Pages

Monday, November 3, 2014

Making Friends in Your Thirties

I think finding friends can best be represented by a logarithmic graph, and the limit as you approach 30 (or really infinity) tapers off to some constant, let's say 20 (But you have 300 FB friends!!!). Let's be real, how many do you regularly hang out with?...and as a parent, I'll define regularly as once every 6 months.  School made finding friends (not necessarily making or keeping friends) easier.  Therefore, after it college, it appears that you start slowing down, and while you have less friends, you probably have more meaningful friendships, right?! Quality over quantity.



I have made some great friends post college days, mostly reconnecting with friends from high school who live and work in my home town.  So we generally knew each other prior to becoming friends (or better friends).



I have also been fortunate to have found some great friends when I was pregnant with Aidan due to the internet (pregnancy message boards).  So we had quite the long courtship in our friendship prior to meeting in person, though I was still nervous to meet in person, but I felt I knew them well.  My instinct was right because I don't know what I would do without these friends, and we get together regularly. We also chat a lot, and they are a big part of my life. I've now known them for close to 4 years!



But branching out from the home town and my pregnancy board friends...I haven't done that....until now.



I was nervous, like first date with a cute guy nervous.  In fact, I haven't been this nervous since AJ picked me up for our first date.



I was worried about what to wear, worried about my hair, worried about whether I should wear my cowboy boots or my camo boots (hey, it was raining, I was trying to think practical).

I was worried about being late, I was worried about the short lasting "diarrhea of the mouth" disease. 

I was worried she might cancel (because there was snow on the ground).



So I was nervous and worried, but I was also excited.  This could potentially be a new friend, how cool is that?!



It's not like we didn't know each other - it wasn't hey my kid played with your kid at the park, and I've never seen you before, so let's hang out . 

Nothing crazy or scary -  I have interacted with her over a two year period, so I kind of knew her.



Since the boys were with family, I was able to venture out by myself.  So it would really eliminate the chaos and allow to me to focus and hold a real adult conversation.  At first, it appeared that we would meet up and shop. SHOP! I'm such a picky shopper, and not really someone you want to go shopping with unless you know my tendencies.  I have such a hard time making a decision because I don't want to make a bad purchase and be out the money. I despise returning things. I usually shop online because I can research and agonize over my decision without tons of people around me wondering why I am staring at the same item for ten minutes.  Don't get me wrong, I like nice things, I have nice things, but the decision to buy them is a long process.  So not only am I a difficult shopper, but I also do not like crowds. If a sales person asks me if I need help finding anything, or if a stranger gets in my personal space, I'm ready to leave the store.  Just pretend I'm not there, is that so hard?



But fortunately, things turn to a lunch date instead of meet and go shop date.  I can do food - just not super unhealthy fried food and really, let's avoid a chain restaurant.  Also, I don't know what I want to eat, so here I go, being difficult again. However, she stuck through the decision making progress.  Basically, she did all of the work once I asked if she wanted to hang out.  I mean, asking was hard, right?! 



Lunch was great, food was great, talking was great.

But we both had a few free hours from our kids, so why waste it, let's do something.  Back to shopping, there are several new stores that recently opened, so it seemed like a good idea to check them out.



The first stop was a shoe store - I have been looking for some Ariat (see, I like nice stuff) cowgirl boots, pointed toe with a pattern but no rhinestones or weird color embroidery. Thus the shoe store sounded like a great idea.


We quickly learned, I'm country, she's not.  But we looked at all the boots and clearance shoes, and I feel like I wasn't an awkward shopping partner.  I saw some nice boots, but none were the cowboy boots that I was searching for (by the way, Amazon saves the day on those).  Then we went to a home goods store, and in fact, that might be the name of the store.  I always like a kitchen gadget, and I was in need of some storage solutions, but I found nothing.  After we were done there, it was either more shopping or go get coffee.



THANK GOODNESS I like coffee now, what would have happened if it was two years ago?! More shopping?! And what if I was too awkward because I already hit my shopping threshold?! Coffee was the best decision, and I felt comfortable. We talked for a long time, and I think it went well, but then it was time to go home.  She dropped me back off at my car, and I had some stuff to give her, so I retrieved it. But she got out of her car, and all I could think about was PLEASE do not be a hugger!  Really Diana? Really? Yes, that was my honest thought.  Nope, she grabbed the stuff, and we parted ways. Whew, saved.



So in all, I confessed to not liking being around people (like a neighborhood - I much prefer the secluded country, and there were probably several more examples)...but I hope I made it clear that I like friends. Side note, I like to control who is around me, which is why I don't shop on Black Friday and absolutely despise going into stores between Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas. I don't like being around all those people.  



I also admit to being more country, and hey, I would love cow farmers as neighbors (I mean, who wouldn't...better than people!)



And I probably talked more than I should and had a mild case of the "diarrhea of the mouth" disease.



However, that did not stop me from texting her a short while after arriving home.  It's almost like dating, hah. I hope she liked me, and I hope we can hang out again.  And then I checked my phone obsessively to see if she responded to my text.



She did...and we'll hang out again. :)



Then the next thought came - when is it appropriate for us to be FB friends? I mean, nothing is official if it isn't on FB, right?! 



And when it becomes FB official, I should probably delete this post, right?! Would it be awkward to read this? Oy, I’m so fortunate I have understanding friends.



If you haven’t made a new friend in a while, I suggest trying it out.  It was a great time. (So now I can refrain from making any more friends until my forties, hah!)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Twelve (and a Half) Months

So I tried to write a 12 month post/Dear Owen the night before his birthday, but I couldn't.  I couldn't believe I would have another toddler the next day, so I lived the next two weeks in denial.  I delayed saying I needed his 1 year stats.  All my excuses are gone, so here I am, accepting I have another toddler and most importantly, no more baby. :(

At his well visit, Owen weighed 25.4 lbs and was 32” tall.  He was in the 99th percentile for each, and I think he was taller than Aidan was at one year.  Owen, fortunately, did not react to his shots like his brother did.  He cried for a minute, took his pacifier, and as we were leaving, he was waving and smiling at everyone.

Despite wanting to live in denial, I love how active Owen is and love seeing his personality develop. He knows when he is missing out, like daddy and Aidan riding the tractor.  But he also knows that he can cry and the toy Aidan has or has taken will be given back (in most cases).  He knows that he can try to tackle, tickle, and pat Aidan.  He knows Aidan is "bubba" and has even said "Aidan".  Owen knows that Bo's room has a baby gate, and when he sees the gate open, he looks back at me, then closes it.

Owen can practically run, and he loves chasing after Aidan.  If he hears the door open, he runs towards to see who came in or to catch whoever is leaving.  He loves to climb up stairs, climb up slides, and climb all over Bo.  

Owen is excited about remote controls and keys.  He also loves to eat puzzles and run after balls.  He likes to bring blocks and toys to Aidan, daddy or me.  He has learned to say “thank you”.  He gives you something, and he says “thank you”.

I couldn’t imagine our family without Owen. 

Aidan can be a sweet big brother, but he can also be rough.  I can’t wait for the day for Owen to hold his own.  Aidan does apologize, sometimes not very sweetly, but he’ll learn.  

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mom Fail


I have to remind myself that I create the situations that foster the behavior that my toddler exhibits.  To be upset at my kid for things he doesn’t understand isn’t fair to him.  Unfortunately, this kind of thinking doesn’t occur to me until well after the fact that the situation occurred, and I am beyond upset.

There was a toddler situation that happened a few months back that felt like the worst day ever since becoming a mom.  However, I forget whatever happened.  The only memory I have of the day is cuddling with my toddler when he’s already asleep.  So I selectively remembered the good.

On Friday, after running many errands and cleaning the house to prep for the boys’ birthday party, I was excited to pick them up early.  I had a plan – I would treat Aidan to a cheeseburger and a haircut.  Aidan loves to have his haircut now, so when I asked him if he wanted to go, he excitedly said “yes”.  Owen was in desperate need of his first real haircut (momma cut the curls and long hairs a month or so back, but he needed something).

Upon asking where Aidan wanted a cheeseburger and a toy, mom, we went to Sonic to fulfill his wishes.  He ate in the car on the way to the hair cut place, which was just a few minutes down the road.  We played with his toy, a plastic Mohawk, while he ate the rest of his cheeseburger in the parking lot.  

Aidan, Owen and I went inside of Great Clips.  They had two people in chairs receiving haircuts, but other than those customers, we were next in line.  There was a man getting a buzz haircut, and I figured the wait for Aidan would be short.

BUT! It felt like forever.  Aidan played with toys, Owen went for hair care products.  If Aidan saw Owen being bad, he had to do the same.  Aidan proclaimed he was a baby and proceeded to walk like a baby and knock stuff over.  I distracted Owen with the toys, and of course, Aidan had to scream “those are my toys.”  Owen will let out a scream, and Aidan would let out a louder scream or two…or three.  I would scold Aidan, then Owen would scream again.  I tell Owen “no” but he doesn’t understand. REPEAT. And REPEAT. And REPEAT.  After an eternity, the hair dresser was finally ready for Aidan.

AJ always tells me how great Aidan does with a haircut.  He tells me the haircut only takes a few minutes, and Aidan sits still. LIES LIES! Aidan did not sit still. Aidan did not listen, Aidan’s haircut took forever.  While the hairdresser was patiently distracting and asking Aidan to listen to her directions, the second hairdresser said she was ready for Owen.

What?! Do you not understand physics? I can’t be in two places at once (I was previously holding Owen and standing near Aidan).  Surely you can take the next customer in line…oh, you can’t? Ugh, okay, here goes nothing.

Owen does not want his hair cut. He is screaming, crying, and moving all around.  He’s in a booster seat with me closely by waiting to grab a lunging baby, errrr, toddler.  Then I hear “momma” from the first hairdresser.  I turn around to see Aidan has a nose bleed.  He kept rubbing his nose because the hair was irritating him.  He rubbed it and accidentally pushed pointy hairs up his nose.  

Like a deer in the headlights, I froze. What do I do? Aidan is upset his nose is bleeding, and Owen is mad about his hair cut.  The first hairdresser has given Aidan tissue, and the second one is telling me she has Owen, not to worry. Okay, run to Aidan.  I calm him down and told the tissue on his nose while the hairdresser is brushing off the cut hair.  I get the bleed to stop, so I rush back to Owen to give him his pacifier.  Aidan rubs his nose like I told him not to do, and the bleeding resumes.  Owen is moving his head left and right, up and down, and squirming in his chair. I grab Owen, hold his head, and the hairdresser finishes with Owen.  

The first hairdresser takes Owen from me so I can use a cold, wet towel for Aidan and his nose.  I sit Aidan down in a chair while I fetch my purse to pay for the haircuts. I generously tip the hairdressers, take Owen, and am about to leave when Aidan asks for a sucker.  The first hairdresser promised him one (with my permission), and he wants to pick it out.  But she hands him a sucker instead…cue a meltdown.  I calm Aidan down, walk him to the counter, and I offer him the suckers.  He picks one, looks at it, and cries. Nope, he picked the wrong one.  He eventually finds what he wants (the same color as he originally chose), and we all leave NOT crying.  

I’m outside, feeling like I escaped the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and I take a deep breath.  We survived.

I remembered I forgot cream cheese for a dip I am making tomorrow, so I think we can make a short walk to Publix since Great Clips is in the same shopping center.  We walk to Publix on the sidewalk, grab a car cart, and enter the store.  

 I think to myself, these boys deserve a cookie.  Somehow we lost the sucker on our walk to Publix.  Owen gets his first cookie, and Aidan is happily eating one, too.  We stroll through the store and find cream cheese.  Then I remembered I needed cucumber.  We past donuts.  Aidan wants donuts.  I remind him that he had a cookie, and he does not need donuts. “But I want donuts, mommy!”  So now his behavior changes, and he has to touch, grab, and demand everything he sees.  I quickly grab a cucumber (and bananas) and head to check out.

Aidan wants a balloon. Aidan wants candy. Aidan wants his cheeseburger toy. I want out of here!  

We check out, park the car cart with the other carts in the store.  I pick Aidan up first and place him on the ground. I grab the two grocery bags, the diaper bag, and my purse.  I unsnap Owen and pick him up.  Aidan is at the toy and candy machines, you know, the quarter machines.  He wants this and that, and he doesn’t even know what this and that are.  I tell Aidan to take my hand. He refuses.  I tell Aidan “let’s go.”  He refuses. I squat down to look Aidan in the eyes and give him the directions firmly.  He refuses.  He runs.  He runs out the automatically opening doors.  I yell for Aidan to stop.  He runs towards the cross walk, and I’m yelling. I grab his hand and yank him away from the cross walk.  He escapes my grasp and runs back into Publix.  He runs in circles at the entrance of Publix where I see the looks in people’s eyes. You know “control your kid” or “you poor thing”.

Aidan runs back outside again. Again I grab him. Again he escapes. Again he runs back into the store.  Fortunately for me, he stops to stare at the quarter machines, so with my one empty arm, I pick him up.  So now I’m probably toting 80 lbs in both my arms, with two kids struggling to get free.  At this point, I have tears in my eyes because my kid will not listen, my kid endangered himself, and my kid is uncontrollable.

Aidan starts to cry and scream. Walking out of the store, a man says to me “I would be crying too if I had to wear that much orange.”  Thanks dude, I needed a laugh, but I sort of feel like punching you in the face. Lucky you, I don’t have a free hand.

I can’t walk the entire way back with both boys.  Honestly, it’s 100’ give or take, it’s not far. Great Clips is the next store down from Publix.  Fortunately, Aidan walks, crying the entire way. Crying in the car seat. Crying on the way home. Crying at home.

I turned up the radio, put the widows down, and drove the whole way home not talking to my toddler who kept saying “I want to ‘pologize. Mommy, I’m sooooorrry”. I needed a mental break.  Fortunately for me, the radio was playing all the good music, so I sang. Owen smiled.

Fifteen minutes are arriving home, so a grand total of giving Aidan the cold shoulder, I hugged him. I kissed him. I accepted his apology. But I also apologized, because I’m the mom, I created the situation.  I should have buckled my kids up after the haircuts and drove 100’ to find a parking spot next to the cart return.  Then, I would have had an easy way to put my kids in the car, return the cart, and drive home. No stupid quarter machine. Or I should have been the rude person who puts the cart in the bushes instead of returning it to its proper location, seeing how I thought we could make the short walk to Publix.

So let’s hope a few weeks from now, all I
remember is having two handsome boys and Owen experiencing his first taste of a cookie. Oh, and the good tasting wine I had that night.


Monday, September 8, 2014

THREE! An Update and Interview

My brown eyed baby boy is growing up, so here's an update on him...

GROWTH

Aidan has packed on a few more months since his 2.5 year old update.  He fluctuates between 41 and 42 lbs.  He also grew a few inches, and is between 41" and 42"  as measured at Stride Rite.  If I pull out the tape measure, he thinks it is his toy, and he must have it or won't stand still long enough for me to take a measurement.  He does go to the doctor for a yearly check up in a few weeks, so they can confirm (or deny) my measurements. 

Depending on the brand, Aidan is wearing 4t/5t/5/XS/S.  WHY AREN'T CLOTH SIZES UNIFORM?!  Gymboree or Children's place, better buy the smaller size because they run big.  Carter's, I buy 5.  Out shopping for a t-shirt from a lighthouse we climbed, he needs a YOUTH Small. Crazy.  I had hoped that Aidan would wear the same jeans from last year since but I noticed his swim suits that were loose at the beginning of the pool season are a struggle to put on.  So I went ahead and bought clearance 5T jeans (Children's Place). 

Aidan is still in a 8.5 to 9 Extra Wide shoe.  He prefers Crocs or Flip Flops, but he is not allowed to wear those to daycare/school.  He could wear the Crocs if he kept them on his feet, but apparently he constantly takes them off.  Toddlers... 

Aidan appears to have his 2 year molars popping through the gums.  Though I haven't dared to look in his mouth for a couple of months, but I did notice the teeth peeping through.  Maybe the dentist will confirm that the molars are present when he goes to his first official dentist visit. 

Aidan needs a hair cut at least every 3 weeks, but we usually wait until a month.  He goes with AJ for his hair appointment - it's their thing.  Though that doesn't stop Aidan from reminding me every day on the way home that he needs a haircut. 

SLEEP

Sleep or resisting sleep has not changed.  Taking toys and animals friends to bed has not changed.  His bed time was not suppose to change, but hey, with the summer time, we play outside a lot.  It's hard to make Aidan go to bed when there's still daylight and fun to be had.  I know, I know, he needs routine, but momma can't resist. 

Aidan still procrastinates sleep and finds every excuse to get out of bed.  Sometimes we have to take his favorite toy away to get him to stay in bed.  Never his lovey though, we would never take his Mimi (penguin). 

I did put up black out curtains in his room, hoping that it would cause Aidan to sleep later.  Two days last week he slept until 8AM! WHAT?! But then other days, he is up around 6AM.  Those curtains have been up for at least a month with not consistent change.  I tried. 

At daycare, Aidan still takes a two hour nap. At home, we struggle with naps.  It depends on how the day is going and how Aidan's attitude is whether we push and fight for the nap.  If we're having a busy day, I hope that he takes a power nap in the car.  If he doesn't, I hope bedtime is easier. 

 

Aidan has become quite the helper
MILESTONES

I think it's fantastic that Aidan can tell me what he wants to do.  After school, I try to take the boys somewhere if the weather is cooperating.  He will usually ask to 1. Go home and ride is tractor 2. Go to Fermata (pool) 3. Go to the regular park (as opposed to the Library park) 4. Go to the water park or 5. Go to Kroger.  I love how well he communicates and knows what he likes to do. 

Aidan started 3K on his birthday, so in addition to what he learns at daycare, he will also be in a semi school setting.  I took him on his second day, and he walked into his classroom like it was no big deal and nothing new.  Growing up! 

FAVORITES

Aidan still loves to be outside.  Since he learn to swim over the summer, a lot of our weekend evenings are spent at Fermata where he jumps off the diving board, dives for toys on the bottom of the pool, or chases me around to splash me.  At home, he likes to ride his tractor, ride the real tractor with daddy, and throw sticks in the creek.  He recently became really excited when the sticks sink in the creek.  Aidan is also a fan of water fights, whether it's with water guns or him sneaking the water hose.  He was very proud and laughing a lot when he surprised me with the water hose.  Little stinker...don't worry, momma gets payback. ALWAYS. 

Aidan has recently become obsessed with Spiderman.  I'm not sure where the obsession came from, but he loves anything Spiderman related.  Jake and Mickey are still favorites, but not nearly as much.   

 
THINGS TO DO

Aidan still loves going to the Zoo.  He still insists on riding the carousel (the Tiger or Elephant), riding the training, and riding the pony.  He was afraid to feed the goats and the giraffe, but now he loves to feed them.  He giggles when he feeds the goats because their tongue tickles his hand.  The giraffe still seems intimidating, but he actually holds the food now and lets the tongue touch him. 

Aidan continues to enjoy grocery shopping, especially since Kroger recently bought new car carts.  Instead of the car being bulky and attached to the front of the car, where the kid faces away from you and is the farthest away, the new carts have the steering wheel up at the shopping car handle.  He stays entertained driving and honking at people.  He also yells "get out the way!"  Lovely for the patron in front of us... 
 
Occasionally we do something different like build a birdhouse at Home Depot or Lowe's.  Aidan really enjoys banging the wood with the hammer, and I think he has only hit my thumb twice.  I'd say that's pretty good for building two birdhouses.

FOOD

We went through a food slump, but it appears Aidan is back to eating well.  He loves chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers along with cheese and applesauce.  He will tell us what he doesn't like - like at school, he doesn't like how a certain person cooks the corn.  He's honest, so don't ask his opinion if you don't want to hear the toddler truth!  Aidan will eat fish, but shies away from eating shrimp. 

Aidan is all about birthday cake.  If you're having a birthday party, you better not skip the cake (or cupcake).  He will devour the top of the cupcake and ask for me.  Sorry kiddo, that's enough sugar. 

I also believe Aidan would drink enough milk to fill him up and not need anything else. He loves milk, and I noticed we are going through more milk than we were just a month ago. 

 
FRIENDS AND FAMILY

Aidan is lucky, he sees his grandparents often, and usually his Aunts and Uncles once a month.  He loves playing with them, though he calls one of his aunts, Uncle Manda or Uncle Aunt Manda, though if it's any consolation to Amanda, he always greets her first before Uncle Chris.  He will also ask about her or where she is at if he does not see her but sees Uncle Chris.   

Aidan talks about his cousin Rozzie, and even enjoyed picking out her birthday present.  He talked non stop about her birthday and Rozzie being "one."  He doesn't pick on Rozzie the way he picks on Owen...nor does he purposefully knock her down with his butt. 

Aidan has a lot of friends, even more now that he is at a new daycare.  So he has his buddies from the "old school" as he calls it and the "new school".  He seems to see at least one friend outside of daycare at least every other week. He is still crazy for his friend named Charley.  He continues to call other girls Charley, even though he knows their name.  What can I say, those two act a lot alike when they are together, and Aidan is really excited when he can see pictures of Charley.  In fact, if he is misbehaving or having a meltdown, I'll offer him a seat beside me to look through Facebook photos
of Charley - instant mood change! 

Here's a yearly birthday interview I hope to continue.  Some questions required prompting, like giving him choices (like naming holidays off so he knew what he was choosing from) 

  1. How old are you? THREE! (Also holding 3 fingers up) 
  2. What are your nicknames? AA (prompted by daddy, nickname from "old school") 
  3. What is your favorite color? Pink 
  4. What is your favorite toy? Spiderman 
  5. What is your favorite fruit? Grapes 
  6. What is your favorite tv show? Rescue Rangers (recent birthday gift, so that was fresh in his mind) 
  7. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Cheeseburger 
  8. What is your favorite outfit? My Mickey Mouse shirt and Spiderman flip flops 
  9. What is your favorite game? Football 
  10. What is your favorite snack? Goldfish 
  11. What is your favorite animal? Elephant 
  12. What is your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star 
  13. What is your favorite book? Shark! (It's a pop up, underwater story book) 
  14. Who is your best friend? (Silent, thinking) Charley (with a smile)
  15. What is your favorite cereal? Oatmeal 
  16. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride your (pointing to daddy) tractor 
  17. What is your favorite drink? Milk (no surprise there, loves milk...we have to limit him) 
  18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas 
  19. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Spiderman, snake, Buzz Light year, Jake, Mickey (and Mimi, doggy, hard plastic toys...tons of stuff!) 
  20. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Waffles 
  21. What is your favorite movie? Chipmunks 
  22. What do you want to be when you grow up? Go to birthday parties 
  23. What’s your favorite thing you did this year? Went up the Lighthouse 
  24. What’s your favorite place to eat? At the couch (No Aidan, if we were in the car driving, where would you ask to eat?) Sonic 
  25. Where is your favorite place to go? To the beach....tomorrow 
  26. What makes you feel happy? You (pointing to me) make me happy (melt my heart why don't you!) 
  27. What makes you feel sad? The floor makes me sad 
  28. What’s your favorite thing to do with Mom? Go to the Lighthouse 
  29. What’s your favorite thing to do with dad? Jump on the trampoline 
  30. What did you do today? School (He said he went to school, which is true on his actual birthday, but I asked him these questions Sunday. He went to the Zoo with Grammy) 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Aidan Celebrates Being THREE

The night before Aidan's birthday, I stayed with him in his bed while he attempted to fall asleep.  We talked about him waking up three, and what it would mean.  He asked if he would have a birthday party, if people would sing him happy birthday, and if he could play on the big playground with the train.  He was stoked that I answered "yes" to all of his questions.  I also told him that Grammy would pick him up early after he takes his nap.  He was excited, and he actually stayed in bed to fall asleep by himself.

I wish I was home when Aidan woke up, but I was at work.  AJ sent me pictures of Aidan proudly wearing his "3" sticker.  He was cheesing big.

Aidan also started the 3K program at his daycare.  So he now goes to school three days a week.  He had a big day!

Grammy picked Aidan up shortly after his nap and took him shopping for his cake and balloons.  I was suppose to join them, but an urgent matter came up, so Grammy kept Aidan busy. He seemed stoked to go get ice cream and have random people tell him "Happy Birthday!".  After Grammy and Aidan had a good time, they picked up Aidan and dinner.  Then they met me at the house to continue to the celebration.

I was fortunate to find a treasure chest on a local online yardsale site.  Aidan loves Jake and the Neverland Pirates, so I figured he would like a treasure chest.  He did!  All his gifts were in the chest, and I loved watching him open the presents.  He tore into them, and he was excited about what he found.

When Papa arrived, he open the gift from Grammy and Papa.  He was also very excited about the train set.


Aidan picked out the cake and the candles.  He also acted like he was one or two, but globbing lots of icing between his hands and trying to smear it on me or have me lick it off his hands.  Um, no, it was cute when you were one, big boy. 

Whenever I asked Aidan how old he was, he would say "THREE!" and hold up three fingers.  He gets it, and I love it.  I love celebrating his birthday. 



So where was AJ?  Well, there was an incident while he was working at home, and he was taken by ambulance to the ER.  He's alright and will be okay, but he was really worried about messing up Aidan's birthday.  So he insisted I go home and celebrate with Aidan, and Aidan would have a redo...Aidan surely won't mind more cake, singing, and blowing out birthday candles.

More on that, later...just know that AJ has some amazing coworkers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Wore What? And the Splash Park

I wanted to jump on board with the latest trend - cowboy boots and shorts because nothing completes summer more than sweaty feet in boots versus comfort in flip flops.  Besides, I already had flip flops, and I needed a new piece for my wardrobe.  I have seen several people I know wearing stylish cowboy boots, and it seemed like the go-to brand was Ariat.  So I searched online for a for a pair I liked - I added an additional stipulation to my search.  The boots not only had to be stylish, but they needed to be work appropriate.  I mean, I can't buy a pair of boots just for the summer and let them sit for three seasons.  So once I knew I needed a composite toe, stylish boot, I narrowed my results. 

As luck would have it, after work and wearing my new boots, I went to the splash park.  This was the perfect summer setting for jumping into the new trend.  Aidan had a great time running around in the water and going down the slide.  Owen sat in my lap, walked around the dry area of the park, and watched his big brother.  You should really check out the sprayground if you get a chance, your kids will thank me. 


I didn't think about my fashion blog when I took the photo, so my head is missing, but no special accessories or make up, so you're not missing anything. 




Tank top: This speciality item can only be found at the gift shop in Hunting Island, however, I'm sure most beach shops carry something similar, and equally cool. 
Board shorts: Academy sports clearance, hurry, there may be some left 
Bathing suit top (since you can see it): Also Academy Sports clearance, so hurry up! There weren't any matching bottoms, so don't worry, new trendsetter here, but unfortunately you can't see them in this picture. 
Boots: Ariat Tracey Pull-On Composite Toe 


And here's a picture of the boots hard at work.  They pair nicely with dark denim blue jeans.



If you read all this, I hope you laughed. Don't take me seriously.  :)

11 months


11 months?! How did we get here? I'm going to slyly remove a "1" and call Owen a newborn. Yup, denial. 

So my NEWBORN baby boy has 3 teeth and is walking!  Between his brother and the cousin who is a month older, Owen has all the motivation he needs to move.  It seems like everyday, he is walking just a few steps further.  Soon he'll be chasing his brother around and running in the opposite direction at the park.  Seems like life just became slightly more chaotic.  But Owen is so proud of himself.  He laughs and claps sometimes when he walks.  He is excited to walk and usually has a smile on his face. 

Owen is also talking (babbling) more.  He is all about Bo(jangles), our dog.  He says "bub" for his brother.  I work on saying brother, but I have a bad habit of calling Aidan (or Owen) "bubba."  I don't know where that came from, except I live in the South and lots of guys I know are Bo, Bud, or Bubba.  I don't like Bubba, but I use it. I can't stop, though sometimes I catch myself.  However, Owen has caught on.  We will be playing, Aidan will be nearby, and Owen wants his attention.  I hear "bu bu bub" come from Owen.  Owen seems to say the "bah" sound well along with "Ma" 

Owen is a picky eater. One day he devours chicken, the next 7 days he hates it. Bananas seem to be the only consistent thing he likes.  Sometimes he will eat greek yogurt, other times he pushes his lips together and turns his head up.  He's can be dramatic when it comes to food. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

My First Curtains (And the Most Complete Room)

So I have never hung curtains.  I have never been inspired to own curtains - blinds were always enough.  I can't remember if I had curtains in my room as a kid; I remember blinds.  There are curtains now in what my mom calls the "blue room" but I don't recall them being there before I moved out. Most likely not.   

It only took 31 years for me to have curtains.  I didn't know where to begin. There are many styles and ways to hang curtains, I was lost.  I read blogs and other "how-to's" to get an idea of what I might look for in curtains.  I was still lost and confused.  However, to play off the inspiration I had for the exercise room, I knew I wanted something nature related.  Also do the nice view and the natural sunlight, I didn't want something opaque.  I wanted something sheer. 

I recently painted the room a bluish grey and accented it with three lime green stripes. Matching the lime green stripes was nearly impossible.  I was thinking white curtains with something.  I happened upon a bold pink color curtain from Ikea (which I can no longer locate to share), but I was steered in another direction and am so glad I was.

Side note about the paint. I went to Home Depot with a color in mind (I wanted what my sister painted her living room), and I found an Oops paint for $5.00 that was very close to the grey my sister used. So for $5.00, I took home the grey paint.  The green paint, however, I had to pay the full price because it was hard to find the right lime green and match it with any available oops paints.  Though I didn't need nearly as much green paint as I did grey, so the cost wasn't that much.

Unfortunately, the lighting does lend well for taking pictures of the window and its curtains.  Or I haven't figured out how to take the picture.  I've tried during the day and at night, but between the sunlight and the light fixture, I can't take a clear picture.  So I suggest you come see it in person. :) I swear to you, it's awesome.  These are from Target, and I also found them cheaper (and faster shipping) on Amazon.

The curtain rod is actually a tree limb from our yard that fell during the ice storm back in February.  While perusing Pinterest one day, I happened upon this idea, although the Pin had a white painted limb.  I didn't want white, and I wasn't sure about a bold color, so I left it natural.  I coated it with polyurethane to seal the limb.  No one wants termite bait.  Using the limb took several iterations of trying to put the curtain panels on, and realizing that another knot or smaller limb needed to be cut in order for the panel to pass over it.  It was relatively simple, and the limb really fits the feel I wanted for the room. Nature inspired and peaceful.



So do you want to see the rest of the room? Here are some panoramic views of the room:






And here are some close ups of the equipment in the room:

I use a lot of this equipment for P90X, but I have ventured into using the bands for P90x, but I have used them when I created my own routines.  I have the padded mat great for jumping on or doing push ups.  Then I have the yoga mat, well...for yoga.

The chair is used a lot, and I want to paint it, and I have an idea, so hopefully I'll work on that soon.  I want bolder, brighter colors.

I love to use the elliptical in the winter, but during the warmer months, I prefer to run outdoors.  The pull up stand can easily slide across the floor so the elliptical mat and elliptical extend backwards.  I use the pull up stand for chin ups and pull ups with the assistance of a band.  I also attach bands to the lower portion and do hip adductions and abductions.  The stand can also be used for dips and ab exercises.

My favorite, dumbbells
And the decor:

I wanted a plant in the exercise room.  It was part of my zen, my inspiration, my view for the space.  I like that this plant is growing straight up - it reminds me of the yoga routine where there is a lot of reaching up.  So the plant is reaching up.  The second great thing about this plant is Lowe's calls it the "plant of steel".  I'm not a good plant care giver - I forget to water them.  This is also my first indoor plant, too!  I was also fortunate to find a bold plate pot on sale!  Color! Hot pink - perfect.  Too bad there weren't more pastel pot holder/rolller thingy.  Whatever the technical term is.



So I perused Pinterest a lot to find ideas for sayings that I wanted to post in the room.  I didn't want to buy what someone else made if I could do it myself. Plus, I could have the colors I wanted.


 I searched for white or plain frames that I could paint purple, but I didn't find any locally or on Amazon that was a reasonable price.  So I made my own...but I had one mistake.  I was measuring the frames to frame out a photo that was slightly smaller than 8.5" and 11".  I measured the horizontal side correctly BUT I didn't want to waste any of the wood, so I split the remaining piece into two instead of measuring out for an interior dimension of 10.5".  OOPS.  Unfortunately, I didn't realize this mistake until after I assembled them, painted them and was ready to hang them. That's when I went to print out my sayings using my home printer and tried to fit the picture into the frame.  Too short!  So I ordered one from Vistraprint and the other I created with leftover craft board and letters.




Finally, I saw many motivational sayings with pictures of other people on them.  I loved the saying, but I didn't really want other people hanging in my exercise room.  So I waited until I had the strength to pose for some of yoga positions before I set up a tripod and took pictures of me. (go ahead and puke, lol).  Once I did the photos, I turned them to black and white and used Picasa to add in the sayings.  Finally, I was able to print the photos off at home and add them to the frame.  For the larger picture, I had to send it to Walgreens.  On the screen, all of the text was visible, but I did not check the photo at Walgreens.  I realized after I hung it that some of the words blended in with my shorts.  So eventually, I'll replace the photo.


There are a few other things I want to add to the room as time goes on, but I'm also moving on to the next room.  I have some thoughts for the master bedroom, so I hope to work on it next.

Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Months

Owen has FINALLY decided to eat real food, and some baby food. He's picky though.  I recently gave him fresh blueberries and cucumbers, and he loved them.  Though he makes quite the mess, and I forgot how messy babies/young toddlers can be.  Bo refuses to eat the vegetables that fall on the floor, so he's no help with cleaning up.  Owen has also devoured bananas, and he likes homemade blueberry waffles.   

Since Owen loves to watch his big brother and even his cousin who is doing well taking steps, Owen has tried to take steps.  He falls face first, but he is trying.  He also likes to stand and push up into a stand by himself.  I'm going to have two walking before I know it.  Luckily, at a recent outing, I had practice chasing after two boys who didn't always run in the same direction (Thanks Sarah!). At the pool, I'll hold Owen's hands while he stands to jump in like his brother.  Speaking of the pool, Owen gets mad in his float.  He wants to be able to put his face in the water just like Aidan.  If he's in a float, he will find a way to put his face in the water.  Guess I'll have two fishes... 


Owen is finding out that the job of being the little brother is tough.  Toys get snatched and thrown. Big brother decides to tackle and wrestle him. Bo's tail is the right height to swat Owen in the face.  Big Brother screams and yells, and Owen tries to sleep through it.  Also, if mom has help, she's usually chasing after Aidan while the visitor is holding and playing with Owen.   

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

200

Two hundred statements/facts/words about blogging 

1.        I had a post about our camping trip I never finished that was going to be blog post 200. 
2.        Actually I have many rough drafts that I have deleted 
3.        I think I’m funny, but when I type some blogs out, I decide it was better in my head. 
4.        Owen was 10 months yesterday, and I’ll blog about that…eventually 
5.        Having two kids has really put a damper on blogging. Lots of ideas, but limited time. 
6.        I spend a lot of evenings doing P90X, so that consumes what would be blog time. 
7.        My kids sleep on what feels like opposite schedules, so staying up late means I pay for it the next day. 
8.        Late means 11 PM. 10PM is cutting it close. 
9.        Working on making our house a home takes up blog time. 
10.        I have several updates on the new house drafts, but I never seem to finish it.   
11.        I have a cool video of the house from start to finish, but I need to edit it.
12.        Plus we have updates (like landscaping), so I need to add to the video. 
13.        I took progress pictures of the house from generally the same view with the intent on sharing it. 
14.        Am I interesting? ARE YOU STILL READING? 
15.        I love when my friends post new blogs. 
16.        I get excited and read them right away 
17.        Are you a slacker like me? 
18.        Post something 
19.        Like right now or in the next day or two, I challenge you. 
20.        I have several Pinterest successes 
21.        I’d like to share them 
22.        I took photos 
23.        But I deleted them off my phone
24.        Thankfully there’s Google+, but I’ll have to search waaaaaaaaaaaaay back 
25.        Blogger isn’t always friendly with blogging 
26.        Which is why I’m discouraged or less motivated 
27.        I get frustrated 
28.        And then there’s no wine, and I don’t want beer 
29.        So I go to bed, thinking of what I should write 
30.        And I get to 30 and realize I can’t make up 200 random blogging facts 
31.        Pretend you don’t know how to count 
193. ALMOST THERE 
194.  See what I did there? 
195. No? 
196 Good… 
197. If that fooled you, I worry about the intelligence of my readers 
198. Or maybe it’s the blogger 
199. We’ll debate that another day. 
200. Thanks for following me for 200 posts, and here’s hoping I hit the post button more than the delete button.

Friday, June 20, 2014

9 Months

I can't believe Owen is already 9 months, and I feel like 1 year is sneaking up on me! It really seems like time goes by faster with two kids.

Owen has been on the move for 6 weeks, and it seems he only crawls faster every day.  He loves to chase after Aidan, and Aidan will even crawl to give Owen a better chance at catching him.

Owen loves the water.  He also likes to chase Aidan in the water, and watching Aidan swim makes Owen really excited.  Owen will put his face in the water, blow bubbles, and bounce off his butt in order to fall into the water (to me).

Owen is also fascinated by Bo.  If he sees Bo, he gets really excited and crawls to him.  He even tries to pull up using poor Bo's fur.  

Speaking of Bo, Owen also say "Bababa" when he sees Bo.  He also says "mamama" when I leave or enter a room, which I think he picked up from Aidan saying "mom" a million times a day.  So I think between Bo and me, Owen has said his first word. I'm going to claim it's "ma" :)

Some differences I notice between the boys at this age...Owen is an experience crawler, where as Aidan started crawling at 9 months.  In addition, Owen is pulling up and releasing his hands so that he is momentarily standing.  Owen also had two teeth pop through his bottom gums; Aidan didn't have any teeth until he was nearly a year old.

Owen is still picky about food, whereas Aidan seemed to be quite the experimenter.  Owen seems to refuse anything I make him...maybe I should add some leaves, grass and rocks into the mix.  Owen still amazes me with the easiness of going to sleep and sleeping a lot.  It's a nice change from fighting a kid who needs sleep but refuses.

Sleeping at a pool party. Loud
noise and splashing doesn't
wake him.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Day I Faced My Fear

The last time I stood up for myself, I put an end to being bullied in middle school.  I vowed to never let myself be bullied again.
But I was…

My character was manipulated, I turned from my values, and most of all, I lost sight of the career I loved. I dreaded work. I know, a lot of people do, but I don’t. I love what I do. I love a challenge, but I also like working on a team, where it’s not us versus them, but instead a collected group working towards a goal that betters the world we live in.

I couldn’t sleep, I bought into the belief that if you weren’t in our small group you were the enemy, and I started to doubt my talents. I had to get out, I had to escape. And I did.

My quality of life increased immensely.  I love my job again, and I enjoy Monday’s…and Tuesday’s, and Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s.

But every once in a while, the evil sucked me back in.  I bought into a fight I knew I had to take on because my mom taught me to stand up for what’s right.  Even though I was free, I had friends who were not.  I had friends who I hope things would be better. I had a stranger tell me that I was wronged and needed to pursue the issue.

So I did.

The fight has been an emotional rollercoaster.  There are wins, and there are losses.  There is time sacrificed, stress, and sleepless nights.  

I have to remind myself WHY I started this fight.

I have to remind myself the FEAR I had.

I have to tell myself that I am NOW at peace, so what do I need to fight? I have accomplished what I intended to do so, why add stress to my life. Why add stress to others’ lives? Why miss out one moment more of my boys’ life?



The day I faced my fear

My raw thoughts from the day I faced my fear

Right now, I am full of confidence and feeling empowered and liberated. Facing the bully was a big fear of mine, and I was nervous, scared, and not sleeping well at all this week.  But now that it’s done, I am on cloud nine.  I AM WOMAN, HERE ME ROAR!

So here I sit, basking in glory hoping not to crash.

I faced my biggest bully ever today, and it feels great.



Liberated

I cannot tell you how much I was at peace after the day I faced my fear.  There was a large burden that was lifted off of me that I felt the battle was won, not just the war.  Whether true or not, emotionally, I felt I did the hardest thing that I have ever had to face.

I looked at my bully dead in the eyes, though I admit, not at first.  It took me a few minutes to warm up, but once I held eye contact, I was addicted.  I made eye contact until the bully was uncomfortable.  I controlled my emotions when the bully did not. I was in control; this was my game, not the bully’s. I invited a stare down. I pushed buttons. I found the truth.

I did lose control of my emotions, but I surprised myself.  A quick breath of fresh air, and I recomposed myself and kept my emotions in my head and not flowing out of my eyes.  I didn’t need my pack of tissues, I swallowed what emotion I had left.

In the end, I celebrated.  I had the best cold beer I have ever had. I basked in glory, I felt great. I felt at peace, I felt like I had reached the end.  All the momentum, all the hard work, it lead to this…Freedom.

But the battle wasn’t over…

I had more to fight.

But I lost my fight. I lost it because I found closure. I think I even found forgiveness.

Before that day, I lived in fear. Fear of what my bully would say (if I came across the bully) and fear of how I would react.  I conquered fear that day, and I felt so good.  I felt liberated from the bully and my fear. I was so HAPPY.

There were times before I faced my fear that I wanted to quit.  There were times where I wanted to let the tears consume me.  There were times I thought I imagined the situation and didn’t want to believe what I knew was the truth.  I cried happy tears the day I faced my fear.

Maybe I should have held out for more – but you can’t buy happiness, you can’t buy closure, and you sure as heck can’t buy bravery.

So after the day I faced my fear, I felt like I hit the peak and was on the downward decline.  But I didn’t have the same fight or motivation.  I wanted to spend my free time as I saw fit, not wasting it away on a fight I felt I had already won.  

The battle would require building an army, an army of hesitant fighters who would be by my side, but wouldn’t know how they would fare in the aftermath.

The battle would require missing moments with my family, losing time with my boys.  What’s more important in my life? Time I can’t get back? Or greed?

So I decided the battle was over. I conceded, but I didn’t wave the white flag.  I held my win, and with the heavy burden removed, the fear gone, and my wishes met, I walked away. I made the choice. I was in control. My victory was my choice.

So I won again. 
I got my life back, and I couldn’t be happier.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekend in the life


A weekend in pictures and videos of life with my boys.

AJ only gets one weekend off a month, so most of the weekends, I'm figuring out what fun things we can do.  The weekends leave me exhausted that Monday's are a welcomed sight, but only due to the amount of fun we have.

Thursday  - My weekends generally start on Thursday's, and we have become quite regulars at the water park that opened mid April.  Aidan regularly requests that we play at the water park, so and I keep swim suits and towels in the car.



Friday - Since next week I'll be in training in Florida, far away from my boys, I decided we needed a fun getaway and lots of quality fun time.  So Thursday night, I packed up the car so it would be ready for Friday.  I picked the boys up from daycare (I had a hair appointment!) around noon and we headed to Beaufort.

Love driving down Old Sheldon Church Rd

Beaufort Sunset


Chaos trying to get a photo with my boys
Private Dock to watch the sun set!


Water fountain on our walk to get pizza
in the neighborhood
























My mom works in Beaufort and stays with a coworker during the week, so we met mom in town and then headed to the house.  Upon arrival, we had to help a certain toddler expend his  energy, who by the way, did not nap. Based on toddler behavior, we decided it was best to walk to the neighborhood pizza parlor for dinner.  After dinner, we explored the neighborhood and walk to the private dock to watch the sun set.  We also checked out each docked boat 100 times.  I was nervous having Aidan so close to the water since he has no fear of the water and loves to jump in, but he did really well.  We watched the sun set, and then went home to sip wine (mom and me) on the front porch while rocking the kids to sleep.

Saturday - Aidan had requested that we go to the beach, which is why I asked mom if we could visit her in Beaufort!  She had previously invited us down to spend the weekend with her, so we made the plans based on what Aidan said he wanted to do at the beginning of the week.  Mind you, he changed his mind 100 times, but I kept the original plans.

Because we had a cold front come through, and it was still in the 50's by 9 am, we decided to visit the Hunting Island Pier and the Lighthouse before going to the beach to allow the weather to warm up!  Aidan saw pelicans, several sharks, and horseshoe crabs. He also explored the nature shop where he saw turtles and snakes plus lots of preserved animals.
View from the pier
Grammy shoes Aidan the birds



Male and Female horseshoe crabs

The lighthouse Aidan wanted
to climb


After the pier and obtaining a lighthouse stamp (he wasn't tall enough to climb to the top - 44" is the requirement!), we headed to the beach.

Earlier in the week, mom and I were texting back and forth, and from that texting, we decided that we needed a beach cart and a beach tent since Owen sleeps most of the time we are on the beach or at the pool.

We also knew that we would have a longer walk to the beach since it's a rustic, rural beach.  I love Hunting Island.  It's secluded and they preserve as much as possible.  I mean, we park basically in a forest of trees, and when we walk out, bam, the beach.




Aidan immediately runs to the water while mom and I try to set up the beach area for all day fun.  In addition, we have to keep Owen from eating as much sand as possible.


He is asleep as soon as the tent is ready
The tent, which was awesome


At the end of the day, even Aidan takes a nap




















We found a swimming area that the tide left for us. Aidan loved it because it was warmer, and there were no waves.  In addition, once Owen was done napping, he greatly enjoyed the little swimming area.



Aidan and Grammy walked down to the private dock after we got home (bathed and ate!) and watched the sun set again. Aidan had a great time watching the sun go to sleep.

And while Grammy and Aidan were walking about, Owen did this! For wine!


Sunday - With warmer weather returning (warmer overnight lows), we decided to head to downtown Beaufort to let Aidan play at the park, walk across the bridge, and look at the many boats. We completed our trip by having lunch on the waterfront and treated Aidan to ice cream.


The smile says it all!





Higher Mommy!











Walking back after crossing the bridge
Crazy guy on a uni cycle


















`












We arrived home shortly before 5 so I could unpack, do some light errands, and repack for my work trip.  Hopefully the next few days away from by boys pass quickly so we can have another adventure.