The Evening of the Fourth

IMG_2947

I wanted to write this post right away because I didn’t want to lose the feeling from the day… but alas, time got the best of me and I forgot.

After a great parade and some quality time with Nana and her puppy dog, we came home for naps and then went to my parents’ country club for a fourth of July party with my sister and her fam (something we’ve done with my parents for the past 3 years).

The kids all went swimming, there was music, food and a bounce house obstacle course race thing.

It was great. Just so, so great. Sometime around 6 or 7, we took the kids back to my parents house. My kiddos went to bed and the rest of us hung out, played games and watched a movie. Around 9, we woke up Charlie to take her back to the fireworks.

When we got to the car, she noticed that little Hem wasn’t with us. “Where’s hemy?” We explained that he was still too little and had to stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. She cried. “But I want my Hemy! We gonna pick him up and put him in my car after fireworks?” No, honey. “But I want my Hemy!!!” <MELT>

When we got to fireworks, C was excited and a little nervous. A few days earlier, I had bought some noise cancelling protective headphones… in blue of course, so she was ready.

The fireworks started and she was super timid. Her face looked panicked and she sunk back into Mark. She started muttering things like, “I no like fireworks. I’m all done.” etc. Finally, I just started hyping it up. “WOAH!! Did you see those colors? Wow!!! That’s beautiful! I LOVE that kind!!”

IMG_2962

Charlotte got into it. “Mommy, you wuv that kind??” “You see dat? Its butiful!”

IMG_2967

I loved every moment. We Oooo’d and Ahhhh’d! We hugged and laughed and were totally those annoying firework commentators.

IMG_2933

When the fireworks ended, we walked around looking for fireflies and checking out the stars and moon. Charlotte goes to bed so early, she rarely (if ever) sees the night’s sky.

We decided to head back home – H slept at my parents’ house – and look for fireflies in the backyard. Our neighbor was shooting off fireworks.

Charlotte was so incredibly happy. I can’t even begin to explain it, but there was just this magical feeling about the whole day. Like, such a cliche movie-type day.

When we finally got C in bed, she just kept hugging us saying, “mommy, daddy, i wuv you. We wuv eachovers.”

If only I could just put it in my pocket. Bottle that moment and that feeling and those sounds and smells and everything up and keep it with me forever.

What an amazing summer day.

 

A Pause from the Whirlwind for an Update

Things have been so crazy and I rarely get to blog, but here are a bunch of random updates with both kiddos…

Charlotte

  • Nicknames: Charlie, Charlie Girl, Bunny Girl, Charlie Pie, Lovey
  • Funny phrases:
    • Lexa, what da wever today? (Alexa, what’s the weather today)
    • bummmmer
    • That a good idea, mommy?
    • Hemy (Henry)
    • It blake (it broke/it’s broken)
    • Now what? What next? What I doing after nap? (Charlie is constantly asking what the next activity will be. Curious little bunny)
    • New School (despite being at her school since December, she still refers to it as her NEW school)
    • a’cuz (because)
    • “Mommy, you come back!!!” (whenever I enter a room!)
  • Charlotte is quite the little narrator. She will walk you through an entire situation, told at warp speed. “First I go here, then I do this, then you ask me this, and Nana gave me this and then I drank milk and now you are here”
  • This week, Charlotte has started to get out of her bed after we tuck her in. The second we shut the door, she runs to the door, opens it just a crack and says “goodnight” with a devious little smile. Last night, she KEPT OPENING the dang door! Actually, the night before Henry’s birthday party (so about a month ago) was the first time we encountered anything like this. I was getting things ready, as was Mark. Earlier in the night, while I wasn’t home, he was working out in the yard with the garage door open. When I got home, he was in and out of the house. Literally, every time he would leave the house, I would swear I was hearing the gate in the basement. Needless to say, I was freaking out. I made Mark come back in and sweep the house for an intruder. He was about to leave – already in the garage – when I called him back. “I heard it again and I swear it was by the kids’ room.” Mark finally went into C’s room and asked her if she had left her room. Turns out, I was hearing something every time he left… it was the toddler! haha oy.
  • Charlotte LOVES playing outside. She rides her tricycle, goes in the cozy coupe car, takes walks with Nana and OH!! She collects pebbles. I find them in drawers, in piles outside, etc. It’s really pretty funny.
  • Charlotte has this really sweet and gentle side. For instance, I’ll say that something is bothering me or I have a headache or whatever and she’ll cup my face with her hands or gently touch my chin and say something like, “ohhhhh, it’s okay, mommy. You’ll feel better soon.” Or she’ll big spoon me and say, “I gotcha, I gotcha” as she kind of rocks me. Sometimes I legit cannot help but burst into laughter. This is how she sees me. haha I love it. So sweet and silly. I’ve actually seen her do it to other kids quite often. “I want Charlotte to stay!!!!” and she cups their face or touches their chin and says that it’s okay “a’cuz” growwwwnuups come back (Daniel Tiger song that she constantly sings).
  • When Henry came home from the haircut, C was SO excited! “Hemy took a haircut!! Aww buddy. You’re so cute. I really, really, really, REALLY like Hemy’s haircut!”
  • If H is crying, C will usually try to comfort or solve the issue in some way…
    • “Hemy wants mommy really, really a lot!”
    • “Awww buddy. It’s okay. I gotcha, I gotcha. I’m right here!”
    • “I fink (think) Hemy so tired.”
    • “Hemy prolly (probably) make a poop”
    • “I fink Hemy a little hungy (hungry)”
  • GF has spice. Lately, if she doesn’t get what she wants or the mood strikes, she YELLS! But it’s interesting, because you can totally tell that she’s just testing it out. There is no anger or real passion behind it. Just theatrics. Regardless… super annoying. The other day, she legit slapped me in the face while taking a bath. And then splashed the shit out of Henry and I. Not our best moment. It’s so hard to find my inner chi at those moments. My instinct is to splash her back… fight the urge. She went straight to bed instead.
  • C’s vocabulary is just astounding. Somehow her vocab just grows and grows every day. It’s amazing and just so cool to watch.
  • Charlotte is still sitting rear-facing in her car seat… blowing people’s minds daily. But, until she makes a stink about it our outgrows the limits, rear facing she’ll stay, as it’s SO MUCH SAFER.
  • Oh! About 3-4 weeks ago (or something that feels like 3-4 weeks ago), Charlotte all of a sudden iced out her bunny/blankey/teddy. She banished them from her bed and no longer slept with them. They now reside in the stuffed animal bin next to her bed (with the other rejects). However, I have noticed that she’s been letting them back in bed every so often… but usually only after we’ve tucked her in. Totally iced.
  • Sometimes on the way home from school when I ask C how her day was, she says, “I just don’t feel like talkin’ right now”… I literally have no idea what she does at school and am 100% dealing with a threenager.
  • Charlotte’s legit best friend is our neighbor, Ellie. She talks about how much she loves her and constantly wants to hang out with her. Unfortunately, she is also just a rougher human than most girls her age and has been known to take Ellie down. Talk about embarrassing.
  • Charlotte snuggles with me!! It took about 2.5 years, but it’s just so sweet and worth the wait. During “snuggle time,” which used to be playing in bed time, she will lay on top of me, give me hugs and say, “I wuv you, mommy! And you wuv me. We wuv eachovers!!” <MELT MELT MELT>
  • C’s birthday is on Sunday. This whole week, she has proclaimed “It’s my birfday!!!” every single day.
  • Holding that little girl’s hand just means everything to me.
  • Charlotte LOVES Henry. Like, LOVES him. It’s the best thing ever and makes me so happy. She’s constantly playing with him and loving on him and just being the sweetest.

Henry

  • Nicknames: Hem, Hem Hem, Hemzy, Henry Pie, Hemy, buddy
  • Words: Mama, Dada, Cheese!!! (this is a new one as of the past 2 days), Mo (more), Wawawa (water), I swear he said “chair” and “book” today while pointing at the respective objects, hi! (I LOVE when he says hi… I think this was his first non-mama/dada word… or maybe more), bye! (he says hi and by with a little wave. So cute)
  • Henry pulls himself up on EVERYTHING. He is constantly standing and is actually quite good at slowly lowering himself back down. It’s all assisted standing at this point.
  • Henry loves smashing shit and oh my goodness does the kid LOVE the bathroom. Just so much crap to get into. Not literal crap, thankfully. Unroll the toilet paper. Play the toilet drum. Try to flush the toilet. Try to open toilet lid and throw shit inside. Smash hands on glass shower door. Open drawers. Throw stuff in open drawers. Etc, etc. If Henry goes crawling on a mission, one can assume he is headed towards the bathroom.
  • In the past 2-3 weeks, Henry has begun legit crawling; although, if he’s going anywhere far, he uses his trusty army crawl. Boy is fast.
  • Henry loves to play with balls. He sits in his ball pit and just tosses the balls out one by one (damn that ball pit!).
  • Henry really enjoys reading books.
  • He has a great sense of humor. Loves to laugh and wow does the kid chat. He’s just constantly talk talk talking! You can tell by his facial expressions and hand motions that he knows exactly what he’s saying. He’s so serious about it, too. He’s going to be the chatty one.
  • Henry loves puzzles; although, he likes doing them in the opposite way than intended. Essentially, he will pull every wood puzzle off the shelf and then pull each piece out, then abort mission. DESTRUCT!!
  • Henry’s got passion for music. He loves to make music on the guitar and piano and can’t help but bob his head, wave his arms around, clap his hands or shake those shoulders when a jam comes on. Definition of jam: anything that slightly resembles a song (music from toys, mom singing weird – out of tune – songs, etc).
  • Hem thinks his sister is juuuust hilarious. 9 times out of 10, as I’m finishing telling C to be gentle or leave H alone, he lets out a huge laugh signifying that somehow he actually likes when she lays on top of him in hopes that he’ll give her an army crawl ride.
  • Henry got his FIRST HAIRCUT on Tuesday and my oh my does he look like such a man. For the record, that makes him about 13 months. Charlotte has yet to have her first haircut.
  • Henry ends every meal and really, every course of each meal, by throwing his food on the floor for Toby. Even at a restaurant… grr!
  • Henry is the sweetest cuddler. He gives these hugs that leave me in puddles. He’ll even tap my back as he hugs me. This morning, I was cleaning C up after breakfast and had my back to Henry. All of a sudden, I felt his chubby mits wrapped around my waist and his head against my butt, giving me a sweet little hug.
  • Henry is the ultimate buddy. Like, that’s just the best way to describe him. SUCH a lovey buddy.
  • Henry is also a big baby. He cries big old cries when he doesn’t get his food and/or water fast enough or if someone takes something from him or if someone puts him down and he wants to be held or if mommy walks into the damn room. Somehow my presence always makes him cry. He gets hit with an uncontrollable need to be in my arms (or back in the womb). His cries are actually pretty cute… sometimes.
  • Henry has a squeaky little voice that I want to bottle up and save forever.

Okay! I think that’s all for now… baby is awake!

Father’s Day Weekend

We had a great Father’s Day weekend. On Friday, I had a post-birthday birthday celebration with my girlfriends, which was just lovely. Delicious food, wine & company. No complaints from this girl.

On Saturday, my bro was in town, so we all met for brunch (which took a RIDICULOUS amount of time). Since it was late once finished, we decided to put the kids down for their naps at my parents house and my bro, his gf, Mark and I went to the pool. HELLO, ADULT TIME! It was grand. The weather chose that one hour and a half to get all dark and moody, but whatever.

After pool time, we picked up the kiddos and brought them home, where we met my amazing MIL, who had volunteered to babysit the kids. MORE ADULT TIME. Marky and I went for some pretty amazing Nepalese food. It was so much fun. Then, we went to see Wonder Woman. I literally ate my popcorn and then passed out until the final 10 minutes. BUT, most importantly, the man of the hour enjoyed it.

On Sunday, after Mark slept in for the second day of the weekend, we went to the Lakefront Festival of the Arts with Mark’s dad and Step Mom. It was such a blast!

Unfortunately, hubby’s special weekend ended with a long night of working, but all in all, it was a great celebration of my amazing guy.

As for gifts, check out this awesome video we made for Mark! It’s an interview with the kiddos about their superhero, Dad (or “Dat” as Charlie says):​

​ 

On the Boardwalk

One of my favorite memories of Disney from when I was a kid was hanging out with my family on the Boardwalk. There’s food and street performers and it’s just really cool looking. 

Last night, we decided to wrangle the kids and take them there for dinner. Unfortunately, due to our late afternoon at Downtown Disney, I had to wake C from her nap (at 6pm) to leave (never an easy transition).

Right when we arrived, a performer was about to start. He juggled and had a whole schtick. He was actually quite funny. There were only two people in the whole area who were pretty straight-faced. Who? My children.


There were a couple times when they had half smiles…


Once C had a juice box (I showed her that I had bought her one and she didn’t know what it was… special treat for the lady!), she was refueled and ready to go.

We had dinner, watched the sunset, ate a funnel cake, watched another performer and played a bit more!

First Day in Florida

Charlie woke up singing about the beach where the sharks live from her pink bunk bed (I need to remember to take a picture). She’s already loving her “Florida home,” as she calls it.

This am, Mark & C played while henry napped and Dad and I went to the convention center to set up our trade show booth. 


We finished around 1130, scooped up everyone at the house and headed to downtown Disney.  C was pumped to see Mick-Mouse, but unfortunately, Downtown Disney is more of an outdoor mall than anything else. 

Sillies


First stop: Irish pub for lunch


After lunch, we explored, saw kids singing, Went on C’s first ride (train fun), and more! Good stuff ❤

Q
And how could I forget, we went to a CUPCAKE store for “puck cakes wif frinkles!”

First Flight with 2 Kiddos

My eye has been twitching for two weeks and I’m going to guess that it 100% correlates to yesterday’s 2.5 hour flight to Orlando. Who would have thought that flying with a 10 month old who never falls asleep in public settings would cause stress…

The day before my flight, I really honed my inner cheerleader. You can do this! 2.5 uninterrupted hours with yours kids and hubs (and parents – we’re in FL for a trade show)… you love those people. Etc, etc.

I was in a good mindset, but unfortunately, running on 4 hours of sleep, which was a bit rough. But, honestly, everyone did really well. 

Of course, there was no sleeping and NO WIFI… wtf, southwest!? I was counting on Fwozen for a certain toddler… but other than that, all was great.

And, of course, with all the random toys I brought, which was the best? POST-IT NOTES!! 

We kept sticking them to the back of the seat and henry would rip them off and throw them on the ground. 

The kid loves to destroy…


Some other pics…


By the time we finished the flight, got our million bags, and arrived at the rental car counter, the general mood was:


Tiny Hemy was zonked…

A Visit From NY

Last week, our favorite New Yorkers came to town! Mark’s sister, Erika, her hubby Mike & the nieces, Emily & Audrey. Unfortunately, we had a rough start to the visit. Poor Audrey was diagnosed with the flu (influenza) just days before coming to Milwaukee. We were supposed to get together for a big family Sedar (for passover) on that Monday, but ended up cancelling because we didn’t want to risk spreading the flu to the kids (they’re still very high risk).

We ended up seeing them on Tuesday (they had arrived on Saturday) and just about every day after. So, while we had a slow start, the trip was really great! Charlotte and Henry ADORE their cousins and vice versa. It was amazingly cute watching the four kids. I’m talking wagon rides and ring around the rosy cute… reading stories together cute… it was good stuff.


Poor little C got so used to seeing her cousins, she couldn’t quite understand why they weren’t coming over the days after they left Wisconsin. In fact, she cried the whole way home from school on Monday because she wanted to see Audrey.

Thank goodness for technology… the kids spent a good 30+ minutes chatting on FaceTime a couple nights ago. AND, we’ll be trekking out to NY next month over Memorial Day! The kids are SO excited, and so are we! It’s going to be a blast.

 

My Guilt

So, I wrote the list below last week after bawling my eyes out on the driveway (and inside the house) over my guilt. I had been chatting with a friend that morning and had asked her what her kiddo did at 10 months. I kept having this feeling that I just wasn’t doing as much with Henry as I had with C. She read off this whole list of “skills” her babes was doing at 10 months (she keeps track in an ongoing note on her phone), and as I listened, I got this terrible, sinking feeling.

For whatever reason, the two things that stood out the most to me were the fact that he was signing and the biggest one, that her son loved animals. HE LOVED ANIMALS? Does Henry even know what a flipping animal is? Shit. Seriously, besides Toby (our pup), have I ever specifically pointed out an animal in his entire 10 months of life? What the fuck? Why would I not show him animals?

So that was my mindset. (And all the other items below)

  • I don’t read to Henry every day. With Charlie, I read two books before each nap and before bed. I’m only recently reading to Henry more regularly and it isn’t NEARLY that frequent.
  • Henry doesn’t know his animals. Like, have I even ever shown him animals in a book? He sees Toby, but that might legitimately be the only animal he sees.
  • I haven’t even really taught Henry to clap his damn hands. Ugh.
  • I feel like the past 10 months have gone by so fast that I just feel like he’s a tiny baby who only needs food and love. He most definitely gets an overabundance of love and smooshing, but wtf. It’s like I’ve totally forgotten every. other. thing.
  • I feel like we give Henry love and keep him from crying, but we don’t devote as much quality time to him. When have we played Henry-only games?
  • Mark used to read to Charlotte every morning and play with her over lunch… Henry just doesn’t get that same level of attention. We’re chaotic and running around and I feel like we just take advantage of how relaxed he is.
  • I feel so f..

Since I started this post, here’s what I’ve done and where I’m at…

First of all, I slept about 24 hours in 2 days. That helped.

Then, I reminded myself that I’m always doing the best that I can and that I should use this situation as a reminder of what I’d like to be doing with Henry and just try as hard as I can to do at least some of it.

So, I’ve been reading with Henry. Two books when he wakes up in the AM, from his naps and before bed. AND, GUESS WHAT? Henry LOVES books. He’s amazing at turning the pages and he loves books with the flaps. He can lift the flaps all by himself and he really enjoys it. See what I did?!? I learned something about my guy.

I’ve been showing him animals using his animal puzzle… to the point that he’s probably thinking, “Ok, mom. STFU and give me my puzzle piece so I can shove it in my mouth and move on.” But whatever.

And, most importantly, I’ve been taking some time during his awake time at work to just play with him and enjoy him. While having him at work is such a blessing, it’s also REALLY hard. Especially when I’m busy. It’s hard to shut off my work mind and go all momma on a situation and then switch right back. But, I’ve been doing it and things have been going well this week. We’ve had some nice time together and I’ve been getting a lot done.

I guess the MOST important thing is probably just giving myself a break. I get so caught up in doing everything and managing everything, that I feel totally paralyzed. In trying to do everything, I just shut down and can’t do anything… which, of course, just stresses me out even more.

I’m trying to just relax before my body (and/or mind) just explode.

Deep Breaths. Just Keep Swimming…

So many mantras.