Connor: I am so proud of this kid, starting to face his fears. He is already talking about swimming lessons this summer. He refused last summer and I didn't want to push him. But this year, he is fully ready. He even put on his goggles and went for a swim in the bath. 

Isla: This girly girl chose her own outfit for our little family exploration. It included her favorite sparkle sweater, a skirt (that we had her put jeans under) and the daintiest pair of ballet flats.  But don't let those girly clothing choices fool you, she loves her some rocks and dirt. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

you can also find me on:

Growing Up

I feel like we are at a crossroads. Connor really is in the last bit of his, what should I call it, young childhood phase. When we get out of the car somewhere, he still instantly grabs my hand. But, I realize that not so soon he will be too cool for that. He still wants me to comfort him when he is hurt or help him when he needs it. But he also is seeking his independence more and more. Of course, that doesn't apply to everything. Earlier this week he asked me why I made him do something and I told him my job is to teach him how to do things. He said that he knows how, but doesn't like to so would like me to instead. And, well, that's when I informed him that we all have to do things we don't enjoy in life…you know, things like clean up our rooms and the such.

It's a weird thing watching your child grow up. The closeness that I share with Connor right now won't always be there. And that saddens me. But I also know that as he grows, there could be a deepness to our relationship that isn't there now. It's just a hard thing for this mama to think of not feeling Connor right up against me in bed, to not hear him ask me to rub his belly to help him fall asleep. To know that very soon I will no longer be able to carry him around. Even though he is heavy, I still find it a privilege to carry him when he asks. To know that he will no longer want to cuddle with me on the couch or ask me to tell him stories. To know that one day my car will be silent and I can just listen to my music because there isn't a five year old in the backseat asking me about anything from the power cords to the person walking on the street. This phase of life is such a special one. Such a fleeting one. And I hope through all the teenage angst, through the moving out of house and finding himself, through getting married and having a new woman in his life, I hope that Connor can know, sense, realize how fiercely I love him.

you can also find me on:

Crazy Ways Isla Sleeps

When we moved Connor out of his crib, he had a very short transition period of sleeping on the floor right next to his bed. And two times he completely took the mattress off his bed. But that was it. Isla, on the other hand, has been out of her crib for 9 months now and falls asleep out of her bed more often than in her bed. She tends to fall asleep in the same place, in chairs. And usually her sleep involves a book or toy. It's all pretty comical because I often wonder how she actually fell asleep in many of the ways that she does. The other night I found her asleep on the floor. Not near a toy or anything. Just in the middle of her room, asleep on the floor. Interesting is about all I can say about that one. In case you were wondering, going against all the sleeping books advice (and I have read my fair share of them) Isla actually goes to sleep with the light in her room on. I turn it off when she falls asleep. If I try to turn it off before she is asleep, it isn't pretty.

^^ This was after one particularly bad night of sleep for Isla (and thus me). She somehow fell asleep in the playroom that morning with toys even on top of her and thermometer in hand. 

I can actually tell Isla is growing up because her sleeping positions seem to be getting a little more civilized. More often they are now including a blanket…or maybe that is just because she is cold?! And more often than not, they include books over toys. But, no matter how she falls asleep, she goes to sleep on her own without crying and that has always been the goal.

you can also find me on:

Middle Sister

I feel like another good title would have been "What does the wine you drink say about you?"

I am the middle sister in my family. Sure, I am sandwiched in by brothers, but I am still the middle sister. A couple years ago, Ian's sister Carli (who is also a middle sister surrounded by brothers) asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I replied "wine" and a tradition was born. Ever since, I always get a bottle of middle sister wine with a fun name. This year, my brother's girlfriend Brook (also a middle sister), got be a bottle as well. I couldn't help but laugh at the contrast to the two names and how they really do describe me in each family.

Carli got me mischief maker and Brook got me goodie two-shoes.

I always said growing up that I didn't have to do much to impress my parents. My brothers were off getting into mischief and I wasn't to the same degree, so I was the good one…trust me, I got into plenty of trouble, but never to the degree of my brothers, so there you have it. Now put that supposed goodie two-shoes in Ian's family and I totally am NOT the good one. I am the one that likes to push everyones buttons. I am the pot stirrer. I am the one always pushing the limits. I am the mischief maker. Mind you, I am the same way with my family, but am seen as the goodie two-shoes.

Perspective. It's an interesting thing, right?

you can also find me on:


Connor: This kid has grown up so much lately and become so independent. But then he goes and scrapes his knee and needs his mama again and I am reminded how young he still is. 

Isla: Connor actually took this picture, so go Connor! This girl reminds me so much of myself. She is so rough and tumble and can hang with the boys any old day. She also is pretty dang possessive, which I am hoping she didn't learn from me! 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

you can also find me on:

Construction Chaos

We decided to have the bar in our back room (the kids playroom) ripped out and a laundry room put in it's place. A bar in a kids playroom, classy, I know. Ian wanted more garage space and I wanted the bar gone, so it was a win-win for both of us. We also decided to tack on having the wood paneling (which was already painted white) taken down and replaced with drywall. We even toyed with tearing down the pony wall that goes between this room and the kitchen, but we decided we weren't ready to deal with the flooring issues that would cause. Since we have other eventual plans for the back room, we thought we would live with concrete flooring in half the room for the time being…that changed once we saw the 70's flooring that awaited us under the carpet.

During the demo, the guys found a Pampers pamphlet from the 70's. I always assumed this part of the house was added on in the 70's, but now I know. Our house was built in 1950, in case you wanted to know and the back part of it, the add on, doesn't really go aesthetically with the rest of the house at all (in my opinion).

So we have had workers at our house all week long. And the kids and I are trapped in the front of the house with many of their toys trapped in the back of the house. And, to be honest, I didn't realize how torturous staying home for a week straight would feel. It's been much harder on me than I expected. But, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am not ready to go out on a limb and say they will be done today…because they originally told us three days tops…but I am hopeful they will be. In the mean time, here are some things that have been keeping me busy this week:

* More lego building than you can even imagine. I built a police station for Connor from scratch, no directions. It's pretty amazing, two stories, stairs, etc, yet he still wants more done with it!

* Hide and go seek with the kids…Isla always jumps out before I even get to her.

* This parenting video is pretty dang amazing.

* I rearranged Isla's room…oh and I made curtains for her room, which is actually why I rearranged her room, so the curtains could be better showcased. That was my first time making curtains and it wasn't bad at all and they are actually the same length!

* Cuddling under blankets to keep warm, because, well the heater has been off because the workers leave the doors wide open.

Here's to hoping that next week I will be showing you pictures of my newly updated back room…well, part of it anyway (it's a really big room and we aren't touching the other half yet). I am so looking forward to leaving the house again…and using the heater to stay warm…and the kids being able to play in their playroom.

you can also find me on:

Classing Up Flannel

It's no secret that I love flannel shirts. They have been a staple in my winter wardrobe for years…far before they came into fashion recently. Maybe I should consider myself a trendsetter. A flannel trendsetter. That's a good one ;)

Over the years, I have worn my flannel shirts in several different ways - normal, open with a shirt under it, with a cardigan over it, with a vest, etc. But I wasn't inspired to class it up until my friend recently took it to a whole new level. This was actually my attempt to copy her look, but she used a cute bauble necklace and I own nothing of the sort, so my trusty long necklace it is. 

Flannel: Old Navy
Sweater: Madewell
Necklace: Pac Sun
Jeans: Gap
Boots: Old Navy

Since doing this I have also layered a short sleeve sweater over another flannel and liked that look as well. I am excited to experiment and try different things with my flannel shirts. Exhilarating, I know

you can also find me on:

Pajama Day at Preschool

Last Wednesday the kids had pajama day at preschool. Just as one might imagine, all the kids wear their pjs to school and are free to bring a stuffed animal and blanket, if they want. It's actually really fun because all the teachers dress up too. One of Connor's teachers was wearing footed ninja turtle pajamas and it was about the best thing ever.

I let the kids choose what jammies they wanted to wear in advance, so I could make sure they were clean. And I totally changed them into them that morning ;) Connor chose his minion pjs, no shock there. He also chose to bring his bear with him, but stripped him, the bear that is, of his police uniform right before we left for school. Connor's class had a bunch of blankets and pillows set up on the floor and they got to watch a movie. They also had pancakes, which according to Connor "only had butter and they only had water and milk to drink." This kid is all about the details! He also made a bear with cozy (flannel) space jammies on it.

Isla, who wasn't too down with getting her picture taken, chose her frozen jammies. Again, no shock there. And she chose to bring her "purring kitty" with her to school. This is her new favorite kitty that she got for Christmas from her uncle and his girlfriend. When I went to pick Isla up from her class, her teacher stopped me and told me this:

Isla ate more pancakes than anyone else. She asked for more and when we told her they were all gone, she covered her face and curled up as she does (which they obviously see often like I do, since she said "as she does"). So we made more and she ate them. 

That girl, I tell you. She certainly knows how to get her way. And she obviously likes pancakes! She even told me the pancakes were her favorite part of class. Her class made a pancake craft, just as Connor did when he was in that class last year. Apparently the butter and syrup struggled to stay on the pancakes. 

Preschool is pretty dang fun and sometimes I wish I was in preschool and could wear my pjs and eat pancakes. Then again, it is nice not to have to sleep with a pull-up on! 

you can also find me on:


Connor: This boy loves playing with other kids. I had the pleasure of watching him awkwardly (I was awkward about it, not him) try to play with kids much older than him this week. Lets just say, he wanted to throw balls at the kids and shoot them with sticks he was imagining as guns and they were trying to play soccer. 

Isla: Don't leave your chapstick or lipgloss laying around with this one near. She will use it all in one sitting. This was grape chapstick she was sporting and she totally thought she was hot stuff with it on. And I totally just realized Isla was wearing the same shirt last week, but it is one of her favorite shirts and if it is in her drawer, she will pick it to wear. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

you can also find me on:

Isla Lately

Somewhere in the past year, Isla went from being a baby, really a toddler, to being a full on independent little girl. It's fun to watch her grow and change and to get a kick out of the things she says or does. Because kids change just so darn quickly, I wanted to share some of the things I want to remember about Isla right now.

Isla has totally become girly, which is funny because it was what I feared about having a girl. Not being girly myself, I thought I wouldn't be able to handle it. Turns out, I totally love it. And I love that since girly Isla has an older brother that beats her up all the time, she can also totally hold her own and is not a sissy in the least bit…well, she does have meltdowns about sharing. But sharing is hard!

Isla has started picking up on some of the ornery things Connor has done to her and she has started doing them to him. It is actually pretty dang funny. She will swipe a coveted toy of his, then say in a totally ornery voice, "Connor, I've got your toy." Or, if he immediately gives chase, she will drop into a ball on the floor, protecting the coveted item she just stole.

Isla has become extremely girly and embraced all things glitter and princess. She changes princess dresses multiple times a day. And watching her sing "Let it go" in her Elsa getup is just about the best thing ever. For Christmas, my aunt gave Isla a gift card to Claire's. We went there last week for her to spend it. She walked in the store and immediately started picking up anything she saw that was sparkly and pink. Then she got to the frozen display and went a little crazy. But I was surprised how good she was about me explaining that she couldn't get everything. She bought what she could afford. She waited in line like a total grown up and put all her scores on the counter. It was really cute.

Isla is my healthy eater, though the girl does love her some carbs. Where Connor shys away from veggies, she does not. In fact, her current favorite thing to eat are these clean nut balls that Ian and I eat. She loves them and would eat them all day long if I would let her. She also loves hummus…usually just uses the carrots as a dipping device, but does take bites every now and again. Some of her other favorites are tomatoes, bananas, oranges and yogurt.

One of my favorite things over the past season has been watching Isla make friends. For about the first two years of her life, we never really hung out with girls her age. But she has made up for lost time and made good friends. She says her best friends are "Felicity and Payslie". They are sisters and she always says their names together. She also pretty instantly took to a girl in her class at school, Gracie. And her and Gracie are pretty dang cute together. They are totally opposite personalities, but will hold hands and run after each other and everything. Speaking of school, Isla always gives her teachers hugs when she gets to school and when she leaves. It's cute. She totally seeks each one out and hugs them and tells them bye when I pick her up. So incredibly different than Connor!!!

This whole mother of a girl gig is so different than I ever imagined and I am totally loving every second of it. Ok, maybe not the public meltdowns. But I really do love having the privilege of raising Isla, of reading to her book after book, of helping her put on the ridiculous outfits she chooses to wear, of holding her when she wants to snuggle. She is a special one.

you can also find me on:

Bucket List

I like the idea of a bucket list. It isn't because I think I am close to the end of my life and have a bunch of things I want to do. Rather, it's because I like lists. And I like doing/experiencing stuff. Oh, and I like crossing stuff off my lists; it feels like an accomplishment. Plus, I think it's so easy to get caught up on the things in our life that are out of our control. But things on the bucket list, those are things I can control, things that I can make happen.

I hope to add to my bucket list as the years go on, as I hear about more things to do and see. I don't want to run out of things on my bucket list, so I'd like to keep it growing...you see, I never want to finish my bucket list. I never want to stop exploring. Really, it's a fun excuse for me to dream and come up with things I want to do...you know, so in case Ian decides to do a surprise vacation, he has ideas!

Here's what I've got so far:

Walk/bike across the Bay Bridge
Go kaiking
Walk on the High Line in NYC
Ride in a helicopter
Visit Treasure Island
Go to North Carolina
Take the kids to Sea World
Go to Australia
Take the kids snorkeling
Watch a sunrise
Own a Balenciaga purse
Stay on a boat in Amsterdam
Take the kids on the Durango-Silverton Railroad
Own a place in Scotland
Visit New England in the fall

So, tell me, do you enjoy dreaming and making lists of things you would like to see/do/visit/experience/own in your lifetime? It's fun to dream, isn't it?

you can also find me on:

Stockton Children's Museum

On Friday, my friend and I took our kids to the Stockton Children's Museum. When we pulled up and the parking lot was practically empty, I was doing a happy dance on the inside. Places like this being crowded keeps me on edge the whole time because it is so much harder to keep track of a playing kid in a crowd. But, we practically had the place to ourselves. 

The kids had so much fun, running from one activity to another. Connor said his favorite part was the ambulance and hospital. They had a real ambulance for the kids to play in, and the back of it is hooked up to a play hospital. It was pretty cool and definitely seemed to be Connor's favorite thing. He has said he wants to be a "shot doctor" when he grows up, so you know. Isla, on the other hand, said her favorite part was playing with her friends, so I guess it was just like any 'ole day to her. 

^^ Connor checking a dog's temp at the vet clinic. 

^^ Isla seriously LOVED the firetruck and climbed in and out of it many, many times.  

^^ These types of water tables are my favorite and I think I may have actually had more fun than the kids. Well, they totally loved it too, but I was pretty darn into it.  

^^ Connor in a fighter jet

It was nice to get out and do something fun right before school started back up. Now we are back to the grind...well, we do mix a lot of fun in our grind, but you know.


you can also find me on:


Connor: He has been super into building his own lego creations lately. And since he is so detailed, he is always sure to tell me what everything is or why he chose to use one part over another. 

 Isla: When I glanced over and saw Isla sitting like this, elbows on her legs, hands cradling her face, I couldn't help but be a little taken aback by how grown up she looked. Not to mention, I heard her say "my parents" in a conversation with a little friend the other day. It just sounds so grown up, referring to us as her parents. 

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015."

you can also find me on:

My 2015 Journey

Because life is a journey, my year can be one, right? Plus I think picking a word for a year really is spending a year discovering what that word means for your life...thus it's a journey. Last year, I chose the word generous and spent time pondering the various ways it worked in my life. Being generous is something that I know will continue to grow in my life as the years go on. For 2015, I chose the word


I like it. It's just so...simple. The word simple has such a negative connotation in our society today and I really think it shouldn't. I want my life to be more simple. I want less drama and busyness and more downtime. I want to keep getting more and more back to the basics with the food I eat and feed my family. I want less stuff...less to clean and to pick up. Over the year, I look forward to writing a bit about what I discover during my journey of figuring out what simple means for me and my life.

You can also find me on:
Related Posts with Thumbnails