all sorts of fun things. The prices though were too high for my taste...I'm a bargain hunter. But it sure did give my mom and I tons of ideas to try out. 


While on an adventure to the 99 Cents Store in Beverly Hills (yes, you read that correctly), we stumbles across the Urban Lights display at the LACMA. I recognized them from movies, but had no clue where they were. Apparently they are only a block away from the 99 Cents Store in Beverly Hills! In case you were wondering why we were at the 99 Cents Store in Beverly Hills, apparently it is the highest grossing one in the country and my parents wanted to go to it. Then we walked down to the Urban Lights display and enjoyed ourselves for a bit. The only way I can sum up standing in the middle of the lights is as magical. It was totally magical. If you are in LA, be sure to stop by there at night. 


Of course, I never turn my back on my favorites either. Almost every time I visit my parents, I make sure to make a trip to my favorite place, The Griddle Cafe. I found this place back when we lived here. If you visited me while we lived down there, or if you are ever down there with me, chances are I have drug you here. After all, the pancakes are bigger than my head and oh-so-scrumptious! If you decide to go, be prepared to wait. Especially on the weekends. The wait can be well over an hour long. But trust me, those amazing pancakes are worth the wait. Plus, they serve coffee via french press. And all the workers are always friendly. 

Aww, now I have myself missing LA. Soon enough I will be down there again, Well, not soon enough, but eventually. 

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