On Not Blending In

I am not one of those people that likes unnecessary attention. I don't like public speaking. And I hate being that person that makes a loud noise in a quiet room. I will literally hold my bladder until my eyes turn yellow, rather than get up in the middle of a meeting or something to use the bathroom. I just don't like any attention.

Enter my children.

There is something about these kids. Every time I take them in public, they seem to take it as a pass to act c-r-a-z-y. And I am that mom who's face gets beet red in embarrassment as soon as they start making noise. I know, I know, kids make noise. But I hate people looking. And it's more than just the noise. Isla always seems drawn to the floor. Like, roll around on the floor in the middle of the restaurant. This isn't because she is having a tantrum, but simply because she is enjoying life. And Connor, his specialty is jumping in front of unsuspecting shoppers carts at Target and roaring at them. Yeah, it tends to scare the crap out of them and cause my face to turn beet red.

These kids, I love em so much. And I really do want them to beat to their own drum. I want them to take the path they want to take in life, not one forced upon them. However, I really struggle with them throwing me into the limelight with their antics. So, if you ever come across me in a store, red faced with embarrassment as my son is loudly discussing the fact that baby #3 will be birthed from my vagina*, while my daughter is grabbing as many clothes as she can and declaring them as her favorite as she throws them into my cart, just give me a quick smile and turn away…or feel free to stop and tell me some crazy thing your kid did in public to embarrass you!

* Yes, this conversation has happened LOUDLY in public more times than I care to admit. 

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Hotel Room Fun

The way my kids acted about staying in a hotel, you would think we never take them anywhere! It was pretty funny. When Isla realized we were staying there, she excitedly exclaimed "We are sleeping here!?!" She then proceeded to stay up until almost 11pm in a dark, quiet room. At one point, I even went and sat in the bathroom for a while. After it had been quiet for a good, long while, I came back out. I walked out to a sleeping Connor and and Isla sitting up in the bed smiling at me. That girl! 

The next morning, the kids were more interested in taking a bath in the large bathtub, then getting our of the room. To top it off, I turned on pbs kids (we don't have cable at home) for them and they were in heaven. I literally had to force them out of the hotel room. They were obviously enjoying themselves. 

I like that the kids get excited about little things like hotel rooms. It reminds me that things like that really are a treat and are fun. Of course, I too like staying in a hotel room…but that's because I love turning the ac really low and snuggling up under all the blankets and not having to worry about the electricity bill!

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San Francisco {complete with photo overload}

Really I should have titled this "because sometimes a few pictures just isn't enough". Don't say I didn't warn you! But pictures really do such a good job of telling a story…and I'll just fill in the blanks. 

^^ Staring at flowers. I told you she was obsessed!  

^^ Despite the look on Connor's face, I promise he wasn't being tortured! 

^^ She needed to hug her horse goodbye. I tell you, flowers and carousels are this girl's jam. 

^^ When you have a bunch of strangers trying to get you to smile, this is what happens!  

^^ All of us squeezing in for a picture on the cable car…but really, this is how we sat, completely squeezed together with strangers pretty much touching us from all sides. 

^^ Then we rode the street car and pretty much had the place to ourselves. And Connor was much more excited about the cheap street car versus the over priced cable car ride. 

Ian had to be in San Francisco for work for a couple days, so the kids and I tagged along for a bit of the trip. We started our adventure out in Golden Gate Park, which neither Ian or I had ever been to. I laughed saying when I used to go to San Francisco all the time as a teenager, I was more concerned about hanging out at Haight-Ashbury with my friends than being in the huge, amazing park that was just across the street.

Golden Gate Park is seriously amazing. It is 2.5 miles long. It's crazy. We walked part of it and drove around the whole thing. We walked around for a while, grabbing lunch at one of the street vendors. Then, we checked out the flowers at the windmills. Lastly, we hit up the children's playground which is nothing short of amazing. There is a carousel from 1914 that we rode. Then the playground itself is huge. After the kids played for close to an hour, I forced Connor to go down the cement slide that is in the hill in the playground. He didn't want to do it because he didn't want to stop playing. But I forced him. I told him to grab a piece of cardboard and go for it. Both kids did it several times. When it was time to leave, Connor cried all the way to the car because "I had too much fun!" He told me I should have never shown him the slide if I was just going to make him leave. So dramatic. But it also shows just how cool this playground is.

Next we went and checked into our hotel, which was right by Union Square. It was only a block from where the cable car started. So, we decided to ride it down to Fisherman's Wharf and grab dinner. I thought Connor would be so excited about the cable car. The first thing he said was that he wanted to sit inside and not outside, so we did. Isla was more excited about it than Connor. The only time he really got excited was when we were going down the hill and could see the ocean. After dinner, our plan was to take the cable car back, but Connor really wanted to ride a street car (basically a little train). I checked and it went right by our hotel, so we hopped on one, at a fraction of the price of the cable car. It was practically empty and the kids, especially Connor, were so excited to be on it…kids just prove over and over in life that it's the little things that matter!

We then headed back to the hotel room and got the kids in bed. The next day I took the kids to the Exploratorium before heading home. It was fun having a family day exploring San Francisco, doing things we don't normally do when we go over there.

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 Connor: This boy loves running around, exploring, playing cops…him being the good guy, of course. I can't imagine my life without this ball of energy.

Isla: Always picking flowers! That's her in her element. And she wants to pick every one she sees, making it hard to go anywhere fast.  

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

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Sunglasses…and a mini hair rant

My parents surprised me when I was 13 and let me get contacts a couple weeks before I started my 8th grade year. Having worn glasses for a couple years, I was extremely excited and never looked back. In fact, I didn't even have a spare pair of glasses should I need them. In college I decided to get some glasses, thinking I would wear them when the mood struck. Let's just say the mood only seemed to strike when I over wore a pair of contacts and got pink eye. Gross, I know, but the truth isn't pretty. Then almost a year and half ago, I decided to try out glasses again. Once again I decided I would get them to wear when the mood struck. Well, the mood struck and never seemed to leave. Really, it had to do with me dealing with an annoying dry eye issue and my contacts only made it worse. I've toyed with lasik, but can never talk my pansy self into it…awake during surgery?! what if they mess up and I go blind?! what if I blink during the procedure?!

Since I have been consistently wearing my glasses for a while now, I decided to take the plunge and get myself some prescription sunglasses. It's so nice to have sunglasses again. Though I must admit, it is a little annoying having to make sure I switch to my other glasses before getting out of the car. Otherwise I will (and have) find myself wondering around a store in sunglasses because I freaking can't see at all without glasses. It's a small price to pay, I guess.

On a completely unrelated topic, I've hit the point in my pregnancy where I am annoyed with my hair. It's become super curly and just flops over when I try to wear it up (or do I call it spiked? or a faux hawk? you know what I mean.) So I have started pinning the front to the side and just smoothing it down, though it still curls in the back on the bottom and that bugs me. I am trying hard to not switch hairstyles to something ridiculous while I am pregnant. I've been there before and it wasn't pretty. I've just got to stick it out. But it's really bugging this (obviously hormonal) pregnant lady. Big problem in life, I know. But seriously, got any suggestions to help me out?!

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Fun at the Fair

We took Isla to the fair one evening last week. We debated waiting until Connor was back in town from spending a week with my parents. But, I decided with all the fun he was having, Isla needed a little fun of her own too. So, off we went.

While waiting in an non-air conditioned building in 100 degree heat to see a butterfly exhibit, I was reminded why I sort of hate the fair. Then, 20 minutes into the wait, Isla announced that she needed to pee. Taking my chances, given the closest bathroom wasn't close at all, I told her she needed to hold it or not see the butterflies at all. She chose to hold it and did it like a champ…she held it until we made it to the bathroom half an hour later. The butterfly exhibit was really fun, though I am still not sure worth waiting in the sweltering heat for. Either way, Isla enjoyed herself…well, until a butterfly climbed up her "stick" (a qtip) and on to her hand. Poor girl freaked out.

Greasy fair food isn't really my thing. That is until I saw people walking around with these crazy blocks of curly fries. Suddenly, I was down. We really could have done with a block of fries half that size, but it only came in one ginormous size. Isla was already chowing down on her ice cream and instinct kicked in and she started dipping the fries in the ice cream.

After walking around for a bit, we went back to the kiddie area and let Isla pick a couple rides to ride on. And given that she later said the horsie ride was her favorite, I am thinking she really is a carousel lover…she wants to ride them every time we see one. And just as the sun was setting, we grabbed our little girl and headed for home.

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Connor: This boy just got back from spending a week with his grandparents and cousin. He returned with many-a-things, including these handcuffs. This gave me a flashback to my childhood and my brother locking me in handcuffs when we had a babysitter and the keys nowhere to be found. I still remember sitting on the counter with her trying to pick the lock. Well, it turns out all these years later, you now don't have to have the key…there is a little button you can press when your older brother locks you up and throws away the key! 

Isla: Oh the many faces of this cheeky little girl. She certainly is one of a kind and very animated. I took this in a quick succession with other pictures and managed to capture about 15 different emotions from this girl.  

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

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Connor's Bedroom

Connor has been out of town with my parents and nephew for the week. I decided to give his room a good cleaning while he was gone and thought why I was at it, I should take pictures of his room. I may as well be able to remember the momentous occasion when his room stayed clean for more than 3 minutes! His room has also changed a lot since the last time I shared it.

Some friends of ours were moving (this happened at least a year ago) and gave us their bunk beds. We passed on the generosity by giving the slide bed to another family as well. For being a relatively small room, Connor's room has a lot of storage, thanks to the Ikea bookshelves. Those things hold a ton. Plus, I like the kids being able to see their toys and grab exactly what they are looking for.

^^ Connor's dress up stuff.  This stuff gets played with a lot by both him and Isla. 

^^ After all these years, I still have the craft project I made for Connor when he was little hanging up in his room…and I still try not to handle it too much, for fear it will fall apart.  

^^ I keep little mementos of Connor's in this jar. I am sure he won't ever care about them, but it's things like his ticket from his first Giant's baseball game, his first movie, etc. 

^^ The lego station. Back in the day, I had these grand ideas that Connor would play with his legos on top of that cute little thing. Well, the joke was on me because lego play cannot be contained! 

I should mention that normally this room has legos spread out in every single nook and cranny, making it extremely difficult and dangerous to walk in. Add on top of that any other toy that was gotten out to be played with…yeah, I don't know how kids can concentrate with the mess all over, but they seem to thrive on it. Connor does a good job making his own bed, in fact his perfectionistic tendencies come out when he makes his bed. But the bed making seems to be the only way he "cleans" his room without me forcing him to.

Anyway, that's Connor's room. It's where a lot of playing happens, a lot of lego building, and a lot of yelling for his sister to get out.

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