Coffee with Char

Mark has been super busy at work lately, so instead of him driving Henry to school on Mondays and Fridays while I wait at the house for Nana with Charlotte, C & I have been taking Henry to school and meeting Nan at our favorite coffee shop.

Our little 3-way dates are adorable. Charlotte really shines in these moments. She’s talkative and expressive. Absurdly sweet and charismatic. She is just a total gem.

I love taking pictures of her in these moments. As she picks at her muffin or scone or whatever baked good she’s conned me into buying her… she’s like a squirrel nibbling at the most sugary parts first. As she speaks with full expression, hand motions and all. As she soaks in the undivided attention from Nan & I.

It’s such special time with my big girl.

Hand Holding

Sometimes, Hem just wants to hold my hand while we’re in the house. While he’s eating breakfast, as we’re walking from one room to another, whenever. And when he does, my heart melts into a little puddle…

And one of my girl from the same day:

He’s definitely the biggest smoocher I know. Just a total cuddly lovey pie.

Thanksgiving 2018

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It should be noted that Thanksgiving 2018 was a lovely affair. Obviously I’ve neglected this special little blogging place of mine over the past two years, but wanted to make sure this got in the record books.

We’ve always done Thanksgiving at my mom’s house, which is lovely. I legit love Thanksgiving. This year, everyone had something going on. Bro was going to his wife’s turkey day, sis was headed to Door County. SO… we decided to head to California to see my favorite people on this earth. AKA my other “sister.” AND of course, my aunt & uncle and my cousin’s lovely manfriend.

The trip was magical and Thanksgiving was AHHHMAZING. It’s ridiculous how easy Thanksgiving is when you show up as a total guest. Normally, at mom’s, I am planning menus leading up to Turkey Day, helping cook  and setting up the day prior, and there early that day to cook some more.

This Thanksgiving, all slaving was done by my incredible Aunt and my mom’s cousin, Melissa. And oh my did they go above and beyond. Not to mention the fact that Melissa lives in a little California dream of a house. It was FANTASTIC. We brought some wine and a centerpiece (made by the kiddos) and then boom. Done.

While poor Melissa and Aunt Helaine probably needed a week of sleep to recover, the whole thing felt wildly easy, relaxed and just perfect to me.

It should also be mentioned that little C spiced things up when Mark forced her to taste the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are her nemesis. She showed him when she instantly barfed right there at the Turkey Day table. Lesson learned.

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The rest of the trip was equally magical. My cousin’s boyfriend’s brother & his gf were there visiting, too! They are absolutely adorable and all four of them crashed at our airbnb one night. It was just so much fun.

Photos from the travel to Cali…

From our trip…

Highlights: Exploring neighborhood parks, venturing to the Grove & taking the Trolley, swimming at our AirBNB pool, picking oranges every morning from our AirBNB’s orange tree, Asian Day Spa-ing with Stef & Mom, Henry’s first time sleeping in a big boy (racecar) bed!!!, dipping our toes in the ocean, & of course, excessive time with my favorites.

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And, what’s a trip to Cali without some Disney magic, right???

All in all, A+ trip.

The Bubble Burst…

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Charlotte & Henry have often shared their future plans of getting married. Now, we all know that this is not possible in the wonderful US of A, but Mark and I have not found it necessary to clarify such restrictions. One can assume that by the time they are facing marriage decisions, they will have moved past their uninformed (and precious) childhood ideas of marrying each other.

Well, apparently, some chick named Abby (who is likely 4 years old or younger) was not so confident that they’d realize this on their own and decided to shut it down.

C: Mommy, Abby told us that Hemery and I could not get married.

H: Yeah. That not weally, weally kind of her.

C: Yeah! And my teacher said we couldn’t either.

Me: Hmmm. I see…

H: I’m gonna put her in jail!! (JK… he didn’t say that. BUT since it’s his response to everything, one could assume he might have been thinking of saying that…)

Me: While I’m sure that was surprising to hear, they weren’t wrong…

C: Huh?

Me: Well, you cannot actually marry your brother or sister. BUT, it doesn’t really matter. You two should focus on being best friends because through everything, you’ll always have each other and will always be the very best of friends.

C: I might want to marry someone else.

H: Yeah, me, too! Like Connor. He’s so cute and nice. He smiles when I smile!

C: Yeah. Because a boy can marry a boy or a girl can marry a boy or a girl can marry a girl or a boy can marry a girl.

Me: Woah. Yes. You’re exactly right, Charlotte! (I was mind-blown impressed with her statement, which Mark later told me stemmed from a conversation they had earlier. Go Marky!)

H: Yeah. I’m gonna marry Connor and Beau.

Me: Well, you can’t actually marry two people in the United States.

H: I’M GOING TO MARRY CONNOR AND BEAU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Well alright then! (turns the radio up)

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Mini Chats

This morning while I was in my bathroom getting ready, I overheard Charlotte & Henry chatting over the baby monitor…

Charlotte: What did you dream about last night?

Henry: Mommy, Daddy, You, Char… I dreamed about you, too, Charlotte!

Charlotte: Did you dream about yourself, too?

Henry: Yes!

Charlotte: What a good little buddy. Such a good buddy…

Henry: I love you, Charlotte!

Charlotte: I love you, too, buddy. You little buddy…

Henry: But look what I can do with my car!!

***

Meanwhile, I’m trying to scrape myself up off the floor from the puddle I became…

I just love those little lovies.

Valentine’s Day

2019 shaped up to be quite the little Valentine’s Day with my loves. From homemade valentine’s for the kids to hand out in class to our own little celebration at home, it was definitely one for the books.

While I recognize the exploited nature of days like Valentine’s Day, I still absolutely love the day. Why wouldn’t one embrace a day that literally exists as a reminder to spread love and kindness to the special people in our lives? Really, who doesn’t need a reminder?

So of course, I have to go over the top.

On Valentine’s Day, I woke up VERY early to make heart-shaped french toast with berries before my 6am workout. I hung up Charlotte’s homemade Valentines on the window and put their Valentine’s Day gifts up on the counter. Everything was set.

When I got home from my workout, the kiddos were in a blissful state. So happy with their breakfast and SO pumped to open their gifts.

Charlotte had been oogling this absurdly soft teddy bear named Puffles for weeks. She’d asked for it many a time and the answer had been no. SO… of course, I had to get her the damn bear for Vday… because she just loved the stupid thing. AND, a pair of stuffy slippers.

Hem got a light-up book, a wind-up dinosaur and a pull-back monster truck.

However, my favorite gift of the morning (besides my new leggings from hubby), were the socks I got for Marky! SO funny!

The kids spread love all day with their Valentines.

I also made chocolate covered popcorn with V-day sprinkles with little tags that said, “You Make My Heart POP”… but of course, in the fun of it all, I forgot to take a pic (although you can see it in the picture of Mark’s socks!)!

Then, at dinner, they got their favorite meal, which is noodles with fake butter. Seriously… favorite meal. AND, Marky and I got our favorite meal: RAMEN!!!

It was just such a good day. It might not seem like much, but there was just so much happiness oozing all over the place.

 

CharlotteISMs

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As C&H get older, it seems as if their word quota for any given day has increased. They are constantly talking, and with that, comes some pretty hilarious/ridiculous moments.

Here are a few of Charlotte’s recent gems…

  • “My tummy says if I eat anything else it will B-splode” (read: explode)
  • Charlotte got sent to bed early one night due to the fact that she did NOT want to listen. After a minute in her room, she comes to the kitchen and demands fresh water. Wearily, I get her the water. “With icecubes,” barks the princess. This is where I decide to draw the line. With fire in her tiny eyes, she looks at me and says, “I’m gonna punch you in the stomach in the morning…”
    Mommy: <blank stares as C walks away>
    5 minutes later she’s back…
    C: “Sorry I said I was going to punch you in the stomach. I wouldn’t do that.”
    M: <hugs C>
    C: “Hopefully I don’t forget not to punch you in the stomach in the morning…”
    M: Uhhhhhh
  • Charlotte came up with a game the other night… Henry had to close his eyes, put any number of fingers up in the air and guess how many fingers he was holding up… He won… EVERY TIME.
  • Charlotte calls mommy and daddy on the phone from Grandma’s house and has full convo while RUNNING nonstop around the house.img_1203-animation
  • Charlotte snuck one of her new toys on the bus and let her friend “borrow” it… back in December. She has yet to see said toy. This morning she decided she wanted to write her friend, Henry, a note to remind him to return it to her… which ended up looking a bit like a ransom note.img_1285
  • Mommy: “Mommy gets to go to Charlotte, the city!”
    C: “Is that where I was born??”
  • Charlotte learns how to do jumping jacks…

     

  • C: “Hemery, wanna color with me?”
    H: “No..”
    C: “We can draw some H’s!!!”
    H: “Okay!!”
  • She’s the spunkiest little love. Full of personality, full of spice, full of SWEETNESS, full of love.

Potty Training… Again

First of all, hi! Yes, we are all still alive and doing well! Somehow, the madness of school and travels and holidays has kept me from this happy, blogging place of mine. But, we have big things happening, which should be documented… Otherwise, they might as well have never happened. Note: this is not some millennial statement about the importance of the Internet, but just a confession of my inability to retain any information in my little fish brain. Just call me Dory. 

Back to groundbreaking events… my big boy is potty training!! I’ve been touting his impressive little run these past 5.5 days (but who’s counting?!), which has been echoed by Mark’s reminders of how much easier it was with C. Because, again, my memory is shit, I looked it up today and it does appear as if it was easier with our little lady. Not to mention the sheer fact that potty training a penis in general is just weird… and messy.

I digress…

Mark and I decided that “Winter Break” would be the perfect timing to work with Henry on his potty training (we did the same with C 2 years ago). So clearly, I spent a stupid amount of time making an overly elaborate potty chart, bought Thomas the Train stickers, bought over-priced Thomas the Train Trackmaster trains and voila… we were ready to go!

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With Charlotte, she was naked for a solid 5-7 days. Tush out, adorable as ever. With Hem, not so easy. We attempted naked lunch on Day 1 and Henry seemed to spend more time hand sanitizing than eating due to his countless attempts to make balloon animals out of his man bits.

New plan: undies.

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Do I need to clarify that these were Charlotte’s hand-me-down undies? He doesn’t care and I sure don’t need more things to spend money on, so Hem has been proudly sporting his Minnie Mouse/Pink/Purple/Little Mermaid/Etc undies, with that cute tush hanging out.

Anyway, on Day 1, Henry had two pee accidents right off the bat. This does not include the fire hose accidents… otherwise known as Henry peeing while on the potty, but losing control of his hose, which inadvertently leaves mommy with wet sleeves and a whole lotta clean up.

Still, Day 1 would be considered a success. Not fun… at all. But successful.

It should be noted that in between all the pee was SO MUCH POTTY SITTING. Like, 75% of my day just sitting on a stool singing every possible potty song I could make up… I even came up with my own Frozen Rendition… Let it Flow, Let it Flow… Don’t hold it back anymore… etc, etc, and on and on and on…

The boy was taking FOREVER to let that potty go.

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Day 2 Henry made it the WHOLE day with no accidents. He even woke up dry from his nap and immediately made poop and pee on the potty upon waking up. Go, H! Unfortunately, he did end up having an accident on the bathroom floor.

Oh! And, at some point on some day, he had to poop. We ran to the potty, I stripped off his clothes and swung him onto the potty only to hear a plop on the floor followed by Charlotte saying, “it looks like a ball…”

1/2 a poop right on the floor.

But at least the other half hit water.

Since that, he’s been great! No accidents for 3 days now, spending less time on the potty, and just telling us when he has to go! AKA: Killin it!!

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Go, Hem!

Aww! This is random, but in the beginning, Henry would be sitting on the potty, trying SO hard and crying, saying, “mommy, help me pee/poop.” Poor bud. Check out this cutie pie little video of buddy working hard and giving mommy some love…

Clearly the winner in all of this is Henry. He went from 2 trains to 5 and is LOVING his new, train-rich life…

Here are some other photos from our little winter staycay..

The Shweetie

Yesterday, probably an hour or more after Charlotte got home from school, she told me, “today I cried on the bus because I missed you.”

The backstory: Charlotte and Henry go to the same school in the morning and then Charlotte takes the bus to her afternoon public school 4k program. Henry is picked up by either my MIL, my parents or me. Yesterday, when I picked up H, we saw Charlotte (which hasn’t happened since this new schedule has started). She was packing up her stuff and getting ready to wait for the bus. We smooched her, gave big hugs and waved goodbye.

Back to last night… I instantly stopped what I was doing – sorry, Hem for leaving you mid diaper change – and scooped up my baby girl. She hugged me so tight and I got this flood of nostalgia and warm fuzzy feelings. She acts like such a big kid sometimes, I forget. I forget that she’s still just a baby, that I’m “that person” to her, everything. It reminded me of being young. I totally remember feeling like that… when my mom came to visit me at summer camp one year, I BURST into tears when I saw her. All of a sudden, I realized how much I had missed her.

My baby.

Also, since we are talking about my girl, I need to get this down in the books… the other day, I was helping C solve a big issue. It was “wear your brewers outfit” day at school, but C was already dressed in a lovely dress (what does one do in sich a predicament?!?). I suggested that she wear her dress in the morning with Nana and then change into her Brewers dress before going to school in the afternoon. Perfect! Success. I then reminded her that the next day would be jammie day at school.

She looked at me, put her arms out and demanded a hug. While she hugged me (so tight), she said something along the lines of, “thank you so much for always knowing what I need and what I need to do and helping me with everything!”

For any mother reading this, you know… my jaw hit the ground. YOU MEAN… YOU ACTUALLY NOTICE?!?!?!?!

Momma life isn’t always easy. The juggling, the hustling, the remembering, the being present while maintaining an entire family’s world… it felt pretty darn good to have my sweet little 4 year old notice how hard I work to make her life as special and meaningful and great as possible.

Thanks for noticing, little bunny. Xo