A San Francisco Weekend

^^ Though they don't look happy, Connor said the jailhouse at Alcatraz was his favorite part of San Francisco, so he really is enjoying himself more than he is letting on! 

^^ Photo courtesy of Connor. He's getting pretty dang good at this whole picture taking thing…of course, he then decided to act his age and jump off the bench with the camera in his hands, giving both Ian and I a heart attack. 

^^ This kid loves these smashed pennies and begs for one every time he sees a machine.  

This past weekend, we took the kids to San Francisco. We headed over there Saturday morning. There was a car accident on the bridge, so it took us forever to get over there, but we made it with a few minutes to spare before our boat departure to Alcatraz. Alcatraz was the main reason we went. Connor is obsessed with jails and we thought he would like it. We had to book the tickets weeks in advance and of course Isla came down with pink eye two days before our trip. Given that the tickets were non-refundable, I decided we were going anyway…and thankfully, Isla woke with white eyes on Saturday, so it ended up being a non-issue anyway.

We made it to Alcatraz and Connor cared about nothing but making it to the jailhouse, so that's where we went. It includes an audio tour. For the first five minutes, both kids seemed interested, but Isla's interest quickly wained. And, to be honest, I understand why. It is so crowded in there, it's hard to see things. And how do you explain to a kid that they can't play in the one open jail cell because there is a massive line of people waiting to get in and look at it too?! Connor made it about halfway through the audio tour before he was done. At that point, I decided to scrap the tour. We walked to a quieter part of the jail and let the kids run around for a few minutes before heading out. We spent a little time walking around the island before Isla started pitching a fit to go back on the boat, so we headed back to the dock. Later I asked Isla what her favorite part of San Francisco was and she said the boat rides, so I am guessing that was the reason she was pitching a fit to get back to the boat. I will say I don't think Alcatraz (especially the tour) is meant for younger children at all (there were seriously hardly any families there), but Connor did say seeing the jail was his favorite part of the trip, so it made it worth it.

After we got back to San Francisco, we headed to our hotel and got checked in. We hung out for a bit before heading to dinner. And after dinner, we just got the kids ready for bed. It was a miracle, but somehow both kids were asleep before 9pm…our kids actually going to sleep in a relatively timely manner in a hotel room is pretty much unheard of.

The next morning, we got up and headed out. We walked down to the wharf and took a ride on the cable car. We got off at the cable car museum. There really isn't much to see there, but Connor loved it. Isla really wasn't interested at all, but I got her a $3 notebook in the gift shop and she sat on the floor, happy as can be, drawing away. We then got on another cable car and took it to Union Square. Then we crossed the street and hopped on a street car (yeah, our kids love the random public transportation and we had unlimited passes) and took it down to the street car museum. This museum was so incredibly small. So small. But, it had the front of a street car in it and Connor happily got to sit there ringing the bell and playing with all the knobs…until it was time to go, and he was then no longer happy. And the museum (they really can't call it that, being so incredibly small, but whatever) had a kids table with coloring pages, so Isla was totally content too. After the museum, we crossed the street and grabbed lunch in the Ferry Building. Then we hopped back on the street car and took it to the end of the line. And from there made our way back to our hotel to grab our car and make our way home.

It was a fun little family adventure. I'm glad we went. It's fun seeing the kids enjoy things so much. Though, it's not as fun when you have to take them out of a place they are enjoying…real life people, real life. I'm glad we got to do something special like this before the baby comes. I even said to Ian while we were trekking around, how we got a good few months in of not having to take a stroller places with us before going back to that.

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Isla Got a Haircut

Isla was given an unplanned haircut courtesy of Connor yesterday.

I was "watching" a friend's two boys…obviously not watching the kids close enough! All four kids were playing in the backyard. I was sitting just inside the back door, eating my lunch. Connor comes in and asks if he can cut Isla's hair. I reply no and tell him to bring me the scissors (which obviously don't belong outside…or being played with) and when I say this, Connor's friend yells from the backyard, "Do you want Isla's hair too?" So I call for Isla to come to me and this is what I am greeted with…

I'm not sure I will even know exactly what went down in the backyard. But, that's what happens when you are dealing with two five year olds, a four year old and a three year old. I am 99% certain that Connor did the cutting. I know Isla asked that he not cut her braid, so he didn't…and that braid ended up being her saving grace (more on that later). Connor's friend also thought it would be a good idea to use the hair to make a wig…I'm not sure if this was thought of after the cutting or was the cause of the cutting. Either way, what's done is done.

I actually said to Connor that perhaps I should have Isla cut his hair too. To which he replied, "But she doesn't know how to cut hair." And I said, "And you do?!" And the kid totally had the nerve to reposed with a, "Yes." Oh man, this kid.

When Isla realized that her hair could not actually be reattached, she fell to the ground crying. It was pretty sad actually. After I couldn't get ahold of my hair girl, I called a friend that used to cut my hair and begged her to help. Thankfully she obliged. After she saw Isla, she told me that often times moms exaggerate in situations like this, but that I did not. On the way to get Isla's hair fixed, Connor randomly said from the back of the car, "Mom…you never told me NOT to cut Isla's hair." Oh man boy, don't turn this one back on me!

After seeing Isla and taking out her braid, my friend decided rather than cutting all of Isla's hair super short, to move her part more toward the center and create a bob. Admittedly, you can still tell where the short chop on one side was, but it turned out so much better than I was imagining. I was seriously thinking she was going to end up with a pixie cut.

I have to admit, it looks cute. It just isn't what I am used to. And I am going to miss those pigtails, the big ponytail down her back, and even the topknot on her head. Sigh.

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34 Weeks

I kind of can't believe that my due date is in 6 weeks. 42 days. I literally almost had a mini panic attack in the preschool parking lot when I was looking at Isla's November calendar and realized my due date is a mere week and a half after her Thanksgiving party. I feel so unprepared. Yet, I am not exactly sure what I need to prepare anyway. Sure we still need to get the crib out of the garage and set it up. But we have a car seat and I bought a pack of diapers and wipes at the store yesterday. And I washed all the newborn baby clothing I have…I put all the gender neutral in one drawer and all the boy/girl in another drawer. I didn't bother pulling out any other sizes because I figure I will just do that after the baby comes and I know what it is. I guess I am feeling like I am in this weird limbo stage. I want to nest…like I am at that point when I spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect mobile to go over the not-yet-set-up crib, only to not want to spend the ridiculous price of said mobile I just spent hours trying to find. I may make my own. 

Pregnancy wise, things are going well. After gaining a crap ton of weight in my first trimester, I have waaay slowed down the weight gain and am totally on track to stay well within the 25-35 recommended pounds. Of course, you never know what those end of pregnancy cravings could do to me! Honestly, I haven't been craving anything crazy. In fact, I really haven't been craving much at all. Even fast food (which I normally LOVE me some Taco Bell) just sounds blah. So I am sure that has helped with the lack of weight gain. At my doctor's appointment last week, they asked me if I am exercising. I totally just laughed. Of course, they were nice enough to appease me and say that it is hard to exercise this late in pregnancy…yeah, because I have been staying super active this whole pregnancy before now ;)

I am getting tired of wearing the same clothes over and over. Most of them are basics, so sometimes I just feel a little blah because of that. And I can't really jazz up my basics with a scarf or necklace because I am still having a huge gag reflux when things touch my neck. I really hope that goes away after pregnancy because I have never dealt with that before. I will be excited when the weather turns a little cool, as I have a couple long sleeve tops and that makes me feel like I am mixing things up a bit…yeah, I am living life on the edge over here. 

So there you have it. All is healthy and well. Baby still doesn't have a name…well, and given that we don't know what it is, won't until birth anyway. But we don't have a boy or girl name set in stone. I am not exercising. We need to set up the crib. I know, exciting stuff. But I have been doing some Christmas shopping because, well, I really should get that done in the next 6 weeks. 

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Connor: Thinks public transportation is the coolest (probably because he doesn't have to ride it every day…then again, I used to love it when I rode the bus every day, so who knows). He is most fond of standing and not holding on to anything and trying to steady himself when the bus starts and stops. 

Isla: "Mama, when I hear music, I just have to dance." The girl doesn't even need music to dance! One of my favorites is her love of singing…and making up her own songs. It cracks me up because she will make them up about just about anything and everything. 

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

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A Doozy of a Dozy

^^ I'm told by a certain almost six year old that pirates don't smile 

It's been quite a week. A very long week. Connor got pink eye. This is the first time it has ever hit our house. The eye drops from the doctor did nothing to stop it and it lasted a full week. He missed four days of school before his doctor wrote a note saying he could be back at school with his eyes still pink…which funnily enough, he woke that morning for school and his eyes were no longer pink. She seemed just as stumped as I that his eyes were pink, yet he had no discharge. And, sure enough, on the morning that Connor got to go back to school, Isla woke up with it. I literally wanted to stand in the corner and scream. It's so hard when your kids are sick, but not really sick. They don't feel like they are sick. Yet, they feel like I am torturing them by not allowing them to go to school or play with their friends. And let's not even talk about the eye drops. Four times a day I am literally doing the absolute worst thing to my child. And just when I was done doing it with one, I got to start it with the other. It sucks trying to do something to your child that they hate so much.

A trip to Target by myself and some eggnog creamer to go in my coffee cheered me up and kept me from actually standing in the corner and screaming. But seriously, sometimes this parenting gig is hard work. And I keep being haunted by the thought that just as Isla gets better, I will come down with pink eye.

P.S. Please tell me I am not the only one who gets lines from their kids books stuck in their head? The Pout-Pout Fish in the Big-Big Dark talks about "a doozy of a..." and now I say it. 

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An Interview with Isla {4 years}

Just to remember some of the things Isla was in to when she turned four…or some of the things that just don't make sense and it will be fun to watch her answers change over the years.

What's your full name? Isla Grimbleby
How old are you? 4
How tall are you? 4
What color are your eyes? blue
What color is your hair? brown
What day of the week is it? I don' t know

What is your favorite…
     color - purple
     food - watermelon
     drink - apple juice
     ice cream - vanilla
     toy - Cinderella light up toy
     book - Cinderella
     song - princesses (I even questioned her on this, but she insisted on it. I really don't know.)
     show - Cinderella (sense a theme?!)
     thing to do - play
     game - hide and seek
     sport - silly (yeah, I don't know)
     animal - kitties

Who is your best friend? Felicity and Payslie
What is your favorite thing about yourself? My head

Three things that make you special:
     1. my toys
     2. my necklaces
     3. "that's all"

Some of Isla's answers took me by surprise a little. For instance, though she really likes Cinderella, I didn't expect her to pick all that Cinderella stuff. She plays with her stuffed kitties all the time and takes them everywhere with her, so I expected something like that to be her favorite toy. And I thought she would say Little Einstein's or Jake and the Neverland Pirates was her favorite show. I was excited to ask her things about herself and see her answers. Her saying her head was her favorite thing about herself made me smile. The answer came complete with her patting herself on the head. And the things that make her special threw me off a little, but gave me a chuckle too.

It's fun watching my kids grow up and I am excited to see the answers change over the years…and eventually I am sure I will have to take away their car keys to get them to cooperate with my little interviews ;)

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 Connor: Playing alphabet bingo with his sister. The kids have been playing games together a lot lately. 99% of the time they make up their own rules. But I love it. And I am pretty sure Connor loves it because he gets to act like the boss and Isla listens. 

Isla: She turned four this week. This was her standing in her birthday streamers that I hung on her door the night before. They didn't even make it through the day before the day the kids pulled them down. 

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

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Beach Day

^^ Because throwing sand in the ocean is the best 

^^ Being buried in the sand is always a huge hit 

^^ The crossed toes in anticipation 

We took a day trip to the beach on Saturday. Its been way too hot around these parts for this pregnant lady. Like temps I was able to handle a couple months ago are now driving me insane. I keep trying to remind myself that it is always cold by December…so there is hope. But, in the mean time, I have just been a slight bit miserable. But back to the beach.

I love how the beach is self entertaining for the kids. Connor had so much fun playing in the water. He would sit down and let the waves crash on him. He would run back and forth with the waves. He would throw sand at the waves. Isla spent more time playing in the sand, but warmed up to the water and joined in on the fun. She was just a little less sure, so needed to be holding on to a hand while playing. And, I realized, I really should have worn a bathing suit…I got to sport wet shorts for a couple hours. I also realized a white shirt is not a good idea for at the beach. My entire belly area was super dirty. Oh well. Live and learn.

We stayed and played at the beach for a few hours before giving the kids cup baths from the outdoor sinks at the bathrooms (the showers weren't working) and changed them before heading on. I'm pretty sure half of the sand from the beach came home with us in my car…and my car is still begging to be deep cleaned. It was a very good day.

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A Dog Of A Time

We are dog sitting my parents dog for a few weeks. The kids enjoy taking baths with her and walking her around on her leash. She enjoys chasing the kids, barking at them…the kids in turn, run between the couch and a chair while all 4.5 pound of dog chases and barks at them. I think all three of them love it.

I still am not on board with getting a pet, but little dogs always make it so much easier for me to be on board. They don't shed and their poops are small…so a win/win if you ask me. And now my aunt has me toying with the idea of an outdoor cat. Who knows what will happen. The kids want a pet and I don't really want the added responsibility, especially with a baby on the way.

But dog sitting for a couple weeks at a time, I can handle.

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Isla {4 years}

On the one hand, I would like to say "How did this girl become four years old already?!" but on the other, it really doesn't seem like yesterday that she was born…or even like yesterday that we were celebrating her third birthday. A lot of growing up was packed into her third year. She went from throwing a fit every time I dropped her off at preschool to handling it like a seasoned pro. She doesn't throw fits (tantrums) like she used to, though still has a knack for the dramatic. She still loves all things kitty and princess. Though her love of her brother's legos has certainly grown and it's becoming the norm to find her having snuck into his room to play with his legos.

Some of Isla's current favorites are all things cat related, Little Einstein, and anything arts and crafts related. Book-wise, she loves Pete the Cat and Dora the Explorer. As for food, she loves apple sauce, tomatoes, strawberry yogurt and frozen waffles.

Isla loves to play with her friends, but she is just as happy off playing by herself. In fact, she pretty much rocks at independent play. Most of the time, it involves her (stuffed) kitties or some sort of drawing…and as long as that drawing doesn't include the walls or furniture, I am down. Isla loves to read and often times I will find her asleep at night in her bed, cuddled up with a book…and her kitty nightlight, which I always think is semi dangerous and am sure to move back off her bed.

Isla loves to sing songs, both made up and real. She doesn't like it when Connor sings along with her and says shouts "I just want to sing by myself!!!" She is great at doing puzzles, even ones I thought she couldn't do by herself, she can totally conquer. She often talks about how she is getting her drivers license soon…yeah, sure you are. Isla has a very sweet side to her, where she likes to cuddle up with me in bed. She tells me often that she loves me and loves to give hugs.

^^ The headband didn't last long because apparently it was "itchy" 

^^ Apparently she hasn't mastered holding her thumb down by itself, so the improvised. 


I love this little girl of mine more than she understands and count it a privilege to be the one who gets to cuddle with her in bed in the morning. To be the one that gets to clean her scrapes when she falls. To be the one that gets to play puzzles with her on the floor. She is one special little person and I am glad I get to be her mom.

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