Five on Friday

It was not awesome when my laptop was accidentally flung off the couch a few weeks ago. But luckily, it is tax refund time.  On our lovely day off together, Matt and I welcomed this new family member. I am so excited to have my own space (yes, all 48" of it) for my work/hobbies. And I do not miss having a laptop at all. If I wake up early and have an idea, I can just get out of bed and do something with the idea. I can't wait to decorate the wall.

Valentine sweets. This is my favorite time of year for sweets!  Chocolate everything, pink, red, just so feminine and I love it. I posted this recipe a few years ago, but this year I had Larkyn to help me sprinkle them.

I have been eyeing these suede booties for about 6 months but kept thinking I'd look stupid in them. Then I tried them on in DSW in front of Matt and noted that I thought they were "cute and maybe I'd pull the trigger one day". Well, lo and behold, they somehow ended up as a stocking stuffer from my shoe-loving man. I LOVE them! I can comfortably wear them all day and they are a fun change from tall boots. The only bad part is that you have to be so careful with them, I already have two small spots from a drooly baby!

Surprise Snow Days!  This time I year, I go from rabidly watching the weather to see if we will have a day off to refusing to watch it so I don't get my hopes up. Apparently, I was the only one surprised to get the 6 AM voicemail to cancel school this week. We were off every Monday in January...I love and enjoy my job, but who doesn't love a three day weekend with their babies?

This hilarious video that Jill sent me. So, so true.

"You're ruining my life"...

Wasn't it just yesterday that I was recounting the vocabulary of my sweet-as-sugar 17 month old?  I mean, look at those dimples! 

Our almost-four year old is way past these word and onto a slew of other choice phrases and quirks. I don't write about her as often as I should now that I have been doing monthly updates on Rhys (don't feel bad, as you recall, I did weekly updates with her!)

She is magical. Really, that's the only word to describe her. She can be maddening at times, frustrating, even, but most of the time, we just love watching her grow and waiting for what comes out of her mouth next. 

One of my favorite new habits of hers is that she now gets her outfits ready for the next day. This took YEARS of modeling by me and one day it just clicked, and it just kills me. She will fling open a drawer, pull out whatever shirt is on top (I jump in to give a little reminder that "It's time for something new), we work together to find pants that match, she runs to her bow holder and is actually getting good at finding a bow that matches, pulls out her shoes-of-the-moment, and a coat, and throws it all (with gusto) on her dresser. "THERE! I'm ready for the day!"

Some of our favorite Larkynisms:
  • L: (making "potty noises" up and down the aisles of Target) Me: "Please stop doing that. That's yucky." L: "You're ruining my life"
  • Coming downstairs on January 2nd to see an empty Christmas tree: "Christmas is gone!"
  • Looking out the window on January 6th to see a school-closing snow storm: "Christmas is back!"
  • L: (repeated "Yeeeeeehaw!" coming from the bathroom) Matt: "What's she doing?" Me: "I don't know but she sounds happy. I'll check in a minute." L: (caught doing chin-ups on the towel bar that is now hanging off the wall) Me: (various motherly scolding) L: "You're ruining my life". I have no idea where this came from but the two times she has said it, I simultaneously want to flip out and die from laughter,
  • L: (listening to Ella Henderson's "Ghost") "This is a cowboy song."  ???
  • L: (thoughtfully looking out the car window) "Hey mommy, when I used to be born, I grew up."
  • She says "Serious" for hilarious. As in, "Mommy, is Goofy serious?"
  • "Doo'ed" for the past tense of "do". As in, "Bastian pulled the pizza off the table. He doo'ed that."

She loves her routines, man. And if you mess them up once, there is hell to pay. We have to brush our teeth together and then go play dollhouse before her bedtime story and song. I can't miss any steps or trade one out if the other takes too long. Nope, there is no negotiation with this one. 

Matt and I had the day to ourselves on Saturday (thanks, mom) and we kept finding ourselves talking about her (and of course, the little man). Though our conversations are getting scarily close to teenager exchanges, she makes us laugh and fills our hearts. 

I'm working on it

...keeping up with laundry, especially when a certain preschooler wets the bed and it needs to be stripped. The worst!

...keeping up with any housekeeping, come to think of it. Some days I feel like it is the only thing I do and at the end of the day, it looks like I did nothing. We've talked about getting some help with this because it is the number one source of arguments and stress. I'm working on it.

...leaving my phone in another room so I can be a little more present. Even if it is just to watch a show, do I need to be looking at Pinterest while watching TV? Maybe, if the kids want a birthday party. Just kidding.

...spending less money on food/drinks outside our house. The fabulous Mr. Coffee and the 20 minutes taken from our lunch time has helped with that!

... buying less-processed food, especially for the kids. Why does it have to cost so much more?!

...spending less money at Target. When we moved a few blocks from a Target, it easily became our grocery store, convenience store, pharmacy, etc. This leads to going in for a prescription and coming out with a tank top, cereal, and a mug. And forgetting the prescription.

...practicing hand-lettering each day. Purely out of scrap piece of wood or my children's art supplies are safe from a little monogram or laurel branch practice.

...over analyzing other's thoughts- typically concluding that they are either mad at me or do not like me. I'm working on not letting this bother me, I guess. I can't make everyone happy, and some were not raised to accept differences--I cannot change this. photography. I need to suck it up and take a course. I get so frustrated with low light and really don't know what I'm doing. I'm hoping to either trade in my SLR and point and shoot for a current model or buy a new lens for my SLR.

...getting together with friends more. I am working on the balance between role as mom and role as friend, and hopefully this year, I can get out a little more. I am lucky to have patient and understanding friends!

...getting gas when it is cheap!  It NEVER fails that I see it and tell everyone "Wow! Gas was 1.79 today!" but keep driving. Then when my gas light comes on, it is at least 40 cents more.

Resolutions for the new year don't really do much for me. But I am aware of a few things that could use some improvement and maybe I can slowly chip away at them. What are you working on?

Rhys is 10 months old!

To say that the last month of my son's life has blown me away would be an understatement. He went from pretty helpless to doing everything a "real person" does, only in this tiny little body. I laugh every time I see him walking around the house (holding on to furniture of course) because watching this tiny little body confidently grip, throw, smack, and climb is hysterical. In true second child form, he is just trying to keep up with everyone...

Eating:  EVERYTHING. I honestly haven't found anything he doesn't like. And he is good at chewing most things too, because he has 8 teeth! He seems to like "dinner" food best (pot roast, mac and cheese, steamed veggies, etc.) and is not as interested in his bottle. We are definitely beyond purees, but I still buy the pouches to make sure he has enough fruits and vegetables.

Into: Climbing the stairs so fast that we don't even realize what has happened (scary!) He also has a fascination with the bathtub, toilet, and I guess anything in the bathroom.

Loves: Our TV remote (and he watches the TV when he pushes the buttons to make sure he has changed whatever we are watching). He also crawls at super speeds when he hears the bath water, because he wants to get in. He is such a good boy at little shopping buddy!

Frustrated by: Anything that gets in his path. He will keep barreling through to move anything. He also despises wearing his winter coat in the car seat.

I can't believe our big guy is almost a year old! He is babbling a lot (says "Eeeee" when excited, "da da da da..." when happy, and "ma ma ma MA MA" when he wants something. I am anxious to see where he will be with standing next month, because he is experimenting with that now...slow down, buddy!

Five on Friday

Five of my favorite things lately...

Decorating for Valentines Day! I have never done this before, but it was pretty easy to do without spending much money at all. I already had the canvas, as I keep them on-hand now. The jar of Pottery Barn stars was from Christmas, the wreath was in the Target Dollar Spot (decorated with one paper "flower" that made me question my existence), blocks were left over blank ones from Julie's shower, and the wooden sign was on our wall at our old house. I painted a burlap banner kit from Michael's (comes with 12 flags and a long piece of twine). I love how it turned out, and it reminds me of my mama, who LOVES Valentines Day!

Firefly Play Cafe. A few years ago, it was not my preferred spot, but now that we are about 2 miles away and they are open til 8 pm on Tuesday nights, this is our new hangout.

Reading again. I don't know how long this will last, but I actually read one book (The Fault in our Stars) and started another (Wild) over Winter break. I missed it. I also realized that when you download a book from iTunes, you can't hold it and see that it is clearly middle school literature until you finish it and it is categorized in your list as "Childrens Fiction". Oh well, I still enjoyed it.

New serveware. My weakness? Yes. Necessary? Yes. I am a freak about heating plastic in the microwave, and these are the perfect size to heat up kid-sized oatmeal and dinner. They were 3.99 each at Target, of course, and there were several other patterns.

A little one who happily eats whatever he is given. Rhys loves his Gerber puffs. He loves pot roast. And icing on a pretzel, and peanut butter swiped from the sandwich as I am trying to make one for his sister. Basically, he has had it all. As by-the-book I was with Larkyn, I can't keep up with this guy and all the rules have been broken. But how can I resist?

Snow Day.

A little job-related perk every once in a while.

Although Larkyn (my impossibly home-bodied girl) had me at home for 2 weeks, she still thought today was pretty cool. She kept asking, "And now what should we do?"

We should paint pictures. "This is you!" she said. I was practicing a little art of my own, joining in Pen +  Peplum's hand-lettering challenge. This week's was a word or phrase to describe 2015. We should build "downtown" with our blocks from Santa. And have cute little brothers to watch us. We should try mixing a hot chocolate packet with our Espresso to make a mocha {not that great!} And we should watch the snowplow and lay in sunbeams.

Seeing the trains at Columbus Main Library

I hadn't been downtown to the Main Library since I was in college. But friends had been telling me about the amazing train display that they have during the holidays, and we finally decided to end our winter break by going to see them with our friends, Mara and Maggie.

Parking is off Grant Avenue under the building, so it is the perfect place to come during ugly weather. Bring your parking ticket inside with you, because that is where you pay for parking (which was 50 cents for our 2 hours stay!)

The train display did not disappoint. It is gorgeous, ornate, and detailed. For older kids, they have some "Can you find?" signs. The younger kids just like staring at it.

When you are all finished with the display (and if you go to the library after they take it down after the new year), there is much more to do around the corner in the kids area.

The kids loved the giant magnetic wall, the puppet show area, Larkyn enjoyed coloring, there is a big castle structure to sit in read in, and don't forget the books (we did).

We brought snacks (and coffee) and it wasn't a problem. However, I regretted bringing my own coffee after I realized there is a Crimson Cup in the lobby!

Family story time was at 11:00 and neither of the girls were interested. I am not in the business of making her try things if she is doing something she is enjoying and she is behaving, so I didn't push it.

The fireplace was so cute. You can't tell, but it is actually animate and quite fascinating to Rhys. I loved seeing the parents scattered around the kids area reading to their kids. Next time, we will try to get some books. Although I may have my Masters in Childrens Literature, I am terrible at returning library books.

We went on the busiest day of the week (Saturday) and it wasn't too crowded. If you want to do the story time, though, grab a seat early because it was definitely full. Go check it out!
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