From the Mouth of Connor {six}

You will notice a trend, lots of talk about sissy, legos and Jesus. I guess those are the three things that consume his thoughts!

When sissy talks like me, then she can build legos with me cause then she won't take them apart. 

Jesus turned water into wine, then all the fish died. 

I don't think sissy likes ham like I like ham. It's good for little boys, maybe not girls. Maybe you can made a ham pie with ham inside, like apple pie. 

While swinging Connor high, "My tummy's a little frightened."

When sissy gets big, she will be a mommy and I will be a daddy. Then we won't be kids anymore, we will be dalts (or know)

Maybe Jesus has a special lego store. 

I'm getting old because we all get old. 

When I asked Connor if they played on the playground at school, he said, "Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't when it's raining. That is just how life is."

He has now said "that is just how life is" about several things and every time it catches me off guard and makes me want to laugh. Such an adult thing coming from such a little person!

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Connor: Super Connor! He got this cape at a birthday party a few weeks ago. You were supposed to wear it at the party, but he refused. All the sudden, he has taken a liking to it and has wanted to wear it all the time. 

Isla: "No mama, no take my picture." (That's her coming at me with the lens cap.) And so it begins. 

" A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

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Finally Some Rain

I waited all winter for the rain to come and of course it waits until spring has sprung to make an appearance (well, a decent appearance). After what has virtually been a rainless winter, rain is in the forecast for the forceable future.  Don't think I am complaining, because I am not. I love me some rain and California definitely needs it. BUT, we just bought new outdoor furniture last weekend and got it all set up. And it was 82 degrees just a few days ago. Now the cushions are stacked safely in the corner of the patio. If I didn't love the rain so much, I would be a little bummed out.

It was raining so hard during Connor's quiet time yesterday that I actually got him out to see it. Then he wanted to play in it and his rain boots were in the car. Like a good mom, I got drenched retrieving them for him.

Then the crazy kid just walked out and stared, allowing the rain to soak him...I tell you, this kid enjoys rain just as much as his mama. It was raining so hard, I was actually yelling for him to come under the porch and he kept responding with "No"...that is until he came to me and said, "I'm all wet. Put me in the bath."

^^ Look at the joy on that face!!!

Rain, don't you worry, I will enjoy you for as long as you stick around. But, maybe the rest of you should worry about me, because, well I am talking to rain!

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It's been 13 years since I last got a pair of glasses, so I thought it was about time I get a new pair. I thought it would be fun to have a pair that I may enjoy wearing in public. I thought the same thing 13 years ago. I ended up only using the glasses when I had pink eye, or ran out of contacts, or scratched my eye. But maybe this time will be different...

When I picked out my glasses, I actually said to the lady, "Show me big '80's style glasses." This was the first of many pairs I tried on. It always seems to be the first of anything that ends up the winner. You know your eyes are bad when they say, "We ordered special lenses so they will fit in the frame." Yeah, my eyes are bad. Worse than anyone else I know. They are -5.5, in case you care. When discussing this with my parents the other day, I decided to try on their glasses. My mom has barely any prescription compared to me. My dad's is a little more than her's. While neither of us were wearing glasses, my dad said "But you can see me now fine, right?" and when I shook my head no, he responded with "Oh honey." Yeah, I am blind. The eye doctor even said, "With eyes as bad as yours, it really is important that you have a good pair of backup glasses." I often wonder what this means for old Jessica, when my eyes are this bad already (and have been this bad since I was a teen).

But back to my glasses. What do you think? I think they are fun and I will definitely wear them more than I wore my 13 year old pair. They definitely don't match everything (like style wise). But since I am a pretty casual gal, I am thinking they go well with most of my stuff.

Does anyone else out there have really bad eyes?

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Time To Just Be

I remember how guilty I used to feel about the kids and I staying in our pajamas until 11...practically every single day. It seemed like everyone I knew was doing stuff and we were just at home, chilling. I almost felt as if it was lazy or something. One day I confessed this to a friend and her response was "I remember those days. Enjoy it while you can because before you know it, it will be gone." Well, I am already feeling like it is gone.

My mornings are no longer slow and leisurely. My days don't consist of nothing but play dates and the occasional run to Target. They are starting to feel like they have to be planned in advance. Between Connor's school days, my new workout group (which I am SO GLAD to be doing), and the mom's group I am a part of, Tuesday is our only free day to relax. And, well, Tuesday lately seems to always have some appointment or another on it.

All the sudden, I find myself wanting to back petal to the slow days. I really need more slow days and less busy days. I actually don't enjoy being busy. I am definitely not a person that thrives on it. I am a bit of a homebody and enjoy hunkering down and playing with the kids. I enjoy connecting with them, rather than shuttling them from one thing to the next.

With both kids going to school next year (and Connor one more day than this year), I know I am going to need to find new ways to connect with them. Quiet times are when Connor tells me about his day...and tells me the best stories. If we can't do it in the mornings, I need to find a new quiet. Quiet times are when Isla brings me book after book to read her, until we have read through her bookshelf. I need to find a new time where we just hunker down at home, with no agenda and just be. Those are the times that the best things seem to happen.

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A picture showed up in my facebook feed the other day that brought back a myriad of memories for me. It was a picture of my grandparents (my dad's dad and step mom). My grandparents have been gone for a while now. My grandma died when I was a senior in high school and my grandpa when I was living in Scotland.

When I saw this picture, my mind was instantly filled with great memories with my grandparents. Of Christmas parties, my grandpa's "famous eggs" and my grandma taking me to Knotts Berry Farm because I wanted to go oh-so-bad. But I also realized how too few pictures I have of my grandparents. That really got me thinking.

I LOVE taking pictures of my kids. And the reality is, those pictures will always mean so much more to me than they will to them. I am not saying they won't like to look at picture of themselves as kids. But I am saying, they will mean more to me than them. BUT, add in people they love to those pictures and they take on a whole new meaning. This really makes me want to up my game of taking more pictures of my kids with their grandparents (and great-grandma). 

Now that I have lost most of my grandparents, I am surprised how much pictures of me and them mean to me. And the reality is, I don't have many. In the digital age, it is so much easier to share and reprint pictures. Whereas, the only pictures I personally have of me and my grandparents is from my wedding and a few other random ones I happen to have. 

I really want to make sure I do things with all the pictures I take so that they don't end up lost on some dead hard drive someday...or lost out on the vast internet somewhere...this really reminds me that I need to get on making picture books for my kids so they have these memories to enjoy for life. 

Sorry for the downer post. I guess it is just how I am feeling about seeing my grandparents and realizing how few pictures I have with them. 

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Connor: He is a daddy's boy through and through. He always asks if it's a "work day" or not and when daddy will be home. 

Isla: This curious little girl played in our fire pit while I was making dinner one evening this week. In fact, she emptied its contents all over the backyard and made a filthy mess of herself and the backyard. 

" A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

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Molding & Shaping

I know this is an obvious one, but I sometimes forget that I am the mother and I am in CHARGE.

There are those days where I just sit there and shake my head at my kids behavior (or lay my head on the dining room table or even just close my eyes). Then I am reminded, it is up to Ian and I to change that behavior for the better. It is our JOB to mold them and shape them into good human beings. You know, ones who don't run around the table in the middle of dinner, screaming at the top of their lungs. Or, ones who don't hit/body slam/push their sister just for the fun of it. 

Everyday I see how my behavior shapes these little people's lives. Connor says "sorry" all the time. About everything. It's really cute, but it's not at the same time...because it is a bad habit of mine. And Isla, well, she says "um" all the time. Again, super cute, but not. These little things remind me what a sponge my children are. Modeling the type of behavior I want from them is important. That being said, I still don't know where they are learning their table manners from! I swear I don't dunk ALL MY FOOD in my drink or get down and run around the table or wipe my dirty hands on whoever is closest to me. 

Sometimes training, molding, shaping can feel oh-so-exhausting and daunting. But I realize, if I just take it one day at a time...heck, one instance at a time...I realize the kids do learn quickly. 

It's weird to think that kids need to learn EVERYTHING. Every single thing in this world needs to be taught to them. We had Connor stand in line and order for himself at a coffee shop the other day. It was super funny because he stood mere inches away from the person in front of him and every time the guy moved, he moved with him, so he was always standing directly behind him. It all must be taught. 

Really, I want to make sure I am teaching in love. I want to make sure I am focusing on what matters, and not caring about what doesn't. I want to make sure I give them grace and let them make messes (and mistakes). I want to make sure I focus on what matters and let go of what doesn't. 

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Little Moments Not to Be Forgotten

blowing bubbles // swinging (he LOVES being pushed in the baby swing // waking up happy // reading // cuddling up on the floor // applying the bubble beard // napping with her doll // playing with the flashlight

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Isla in Sunglasses (need I say more?!)

You know when you get something new, you just want to wear it immediately? Well, Isla got these awesome shades the other day and felt inspired to frolic through the neighbors weeds flowers while enjoying the warm spring day we were having.

I have been having Isla rock the top knot a lot lately. I just love it so much on her. And apparently I loved it on me at one time too, because I rocked it all through high school. But it looks way cuter on her. 

Good thing I didn't pay much for these shades because Isla broke one of the sides off them the day after getting them. Or, perhaps was this a case of me getting what I paid for? After all, I only paid 59 cents for them. Of course, she has done this to sunglasses before. After she broke them, I told my mom, at least I will always have these adorable pictures of her wearing them. Because, seriously, isn't she freaking adorable?!

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Preschooler Times Two

The other day two little postcards showed up in our mail. Two little postcards saying which classes my kids (yes, KIDS) got for preschool next year. I had to laugh a little as I thought to myself, "Wow, those came quick" because, well, last year I was "that mom" that emailed the school the day after registration closed to find out if Connor got in and what class he got. This year, I ran into the school director in the hall and she told me current students and their siblings get priority, so I would get whatever classes I requested. What a difference a year makes!

It's crazy to me that, pending Isla being potty trained, Isla will be headed off to preschool in just a few short months. Truthfully, I went back and forth about sending her. I just don't feel ready for such a big step, but realize I can't hold my children back because of my own fears. And I couldn't decide if I wanted her to be one of the oldest or one of the youngest in her class. What sealed the deal for me was one of Connor's teachers (who will be one of Isla's teachers next year) asking if I was going to enroll Isla, then convincing me that it would be really good for her. And I know it will. It will also allow her to get in two years of preschool (like Connor) before starting her in transitional kindergarden (something I decided against for Connor). Now to get on potty training Isla so she can actually start school in the fall!

It's fun to me that many of Connor's current classmates will be in the same class as him next year. Even with more than half a school year behind us, I still have nervousness about next year. After all, it will be all new teachers and I totally LOVE Connor's teachers this year. Plus, it will be three days a week, instead of two. But again, I can't hold my kids back just because of my feelings. And I know Connor will do great. And, if I am being honest, I am actually happy he has a fall birthday and I have a whole extra year with him before he starts kindergarden. 

It's going to be so weird to be fully alone for two mornings a week. But, as with everything with this parenting gig, I am sure I will adapt. And once my house is plastered with adorable preschool art from BOTH my kids, I know I will be happy. But change...oh change...I am never the best about change. 

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Connor: "Mama, I shoot fire at you"...and just look at those elbows. This kid is always doing something crazy (besides shooting fire at his mama!) and his little body takes a beating for it. 

Isla: This little girl has has more than her share of a hard week. There have been lots of sickness and tears, but hopefully she is now on the mend. But though it all, you put her outside in the sun and she is one happy girl. 

" A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

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