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Captivated…

31 May

My little ones and I are safely home from a week-long stay at an American paradise that just so happened to be featured in this month’s Disney Family Fun Magazine.

There was lots of fun in the sun…

and shade…

Bicycle rides {although, not really in the sand}…

Some people watching…

breathtaking sunsets…

and shells galore!!

We miss you, Captiva!

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I wear my most cherished accessories…

12 May

I am a baby-wearer.  I have never been a huge fan of strollers {I like to keep my babies super close}.  Stories about cars hitting or running over strollers and other horror stories like this and this have terrified me.  Only after having my second child, have I resorted to regularly using a stroller when I am out and about with the two of them.  

When I was pregnant with my daughter I ordered a Maya wrap…turned out to be way too much material for me.  I tried the Moby wrap…again, too much material and work for me.  So, I then purchased a Baby Bjorn and both my husband {yep, the husband wore it too!} and I LOVED it until my daughter reached 20+ pounds and it became uncomfortable for all involved.

I still wanted to have a way to “wear” my daughter even after she outgrew her Bjorn, so I was on the search for a new and hopefully inexpensive wrap.  I am an extremely amateur sewer, but I decided to give this pattern a try.  It didn’t cost me a penny because I had heavy material and thread remaining from curtains I made for our old house.  As with everything I have ever sewn, I made a mistake {this time while sewing the seam}, but it was easily covered with a pocket that conveniently carried my cell-phone or a pacifier when needed.  Overall, I was pretty happy with the results and was definitely happy with the price.  I put my new baby carrier to the test when I flew cross-country with my daughter later that week…it was the perfect hands-free, toddler-wearing device for me at the time.

This is not me, my baby, or my sling...

 Next week I face the ultimate challenge of flying with my 18 month-old son {please keep in mind that I don’t even take this child to the grocery store with me anymore…he is that difficult to wrangle}.  When he wants to “GO, GO, GO” there is really no stopping him and he doesn’t find being strapped to his mama fun AT ALL!

I have one toddler-taming idea in mind.  Stay tuned… 

He is Risen!

24 Apr

Our Easter looked like this…

My baby boy’s first Easter egg hunt on Good Friday.  Big sister is already a pro egg-finder.  On a side note: My husband is not a fan of my daughter’s fuchsia dress {seen below}, but I loved it…I could spot her in a second while she ran through the kid-filled park.

I baked and decorated {have I mentioned how much I despise decorating?} our family’s traditional lamb cake…something that has been done every Easter since I was a child.   I have already made plans with my mom for Easter 2012…that SHE will be here to make that cake {NOT only me}!

My husband and daughter had a traditional Easter-Sunday church experience…having to listen to the service from outside the church since it was packed inside {I stayed home with my sick baby boy}.  And then it was off to Nana’s house for brunch and to hunt eggs {again}…

I hope everyone enjoyed their time with their family and friends as much as we did.  We are truly BLESSED!!

t-r-o-u-b-l-e

4 Apr

The child-safety isle exists because of boys like this…

Oh…and so do plungers.

Snow day 3…The Great Escape.

4 Feb

Thursday was our third and final snow day.  I broke my previously mentioned New Year’s resolution and booted up my laptop because I was out of ideas to entertain the children and myself. I had several seemingly great ideas lined up after just a few minutes of searching “snow day crafts for kids.”

We started with coffee filter snowflakes.  My daughter has been banned from using scissors since the incident I mentioned a few months ago, but she was excited about the project and promised not to touch her OR her brother’s hair.  I had just bought a new package of the wrong-sized coffee filters, so I started out feeling really great about this project.  Unfortunately my snowflake idea stemmed from an online source that suggested decorating them with glue and glitter.  We didn’t have any glitter in the house {probably because I despise it}, so we used sprinkles.  The mess was outstanding. I will never attempt this project in my house again!

The second project on my list was “crayon cupcakes.”  They took our crayon box from looking like this…

To this…

And, finally this…

I thought my daughter would love this project and from what I have seen her do to crayons in the past, I was convinced she was a skilled crayon-paper remover.  As it turns out, neither of us had the patience and I quickly found myself searching online once again to find an easier way to peel the crayons.  Soaking them in warm water was the trick {where was my common sense?}.  After our crayon cupcakes cooled, the complaints starting rolling in…Who would have thought blunt edges would make coloring within the lines so difficult!!  To top off my disappointment, the wax leaked through the muffin cups and into my muffin tins.  Another mess to clean up and another fail in the project department for the day!

I was going to bring our final snow day to a close in the kitchen stirring up some homemade finger paint {why?  I don’t know.  I must enjoy making my life difficult}, but my husband rescued me from my child care duties an hour early.  So instead, I sat at our hand-print smudged backdoor with my favorite little guy and watched my favorite big guy, little girl, and our clubhouse dog play outside in the freezing cold.  

Later that night after my kids were in bed, I joined some of my neighborhood mommies for dinner and drinks.  House arrest was officially over!

Captivity:day 2 (aka: another snow day)

3 Feb

Sometimes I love days where I have absolutely nowhere to go {I wish I could also say nothing to do, but that never happens}, but the same relaxing feeling doesn’t exist when I have no choice but to stay home…for multiple days in a row nonetheless.

This is what snow day #2 looked like at my house…

Clubhouse/tent/castle/playhouse time.  Any adult who was ever a child knows how to build one of these…drag out the dining room chairs and blankets! We even got out my daughter’s girly little tent to serve as an extra “room” and turned on a movie.  This entertained my children almost ALL morning while I enjoyed listening to their giggles and the soundtrack to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog {seriously the best Disney music EVER!}

When my son went down for his nap, my daughter and I braved the freezing temperatures for some short-lived fun in the snow.  This seems like such an obvious thing to do on a snow day, but it was too cold outside to enjoy even with a million layers of clothes and outerwear on.  We came in and my daughter warmed up with a glass of children’s hot chocolate {warm Ovaltine}.

And, last but not least, after seeing multiple posts by my facebook friends, we joined in and made Snow Ice Cream.  This was not only a first for my children, but a first for me too.  Yes, I ate snow as a child…I also got sick from eating snow as a child, so I made this against my best judgement.  Everyone in my family had a taste and thankfully none of us got sick!

This day also included some other memorable firsts…my daughter’s first taste of fresh snow and thanks to his big sister, my son’s first time to wear a tutu {a pink one to be exact}.  My husband has requested I not share the pictures of this event.  We prefer to reserve it until his teenage years when he is deserving of the embarrassment.

Please refer to Snow Day #1, paragraph 5 for a detailed explanation of the remaining hours of the day.  It felt like Groundhog Day…oh wait, it really was Groundhog Day!!  How crazy is that?!?!

The fan.

12 Jan

Children are THE greatest blessing.  I can’t think of anything more amazing.  They are truly God’s greatest gift.

– – – – –

We had only lived back home in our “new” state a few weeks when we were visiting my in-laws at their home that was now just a short drive from our house.  My daughter was about 9 months old.  She was a chubby little ball of smiles and excitement and she was very attached to her mama.  I followed my husband into the office to join his parents in front of the computer {for what, I cannot remember} while lifting my daughter over my head.  She smiled and squealed at me in delight…..THUD, THUD, THUD….I felt her body vibrate through my hands and she broke into tears.

I  had just lifted my daughter’s head into the moving ceiling fan.  Not even in the privacy of my own home, but in front of my husband AND both of his parents.  I’m pretty sure I had never felt like more of an idiot or made myself appear any more incapable of caring for a child than I did in that moment.  I was hot with embarrassment and tears filled my eyes as I cried with my child.

The good news was…no damage done.  No cuts, no bruises, no concussion….and no memory of the incident whatsoever!  Ceiling fans are not near as dangerous as they look!!  The bad news…My husband would not let it go.  If he made any little parenting faux pas it would always go back to….”well, at least I didn’t put her head in a fan!”  He always said it lightheartedly and only to tease me, but it always hurt my mommy pride just the same.

Fast forward two years and add an approximately 3 month-old son into our family picture.  Imagine my husband excitedly getting our son out of his crib post-nap. Now imagine my reaction when I heard a loud THUMP, THUMP followed by a distressing fuss {he’s a tough little guy} from my baby boy.  I peaked my head around the corner to see my husband sheepishly calming our son with the ceiling fan spinning above his crib.  No questions asked…I knew what happened and my husband’s face read like a book.

The good news….no damage done to our baby boy.  The bad news {for my husband, anyway}…my husband had blown his ammunition.  We were once again on an even playing field…and no word of the fan incidents have been mentioned  in our home ever since!

– – – – –

God’s second greatest gift??  It may just be a child’s lack of memory during those first few years of life {it gives us parents a chance to get it right!}.