Why I Know I'm Getting Old

As you all know I pointed out yesterday, it was my birthday. The funny thing about getting older is in the last few years I constantly forget how old I am. If you ask me, I will usually tell you the wrong age. Not because I mean to, but because I guess it isn't so important anymore. So, imagine my shock when I recently saw how old one of my friends was and thought to myself, "That's weird, we should be the same age." Duh Jessica, you are old! Maybe that's why I can no longer remember how old I am...

Me, in all my birthday glory, enjoying the sunshine.

In honor of me turning another year older, I thought I would share a few reasons I know I am old...or not so much old, but an adult. Definitely not a child.

Reason 1 - I find myself having to tell my friend's daughter over and over that her mom and I are really cool people.

Reason 2 - I don't think anyone should utter the words "cray, cray" and I cringe whenever I hear it.

Reason 3 - My driving habits certainly have changed. And I no longer think it is cool to brake check people.

Reason 4 - The waist on my jeans just keep getting higher and higher. This mom no longer likes the look of butt crack hanging out...not that I liked the look before, but I certainly owned enough pair of pants that allowed for it.

Reason 5 - I also no longer see my bra straps as an accessory...sorry orange bra.

Reason 6 - I cringe at the thought of some of the things I did as an adult in my early (and even mid) 20's.

Reason 7 - I no longer leave the house in my pajamas.

Reason 8 - Hanging out with my friends usually involves me being home before midnight...though I must say, I am a night owl and this one has more to do with my friends than me.

Reason 9 - I meal plan and shop for groceries weekly.

Reason 10 - I know more real news than celebrity news.


I know, I know. I'm getting up there. It's crazy, but I can't do anything about it. So I'll just embrace it...and at least be happy that people generally think I am much younger than I really am.

 

17/52



This week's post is brought to you from my parent's house in LA. You can't really tell, but they have an amazing view of downtown LA from their balcony. It really is spectacular at night. If only the city would come around to allowing the one stupid palm tree blocking a complete view to be torn down. 



This week:

  • It's my birthday today. I must admit, I have enjoyed getting clothes as presents. It's not often this mama gets new clothes. 
  • Connor has started saying he loves us without being prompted...of course, he said the same thing to a random cat when we were on a walk yesterday!
  • Isla stayed awake on our entire trip down to LA and we didn't arrive until 11pm. And Connor slept for most of the trip. 
  • Connor got to hit/experience a piƱata for the first time. He was more interested in trying to stick his hands in the holes and grab candy than in hitting it. 
  • Isla doesn't sleep well outside of HER bed. This mama is going to be living off coffee for the next few days. 
  • My mom and I scored big time at an estate sale yesterday. I can't believe how much fun it is going through people's old treasures and finding myself some treasures. 

Spring Fashion Week {part 2}

First, thank you ladies for all the comments on my first post. It made my day and made me re-fall in love with my flowy (is this even a word?) floral tank. I love it, but go back an forth between loving it and feeling like it is frumpy. Well, you ladies made me fall back in love with it.

Though I have yet to find time to look at the last couple days of fashion, I am hoping to catch up on that this weekend, I have already been inspired. I now want to find my own colorful layering ensemble like Deanna's. And Charlotte has inspired me that it really is time for me to host another clothing swap, after seeing her adorable outfits all week. She also made me a little jealous that she can still sport her wellies this time of year! And, well, Rachael wins the award for best pictures...which, can your boyfriend give my husband a class or something on taking good pictures?! :) Rachael, you always look so adorable and I still can't get over the fact that we worked together and neither of us remember it!

On to my last three outfits...




Shirt: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Shorts: CAbi
Shoes: Rainbow

And this, my friends, is why I wear a tank top under everything. Because, well, sometimes a girl's just gotta jump! 


Shirt: Topshop
Necklace: PacSun
Shorts: Juicy Couthre
Shoes: Target

Let's just say, I have had these glasses since Ian and I were dating...maybe 12ish years. I have never updated the prescription in them. But my contacts were bugging me, so I wore them. I am thinking it is time to splurge on some new ones. 



Shirt: Target
Necklace: PacSun
Shorts: Juicy Couthre
Shoes: Urban Outfitters

And this is my attempt at being creative with my pictures...then trying to make sure you all saw my cool shoes. 


I want to give another huge thank you to Deanna for hosting fashion week. It is always fun, uplifting and inspiring. And well, I now have a few more blogs to stalk. 

Shaving Cream Finger Painting

Every once in a while, I get an idea so great that I just have to act on it immediately. Because if I don't, well, it will never happen.


The other night in the bath, Isla started playing with my shaving cream container and it gave me an idea. I ran and grabbed a couple little bowls and the food coloring. I quickly returned and shot some shaving cream in each bowl and dropped a few drops of food coloring in each bowl, then swirled the mixture around. And shaving cream finger paint was born...and the tip of my finger was dyed.



It was funny because the kids really had no idea what was going on. They just watched and Connor asked a few questions. Then I set the finger paint in front of them and told them it was to put on the wall. And this is what happened next...



After then showing the kids what to do, they went to town. Both kids were into it, but in their own ways. Isla kept to the same bowl the whole time. She would dip her finger in, then paint on the wall. Connor quickly stopped painting on the wall and started mixing the colors together, then decided to put it in the bath water.


With the water a nice greenish tint and me sitting there, surveying the scene, I had a feeling of deja vu wash over me. Except I remember not liking the food coloring in the bath idea at all last time. Could I have done the same thing before and not remembered? And had I before hated what I now found brilliant? After going through pictures, I was reminded that the food coloring the bath last time came in the form of dyed ice cubes. And I remembered why I hated it. The kids just wanted to play with it on the ledge of the bath and it was dripping all over outside the bath and making a mess. Thankfully this new idea did not do this...maybe that's because this was my idea and I found the last one on pinterest. :)


In true Jessica fashion, after all the playing was done, I drained the bath and refilled it with clean water to finish the kids bath in. Connor told me he didn't want it drained because he liked his blue bath water. He then proceeded to ask me about 50 times "why" I was draining the water.


This is an idea I highly recommend trying. Not only is it fun, but you can't beat the clean up either! Just wash down the walls and they are clean.

Spring Fashion Week {part one}

Every time a fashion week comes around, I always enjoy jumping on board. I love seeing real (i.e. actually doable) fashion ideas from the various ladies that participate and I love the boost of self confidence that comes from all the wonderful comments. This time though came at a rather busy time in our lives. So, I thought I would try to take pictures and post them twice during the week. So, here is part one...minus one outfit because, well, I didn't get around to taking a picture.

Shirt: Forever 21
Pants: Blink NYC (from Madewell)
Shoes: Toms


 Shirt: Old Navy
Shorts: Gap
Shoes: Target


^^ Isn't our new back fence pretty?
Shirt: Topshop
Shorts: Juicy Couture
Shoes: Target

I want to give a shout out to Deanna at Delirious Rhapsody for hosting the fashion week fun. And it's not to late to join in on the fun, or at least check out some of the other ladies wonderful outfits.

A Front Door Makeover

With Ian working hard on our backyard fence this weekend, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to paint our front door. Not only am I not a huge fan of my front door, but it was also looking pretty weathered, so it needed to be either painted or re-stained. I decided a red front door was just what I needed to change things up a bit.


I bought front door paint...before I bought it, I didn't even know such a thing existed! Well it does. What I didn't know about this front door paint is that it is oil based. So, when the front door was painted and I went to wash off my brush, I was in for a surprise. As soon as I grabbed the brush, I could feel the paint oddly coat my hands. And the more I tried to scrub them, the more I spread the mess around. That's when I decided I should enlist the help of my dad and Ian. First we tried some sort of alcohol before turning to gasoline. The gas cleaned up my hands in no time! And for the record, I don't think I ever want to come near oil based paint again. That stuff makes a mess!


But on to the good part, my shiny red front door. I thought I had a good "before" picture of the front door, so didn't take one. It turns out I don't. Oops. Kind of a fail. At least I have a picture of it from when we bought the house. And you get the picture...the door went from brown to red.


The matching welcome sign is an added bonus that I picked up a week ago. My friend's mom actually made it. I love it...though wish the solicitors didn't feel so welcome at my house. And since taking these pictures (so, yesterday) I added a little bird next to the front door...because, well, I couldn't put my gnome back out there!


I know it has only been two days, but I still smile every time I see my red front door.

16/52

Taking pictures with unwilling participants can be interesting at times. I do enjoy the candid/real ones, but can never seem to get the cute, real ones I am going for. I take 100 pictures and like 93 of them are just utter and complete chaos with at least one little person running out of the picture...hence the hand holding.

And Connor decided to put Isla in a choke hold all on his own. Such a loving brother he is.


This week:

  • We've entered a new stage. Connor is now peeing standing up. 
  • Hello 80's! My sandals and shorts are happy you are back. 
  • Goodbye tax season! Ian got Tuesday off in celebration, so we went to the San Francisco Zoo
  • I traded in my swiffer for a good old fashioned mop. It has a polka dot handle. I mopped my floors three times the day I got it...I was pretty excited about it. 
  • Connor went to take a toy from Isla and she said "no, mine!" I guess she learned a new word. 
  • We have a new back fence...and we had to tear out a bunch of plants in order to build it, so I guess we will be getting some new landscaping as well. 

Helping Connor Handle His Fears


I had written a while back about the substantial amount of fear Connor was dealing with regarding dogs and thought I would do an update. I don't think this is necessarily something people want to read about, but I am writing about it to remind myself if we walk through something similar again with another child and I am writing about it in case some other mom is going through the same thing.

You see, it feels rather lonely when your kid has a substantial, life altering fear. No matter what I said, most people didn't realize how crippling the fear has been to our family. Not until they experienced Connor in the throws of the fear did they realize. And to be honest, the thing that helped me as a mom was talking to another mom who walked through something similar with her son. She gave me advice and encouragement. And she understood what it felt like to have a seemingly small fear control your house...and make you think pretty wacky things at times, like wanting to move to escape the fear.

So Connor's fear is specifically about dogs, barking dogs. He would freak out when he heard a dog bark, even if it was streets away from our house. It started out small and in all honesty, I think if we had dealt with it more aggressively sooner, maybe it wouldn't have gotten so bad. But who knows. Our neighbor's dogs bark all-the-time. It really is annoying, to say the least (though the worst offender recently had to be put to sleep, so that has helped).

At the height of Connor's fear, he wouldn't step foot in over half of our house, wouldn't go in the backyard and would only sleep in our bed with us. It was pretty exhausting. After writing about it before, I took into account Rachael's suggestion and we started "interpreting" what the dog's were saying when they barked. At first this didn't seem to change things, but now it is really helping. We also switched Connor and Isla's rooms as Connor's original room is right next to the dogs...and he was refusing to go into his room for anything. And we bought one of those things that make a high pitch noise when dogs bark...between this and the worst barker being gone, we don't hear much from our immediate neighbor's dogs anymore.

In all honestly, what seems to have helped the most was Connor went to stay with my parents for 3 days a couple weeks back. When he got back into town, he was much better. He is back to going in the whole house. He will even be in his room all by himself. And we have gotten him to go in the backyard with us. He does run inside and stay inside for a few minutes every time a dog barks, but he has gotten so much better. Even the other day a dog barked when he was right next to the fence. He freaked out and ran inside to be comforted. But, I was able to calm him down in the matter of seconds. And my favorite reaction of Connor's happened the other day when Connor was in bed. A dog started barking and he ran out of his room, came to me and asked me to pray for him. It warmed this mama's heart.

Though I don't think this whole dog barking thing is totally behind us, it has gotten so much better and isn't controlling our every moment at home anymore and for that I truly am thankful.

The San Francisco Zoo

With it being the end of Ian's busy season (he is like James Bond an accountant) his office was closed for the day yesterday. In celebration of us having a random day together, we decided to head out of town. So to San Francisco we went. Yesterday's destination was the zoo.


We left late enough that we didn't really hit any traffic. And we hit up Ikea on the way home, so we didn't have any traffic on the way home either...well, except for the fight to get over the bridge to Ikea in rush hour traffic, but that wasn't too bad. Both ways it was perfect timing. But we were gone from our house for 12 hours, so it was a long day.

I feel like I have been to a decent about of zoos in the short time I've been a mother and I have discovered that the quality of them vary widely. And the quality is definitely not determined by the entrance fee. The San Francisco zoo is on the cheaper side and one of the nicest zoos I have been to. If you have kids, or just love zoos, and are in the San Francisco area, I definitely recommend it.

^^ Connor pointed at a macaw and said "that's a macaw". I'm raising a genius, I tell you. 

The highlight of the zoo for the kids was definitely the petting zoo. All the animals were really relaxed and both kids enjoyed petting them. Connor would put his face right in front of the animals and say "hello". Isla pet a bunch of animals, but her favorite part seemed to be chasing the ducks. Oh and she called every animal she saw "doggie".


Connor walked around the whole zoo, which I was pretty impressed with. He even tried grabbing another kid's hand at one point. This kid loves him some other people his size! And he seemed to have more fun climbing on the fake animals they had throughout the zoo for kids to play with than looking at the real ones. But, that's life and that's definitely the stage we are at.

^^ Right after this adorableness happened, the below act of brotherly orneriness happened. 

It was a good, albeit long, day. Both kids managed to nap at one time or another. Isla did for a bit while we were at the zoo and Connor napped on the way to Ikea and during most of the time we were there. I am pretty sure both Ian and I wished we could have napped at some point too! With or without naps, all of us were tuckered out and slept well last night. 


Isla {18 months}


Weight: 24lbs (my measurement)
Length: 31.5 inches (my measurement)

Accomplishments:
15.5 teeth (that last one has just barely broken through)
Climbs on furniture
Know where her eyes, nose, mouth and belly are
Knows all the hand motions for patty cake
Blows kisses


On the one hand I want to say how grown up Isla is, because well, she is. She is so not a baby any more. Give me a minute while I run grab some kleenex. She really is all toddler. Then on the other hand, she still needs me so much. She only wants me in many situations. She still nurses (I know, right?! More on this to come). Oh and she still isn't consistently sleeping through the night. See, she still needs me! 



Some of Isla's favorites include playing patty cake (this always works to distract her when she needs it), bath time (she normally tries climbing in before her clothes are off), the tupperware drawer (so cliche, right?), dirt, playing with the cozy coupe, dolls, her play kitchen and running away from me while turning around at me and smiling (yeah...I loved when Connor went through this phase as well...NOT). 

Some of Isla's least favorites include getting her diaper changed and her clothes changed, for that matter. Oh, and having to be held by anyone but me when she is tired. And she is not a fan of riding in shopping carts. Awesome, right? Lately I have been taking the stroller in stores with us because it is just easier. 



Isla has recently started getting shy around people she doesn't know. In the most extreme instance, she put her hands over her face and didn't remove them until the person talking to her (who we knew) finally gave up and walked away. But normally she just hides her face a little and generally acts shy. Once you get to know her though, she isn't shy at all. 

So I mentioned that Isla is still breastfeeding. Yep. Not sure how that one happened, but we are taking it one day at a time. The girl loves her some boob. Obviously at this point it is really just for comfort. We were down to only at night, but recently she has switched that one up on me. She seems to want it when she wakes up from her nap, then again when she goes to bed at night. Though I don't normally talk about it, because people kind of frown upon extended breastfeeding, it really isn't a big deal. And it helps that the only times she wants it is when we are at home. 



Sleep with Isla has always been a bit of an interesting thing. She takes one nap a day, in the afternoon. As long as Connor doesn't wake her up, it normally will last three or more hours. And at night, Isla goes in her crib and to bed without crying (unless it is a babysitter putting her to bed...she knows how to prey on the weak!). Lately she wakes up anywhere from one to three times a night. What she needs or wants when she wakes up is all over the place - sometimes she wants to nurse, other times she pooped and wants a clean diaper, other times she wants something to eat and other times, well, she just wants to party. That being said, again, if Connor doesn't wake her up in the morning, she will commonly sleep until 10am. 


Isla loves playing outside and especially loves the dirt. Besides eating it, and well anything else she finds on the ground, she loves playing with it. She rubs it on herself. She picks it up and moves it from one place to another. She just loves dirt. Isla also loves walking through the yard and picking all the weeds flowers that pop up in the yard. Well, and any flowers that pop up on my real plants. 



Isla really wants to run with the big kids, but isn't quite there. So she normally isn't happy when I make her stay in our yard when Connor gets to play with the neighbors. But it is cute to watch her copy Connor. She now yells "hi" and runs to the curb whether the neighbor kids are out playing or not...this is what Connor does when the kids are out playing. It's cute. Speaking of cute, it is also super adorable how excited she gets when Ian gets home from work. She loves going outside and greeting him. 

Oh this stage. Not quite baby anymore, not quite kid, it is pretty freaking adorable. Isla, though I am excited to watch you grow up, I have to admit, I love this stage and I love that you are still a mama's girl.

15/52



A few weeks back I came across this list of photos to take with your kids on pinterest. I was inspired by it for a few reasons. One of the main reasons I am doing this picture a week challenge with my kids is because I want to be in more pictures with them. But it is hard to get the pictures I want. Sometimes I don't want just staged pictures. I want fun, real action shots. Enter the jumping on the bed, the bubble madness and this week, eating breakfast. I don't want every week to be an action shot, but I want to throw some in because, well, its fun for me to see a glimpse of my life from an outside point of view...even if the action shots are staged just a bit.


This week:
  • I booked mine and Ian's 10th anniversary trip for the first weekend in July. After having an awful time trying to decide where to go, we decided to stay in California and go to Santa Barbara. I can't believe we have been married almost 10 years! 
  • Isla can now reach into the top drawers in our kitchen. Awesome. 
  • Over the past couple days, Connor has started calling people the wrong names on purpose and thinks it is super funny. 
  • Oh, and Connor now has an obsession with telling anyone and everyone hi. And he will continue yelling it until the person says it back...which is totally not awkward when you are in a quiet place, like say, the post office. 
  • Isla slept all night one night...this is a big deal for her. 
  • Connor has a new favorite book, What Will I Do if I Can't Tie My Shoe? I picked it up at the thrift store and it was 29 cents well spent! He has be sleeping with it and having me read it to him over and over and over again. 
  • Oh, and Connor's new favorite thing is asking questions. We are officially in the why? stage! I currently find his curiosity cute and funny and sometimes like turning the table on him and asking him why he is asking me why...it usually just confuses him! 
  • Iced coffee, iced coffee and more iced coffee. 


And, one more picture for the road:


Fish Swoosh Bath Play Set {Nuby Product Review}


One thing I discovered as my kids got older is there are a lot of toys for the first year of a baby's life that really don't grow with them. One of the biggest places I have noticed this is with bath toys. That is what I like about the Nuby fish swoosh bath toy. Though it is rated for ages 18 months and above, parts of it really can be used from the beginning. 

You see, not only does the fish swoosh bath toy come with a net, it comes with three fish balls that also squirt water. No matter what age your baby is, the fish balls are fun to play with. And once baby is older, they are even more fun to play with! Connor loves squirting them. Isla has yet to figure out they squirt. And both kids like putting them in the net. 


The net can be opened or cinched closed. Connor seems to have fun filling it with toys, then opening it and letting the toys dump out. And we have discovered that the net is big enough to handle more than the fish balls. Both trains and duckies fit well in it too! 


The Nuby fish swoosh bath toy is available for purchase at BuyBabyDirect for $12.99. 

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.


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