A Messy Comparison


These pictures were taken one day apart...in age that is. Connor was 16 months, 14 days and Isla was 16 months, 13 days. Apparently both of them were in the mood to be cheeky monkeys normal toddlers at the same time! Both times this happened while I was in the shower. You would think I would start showering while my kids are asleep! At least I have smartened up a little since Connor was a baby and the q-tips are no longer accessible. Now the toilet paper, I am hoping to not have to remove that from an accessible level anytime soon. I'll just teach Isla that isn't cool to do. And in case you were wondering, I collected up all that tp off the ground and still used it. I am so cheap.


And in case you want to walk down memory lane, her are comparisons from when they were 8 months, 5 months and wee little babes.

Our Plumbing is Fixed...mostly

The plumbers woke Isla up at 7:15 this morning after she (and I) had a really bad night last night. But, I forgive them. They were helping us out, after all. 

Do you see all that is going on in this picture? All for little 'ole us. I mean, we got the privilege of paying to have someone come hold the electrical pole while the sewer pipe was replaced, just in case. It's like a dream come true. I love spending our money on things like that. Who wants a fancy vacation when they can be paying for...

In all seriousness, being able to flush toilet paper again after two freaking months is like a dream come true! I'm going to ignore the fact that the city still needs to come back and replace their section of pipe that apparently is blocked by a major root. And that could cause our plumbing to back up...so please come out soon city of Modesto!

Even if everything isn't totally fixed, it's close enough. I flushed toilet paper town my toilet today and it was amazing. 

Lemon Juice

Yesterday, my mom and I canned a ton of lemon juice. While we were juicing away, Connor asked for a glass of the juice, so we obliged. The problem was, some got on the rim and once he tasted that, he refused to take a swig. Isla was standing there, angry that she didn't get any. So I drank most of the lemon juice from the glass and handed it to her...

video

My favorite part is when she gets the whole body shakes. You can't really tell on video, but her whole body shook. It was funny. And then the crazy girl went back for seconds!

Almond Blossom Festival

Being from the sticks California's central valley, we get to enjoy our fair share of food related celebrations. After all, food grows where water flows. Ok, that was such a lame thing to say that only someone who has spent far too many hours driving in the highways of the central valley would get. We are a bunch of lame people over here. The bottom line is, when the almond trees are in bloom, it is so incredibly beautiful, so why not celebrate it? And why not celebrate it with a carnival?


I must ask, why are carnival rides so freaking expensive? It's practically like taking your kid to Disneyland! But I am a sucker and love seeing Connor happy (then subsequently melt down once the fun is over).


Ian and Connor went on the big slide together. Even though Connor was big enough to go on it by himself, I didn't trust my little man to be by himself so high up in the air. That kid is unpredictable and I didn't want him to jump or try to run down the slide. Judging buy the smiles, I am thinking Ian had just as much fun on the slide as Connor. 

When Connor gets on rides, he gets incredibly seriously and does not smile. He also refuses to look at the camera. I get it though. I am always shoving that thing in his face.


Isla got to go on her first ferris wheel ride. Please don't tell her that Connor went on his first when he was only a week old. If we have another kid, they will probably have to wait until they are five or something.


Isla threw the tickets when we were waiting in line. Thankfully the nice carnie just laughed and climbed down and got them for us. Then Isla pitched a fit about sitting on the ferris wheel. The carnie was nervous about sending us up, as he said he didn't want me stuck so high up in the air with a crying toddler. So, he just ran the ferris wheel with only a fraction of the seats filled and a line of people waiting. Like I said, he was a nice carnie.

Isla loved the ferris wheel. She spent the whole time staring out. She even started laughing when we went up. It was cute. And I am glad I didn't get stuck at the top with her pitching a fit. 


Connor went on the airplanes. It took him a while to figure out how to make the airplane go in the air. All the other airplanes were in the air and he was happy just going around in circles. We were yelling at him to pull the lever. He pulled it and went up a couple inches, then fell back down. That was enough for him to understand and he happily spent the rest of the time in the air.

 ^^ In this mama's eyes, this picture wins the most adorable picture of the day award. What is it about dad's and their kids?!



And this little obstacle course was Connor's last pick of the day. It was also what he ran into earlier in the day without a ticket. And it was also what he fell to the ground and cried in front of when we told him it was time to go. Sorry Connor, but all good things must come to an end.

Thankfully we got In-n-Out on the way home, so the good times didn't end at the carnival.

08/52

The thing about weekly pictures is it points out how quickly life is going by when I already feel that way. The other thing about weekly pictures is that it documents every week that is flying buy with these two and I like that.  

And on a completely unrelated note, after seeing these pictures, I realize these jeans aren't the most flattering thing in my closet. 
^^ A lot of the time, I am left feeling I am getting more into things (like jumping) than the kids are! But hey, why be a parent if you can't use it as an excuse to act like a kid from time to time?!



This week:

  • I scored Isla some brand new Toms on craigslist for $10. I am so excited about that find. 
  • Isla moved up to the next nursery class at my moms group. Her and Connor's class have outside time together. Isla's teacher approached me about Connor being aggressive toward her, but not other kids. I guess it doesn't just happen at home! 
  • I slept until 10am yesterday. Amazing
  • Connor has become so much like a sponge and repeats e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.
  • I rearranged our living room. I am pretty sure I love it, so now need to rehang the pictures to go with the new layout. 
  • Apparently it was a week for house stuff. I also randomly decided to paint Ian's bathroom. 
  • Connor got his first, and then his second, set of little legos. I wasn't ready for the little pieces that ended up everywhere within a matter of minutes. Those new legos sets are now at my parent's house for Connor to play with over there. 

Trivial {yet very real} Trials



It's been a rough week. One that has stretched me both mentally and physically. I have been dealing with a daughter who isn't even comforted by my arms at times. Teething, perhaps. We have had a few almost sleepless nights that leave me delirious and on edge in the morning. Then days full of restlessness and crying. As I was comforting my baby the other day and thinking about all I wasn't getting done, I was struck. I was actually doing my job right then and doing well. I was rocking my baby and that is just what I was supposed to be doing at that moment. Not doing the dishes piled in the sink (and all over the counter, for that matter).


I have been dealing with training a toddler on what is acceptable and unacceptable on how to act. Running away from mom in public (or private, for that matter)? Not acceptable. Saying thank you? Acceptable. Pushing, pinching or hitting your sister? Not acceptable. Throwing a fit when you don't get your way? Not acceptable. Having a conversation with mom about your behavior and responding like you understand? Acceptable. Three is hard. Yet has so many amazing moments as well. It seems like when I am at my wits end, Connor does something so amazingly adorable, I can't resist him. Today when going to do something fun, we were talking about how to act when the fun was done, he responded to me "I won't make a scene". I had to laugh, not only out of the adorableness, but out of the fact that I know that is something I tell him, don't make a scene.


As hard as this week has been, I wouldn't wish it any other way. These challenges are what I have always wanted. In fact, I cherish them so much. I always try to give myself the perspective that at least these adorable kiddos of mine are still talking to me freely, because I know those teenage years could kick me in the butt!


And then there are other reminders of all I have to be thankful for too. We have our health. We have happiness. We have a home. We have food in our cupboards. We have a good life. I am thankful for that. I am thankful for the trivial (yet VERY REAL) trials I face as a mother on a daily basis. And I am thankful for the husband that I have that is willing to give me a break and take over the parenting duties when I just need a break. I really am blessed.


P.S. Don't be fooled by these pictures of such a happy Isla. Yes, they were taken yesterday. But really, this week has not been filled with my normal, happy Isla. Anyone that has spent time with her this week can tell you that. 

Fear

I had some pretty substantial (and ridiculous) fears growing up. Fears that crippled me more than I think I let on. I remember literally being scared for my life at times. Thankfully, as I've gotten older, I have gotten more of a handle on those fears. Learning to give them to God and keep perspective. One thing I never wanted to do was pass on my fears to my children. I wanted them to live carefree, fearless lives. 

The problem is, we live in a broken world. And unfortunately Connor has developed fears of his own. Some healthy (scared of being hit by cars), some sad and crippling. Connor has become so afraid of dogs barking that it controls our lives. He goes into hysterics if dogs barks. He wants away from it. He slams all the doors in the house and will stand in the dining room crying. Sad. Heart breaking. And I never realized how often dogs bark in our neighborhood until this happened...actually, that is a bit of a lie. I can remember laying in bed at 2am unable to sleep due to the neighbor's dog barking. All our neighbors have dogs and one in particular just leaves the dog outside 24/7 to fend for itself and that dog is a major barker. But back to Connor...

One day we were in his room playing and he starts talking about the neighbor's dogs. He said the dog came in his room and bit him and ate him. It was right then and there that I realized just how real this fear is to Connor. He has asked me to put up baby gates in our house to protect him from the dogs and even climbed a ladder to get away from them. Mind you, all this happened without any dogs in our house. It was just from the dogs barking outside. 

The weird thing is, Connor likes dogs. He isn't afraid of them at all. He will play with them and loves it when they lick him. But he hates their barking. Most days, when we are home, I have found that this fear controls our lives. Besides talking and praying about it, I have been looking for realistic ways to help. In a desperate state the other day, I grabbed a pair of headphones and plugged them into the tv to calm Connor down. Normally I am not a fan of the tv, but it certainly helped. 

This fear of Connor's breaks my heart and often times cripples our home. I pray that it is a phase he is not in long. And if anyone has any suggestions, I am definitely open to try things to help him overcome this. 

Nuby No Spill Cup {nuby product review}



When it comes to things like sippy cups, I am a no-frills type of mom. I want one with as few parts as possible, that doesn't leak and can take a beating. Oh, and I'd like it to be reasonably priced too! I'm not asking too much, right?!


The Nuby no-spill cup is just that. With only three parts, its simple enough. Having used it for over a month now, I know it can take a beating. And so far, no signs of leaking. No need for me to run after my kids and set their sippy cups upright to keep my floors semi-clean. And guess what, it is cheap! At $4.99 for two cups, it's quite the bargain. And as always, the cup is BPA free. 



I love how the restrictor can be flipped to allow for either slow or fast flow. I have Isla's cup set on slow and Connor's on fast. And one of my favorite things about all of Nuby's sippy cups, is they actually offer replacement pieces. So, if you happen to lose that restrictor, you can order a new one. I can't begin to tell you how many cups I have thrown away because of things like this. That alone literally makes me want to only use Nuby sippy cups...that and the fact that this is currently my go-to cup for both kids.


The Nuby no spill cups are available for purchase as BuyBabyDirect, Walmart, Diapers.com, Amazon and CookiesKids.


Perhaps you have a younger baby who isn't quite ready for a hard spout cup. Be sure to check out my review on three of Nuby's soft spout cups. Their soft spout cups are amazing for transitioning from bottle (or breast!) to cup. 


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. 

Rain

I have been missing the rain lately. It really just doesn't rain enough in Modesto for me. I try to see the positives to this when I think about it...like thinking about not having to drag two kids to the store in the pouring rain and ending up so wet that all my layers of clothing are soaked though. But it doesn't always help because I just like rain. There is just something about it.


It is like a cleansing to my soul. It is relaxing. I love the sound of it. I love the smell of it. I love watching it drip drop on the ground, and on the windows for that matter.

I love how Connor gets excited about the rain as well. Heck, the kid wants the car window open in the rain! I love how Isla scrunches up her face as the rain is falling on her head and face. 

I love how the rain gives me an excuse to go outside and play, then come inside and cuddle up with Connor under a blanket to get warm. 

This rain couldn't have come at a better time. I needed a little soul cleansing. This whole stay at home mom business can get lonely at times. And it's weird for me to say I am lonely when I am not even left alone to pee! But it happens. And having the rain come has been the perfect excuse to change up the routine a little and do things a little different. Like I said, it's good for my soul. 

It's the Little Things

Sometimes the smallest things in life can have such a big impact.

If you asked my 5 years ago what kind of door stopper I wanted, I probably would have laughed at you or rolled my eyes. More than likely, both. When we moved into our house in Modesto, all the doors had your average door stopper.


It took all of 13 seconds for Connor to learn how to untwist and thus remove the door stoppers. Thus every single dang door stopper in my house would go missing every day. Not such a big deal, right? Did I mention I have toddlers? And those said toddlers also have an obsession with the doors. And the doors without door stoppers were constantly getting slammed into the walls. Awesome.

Low and behold, for a whopping $3 each, I could change my door stoppers and my life. No more chasing down lost door stoppers and grabbing doors before the handle goes through the wall.


My life is now so calm and easy over here. So that may not be true, but at least I no longer have to worry about holes in my walls...well holes caused by the doors anyway!

07/52

Thanks to my brother for taking this picture this week. And just to prove that we aren't all smiles all the time, here's a little action shot for you...



Sibling brutality. Story of my life lately. Hopefully it won't last as long as it did with my brothers and I. And I am now starting to understand why my mom got so tired of us fighting all the time. It gets old. Fast.

This week:

  • Hello 70's! Thanks for stopping by for a couple days. I'm sad that you are heading back out, but excited for spring. 
  • Red cupcake crumbs have managed to wedge themselves in every tiny crevice in my house. Awesome
  • I let Connor play with the neighbor kids outside while I made dinner the other night. This was a first. And I was ok with it because I could see him from the kitchen window the whole time. I'm trying to let go a little. tear. 
  • I canned some pasta sauce. Oh and made more homemade laundry detergent. So domestic!
  • We seemed to have go through all the obvious series choices on Netflix. I normally am a comedy girl, but we have started The West Wing because our friends love it. Does anyone have any other recommendations?


Valentines Day 2013

Though I am not big on the manufactured day of love (i.e. valentines day), I am big on letting my hubby know I love him. Even if it is just in small ways, I want him to know how special he is to me. And now that I am semi-crafy, it is fun to make him things.

First up was red muffins. Connor loves baking so he was more than ready to get in on the action.


What I seemed to have forgotten since the last time I baked with Connor, is that baking with a toddler isn't alway easy. He was more interested in making a mess and sneaking tastes of the batter when I wasn't looking that truly helping. But, it is what I signed up for, so I'll go with it. Cause let's be honest, he is so freaking cute and how exciting he gets about it is irresistible. 


I am definitely pleased with how the muffins turned out. Not only did Ian then get to have a fun valentines breakfast, the kids and I did too. Of course, I really didn't think through this all the way. I now have red colored muffin crumbs all over my house. Time to vacuum! Story of my life...I am learning to be happy with vacuuming multiple times a day. 

Being the nice mom that I am, I did let Connor eat one of the muffins last night after they were done baking.
I came up with the whole red muffin idea on my own (original, right?! Sense the sarcasm.) and then pinterest helped me take it to a whole new level. Though I designed my own "stud muffin" graphic, I did get the idea from someone else...some nameless person in the sea that is pinterest...


After setting the muffins by Ian's work bag, I decided to take it up a notch. I ran and grabbed the "I love you because" board that we made at my MOPS group last week. It's all about presentation, right?!

 And I'm glad I grabbed the board, because in return, Ian left me a note. Way to make me blush babe!

I planned one more little thing to take to Ian at work today. It was a jar full of his favorite gum. And the note was another pinterest find that I made my own by redesigning it. I love it though.


So there you have it. My valentines day. I am not a flower girl, I think they are a waste of money. And I believe in telling it like it is, so I don't end up disappointed. So, I told Ian to come home tonight with some scrumptious cheese and wine for us to enjoy after the kids are in bed and I will be a happy gal.  

Happy valentines day everyone! No matter if you celebrate it over the top or not at all, I hope you enjoy your day and feel the love. 
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