Cookie Therapy

Back in February, my neighbor and I decided to attempt to make cookies to use as Valentines for the neighbors and C’s school. See full post here. 

After our first attempt, I wasn’t convinced that we had much skill. They were alright, but I wasn’t totally sure. Well, my lovely Type-A, perfectionist neighbor saw something different. Thus began our cookie adventures.

Since Valentine’s Day, we’ve baked maybe 5 or 6 batches (many dozen per batch) of cookies and are really honing our skills. Most importantly, we’re having a lot of fun doing it!

Here are some pics of our cookie journey…

Valentine’s Day Cookies

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St. Patty’s Day CookiesIMG_4864

Cookies We Made for My Niece & Nephew’s Teachers

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Princess Sophia Cookies for Ellie’s 3rd Birthday

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Random Maui Cookies (Maui from Moana) to Test our Skill & New Techniques

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Playing Around with Extra Icing… Zebra Face

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Easter Egg Cookies


Darth Vadar Easter Egg

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star First Birthday Party

 

 

Running the Bases

Two or so weeks ago, my parents took the kids, Mark & I to a baseball game. Charlie LOVED it – per usual. Henry… oh Henry. He was a little crazy man… per usual. He climbed all over me, got busted with his little paws in some random kid’s bag of peanuts, was grabbing everyone’s stuff (including the lady next to me) and was just all over the place (generally speaking).

It was a Sunday (family day), so after the game, we took Charlie to run the bases for the FIRST TIME EVER! Of course, it was a dang Cubs game, so we had to wait FOREVER! Literally, we probably waited like 45+ minutes… maybe an hour?

Anyway, it was hilarious. She did such a great job, but couldn’t quite make it till the end. Her “sanals” (sandals) picked up too many pebbles.

Henry thought everyone behind us was staring at him… he LOVED it!

 

Spring Break for Besties

Charlotte’s school runs on a typical public school calendar, so last week, her school was closed. Of course, this meant we were in a childcare shuffle. We had originally planned to put C in a random school for a week, which I was DREADING. I envisioned lots of tears and heartache and guilt.

THANKFULLY, my amazing neighbor offered to take C for the week. Her daughter has become C’s legit BFF. Like, who even knew that almost 3 year olds were capable of such a BFF status… but these girls have it. They had the BEST time playing together all week and my neighbor is amazing. She made BEAUTIFUL pictures with the girls, helped them build pillow forts, and just showed them the best time ever. These photos are literally just everything. I love them. And honestly, I love the friendship between the two girls.

Ellie, my friend’s daughter, also goes to C’s school (only 2 days a week), so this little spring break has really helped to enhance an already great friendship. So cute.

Elyse (me neighbor) told me that the girls were playing “school” and pretending to drop the kid off at school and say goodbye. HAHA!

Apparently, Charlotte fell and Ellie ran over to take care of her…

Rainy Day Forts!


Here are a few pics from the weekend before. We spent the day with the neighbors as a fam… cookout and all!

The “Man Date” HAHA!

A quick afternoon wine tasting… of course!


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.

 

Charlie Chats

Jan-March 2017

Miss Charlotte is filled with hilarious little sayings and just, generally speaking, says the funniest and sweetest things. Here are a handful…

  • I told Charlotte we’d be going to a friend’s house. I listed the people we would see. She said, “and we’ll bring my siser (this is how she says sister), Henry, because he’s my best friend?” And then smooches his head.
  • After dinner and playing with friends, I asked C if she had a good time. “Yes! I come back next week. But now I take a nap in the car.”
  • Hemy (how she pronounces Henry)
  • “I go to my new shool today and bring my lunchbox?” (The first thing C says every morning.)
  • Gergert (yogurt) – this is one of my faves. Sounds German!
  • “I wanna do it all my self pease” (Oy. Miss Independent says it ALL. THE. TIME.)
  • She’s the queen of sing songing. She loves to sing song the nightly routine. “I brush teeth and go potty and snuckle (snuggle)”
  • “Sure!”
  • me: “Charlie, put your hat back on” C: “No, I wanna feel the wind blow in my hair!”
  • I just can’t. (This is her response to everything lately. “I just can’t put that away. I just can’t.)
  • She taught me a Spanish song from school: “Hola, Hola, Como Estas? Bien, Bien, I hope you are, too!” (Who knows if those lyrics are legit, but either way, super cute)
  • “Dat” (Dad) – sad that it’s not always “daddy” anymore…
  • beybor (neighbor) – always, “I do ___ and go see my beybor”
  • Goga (yoga) – they do yoga in school
  • “my new shool” – school
  • “Next week”… this is C’s favorite measurement of time. “I go to a football game with paba next week”… everything next week.
  • “I hurt my chin, but it feel better on fursday” – (fursday=thursday)
  • “You can’t sit with us”… this one is just jerky! BUT, I had to laugh (after the fact) as she told Mimi and Paba that they couldn’t sit with us, as my toddler somehow pulled out this famous, “Mean Girls” quote from her jerky toddler repertoire.
  • “Best friend” – she’s been pretty generous with the BFF designation. Henry, mommy, Teddy, Beckett (adorable little guy from school).
  • “my roller coaster my favorite” – random exclamation while driving to school referring to this roller coaster that’s currently in our basement
  • “ho-wey cow” – Holy cow
  • “Look! Toby has a gina like me!” (gina=vagina)
  • “Wa happened?” (What happened? – This is a statement usually following C breaking something)
  • “Hemy, clap!” “Hemy, crawl!” “Hemy, hold my hand!” (poor little Hemy – Henry – gets a lot of commands barked at him)

April 2017

Some more recent funny thing…

  • The explanation for just about everything is “grooowwwwnups come back” (Daniel Tiger Song)
  • ohhhh kayyyy (when C is conceding)
  • “LEXA, FWOZEN” (we got an Amazon Dot, so Charlotte LOVES to boss around poor Alexa… usually demanding Frozen)
  • “Can we play hide and seek after nap?” – For about a month straight, C kept asking us this at bedtime. She NEVER brought it up in the morning and we never played, but every night, she’d ask us.
  • “Dis really, really, really, really glass!”
  • Nanana = banana
  • Gwabage (garbage)
  • I’m suuuuupaaaman (she says as she RUNS around with her arms behind her like a cape)
  • “I’m going to see Mick-a-Mouse, but not Mick-a-mouse’s dog. Some people like him, but I don’t like him.”
  • “You’re my brover” (brother)
  • “Mommy, I wuv you”… have to remember this, just in case she hates me one day. I love you, too, sweet girl.

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.

The Broken Elbow Saga

**I wrote this 3 months ago… not sure why I never posted it?**

It’s been just over a month since my sweet lovey girl got hurt. I received a phone call from Charlie’s school that she had fallen from the jungle gym. They didn’t think she was hurt, but was wondering if I’d like to come in and help settle her and maybe bring her in to the doctor as a precaution.

On my way to the school I called Mark, “I think I’ll have her stay at school and eat lunch. I don’t have anything at the house to feed her.” Clearly, I thought she was fine.

When I arrived, I was thrust into an emergency. Charlotte was screaming and crying like I’ve never heard before. She was holding her arm.

Ugh… as I write this, I’m just exhausted thinking about it. Maybe for now, I’ll just say this…

We spent the afternoon at the clinic, who sent us to the Children’s Hospital. We learned that Charlotte shattered her elbow and also cracked it all the way through, right at the growth plate. We sat and waited for hours… from around 12-8:30, when Charlotte was finally taken into surgery to have three pins placed in her elbow.

The waiting was terrible. Charlotte was in pain and she was terrified. I was terrified. None of us had eaten anything since breakfast. We were exhausted. I literally held Charlotte in my arms for probably 90% of the time we waited. I dug deep to find my best poker face. To stay not only calm, but cheerful. To show her that she would be okay, despite the pain and the fear she was experiencing. I rode in the hospital bed with her up to meet the anesthesiologist.

When she was wheeled off to surgery, I broke down. I just cried. I was scared and exhausted and overwhelmed and confused and angry and scared.

Thankfully, from the time C was taken into surgery until I got to go back to recovery to see her was only about an hour. Then, it was back to game face time. Of course, she came out of the anesthesia crying and scared. I held her in my arms and fed her juice from a sippy cup.

It was time to go to our room on what felt like the other side of the hospital and on a different floor. So carefully, I carried my 28+ pound baby to her hospital room.

Nana came with toys and relief. We finally settled into a little routine and by around 12 or 1 am, got some food. By 3 am, Charlie finally closed her eyes.

She slept for 2 hours, whimpering and crying in her sleep the entire time. It was terrible. The morning was filled with tears and stress and just fear for what our little baby was going through.

Finally, sometime between 12 and 3, we were released. Throughout the entire epically long experience, I must have sung Twinkle, Twinkle and You Are My Sunshine about 5,000 times each.

But, we got home to Mark’s dad, step mom, mom and little Henry and things started falling back into place. Charlie was so relieved and happy to see her Henry and to be home.

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The past month has been filled with recovery and now, C’s cast is off! Onto the next phase of healing…

The First Few Days Home

 

Bathtime

We had to spongebathe C while the cast was on… this was our method:

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C’s SPARKLY blue cast (can you believe this was before she saw – and became obsessed with – Frozen)

 

Life at Home 

We tried very hard to come up with activities for C and get back into our normal routine.

 

We had to get creative with clothing…

 

Doctor Visits

C was at the doc every 1-2 weeks while the cast was on. Fortunately, she didn’t mind them because it meant presents, stickers, BLUE suckers, and roaming the hospital halls!

 

Time for the Cast to Come Off…

Duck, duck, OOPS

 

Temporary splint

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Getting used to life without the cast/splint

Happy Anny, to US!

**Started writing this awhile ago**

Last weekend (specifically the 17th) was our 4th anniversary and honestly, we had SUCH a great time! On Friday, we added the kids & sweet Milly into our anniversary tradition of watching our wedding video. It was SO MUCH FUN! Charlotte loved it. There was a lot of… “That’s Mommy!! That’s Daddy! I see Nana! There’s Paba!” and so on! AND a lot of dancing and clapping.

It was really sweet to watch her enjoying our special day. The icing was the cards Charlotte had made for us, with the help of Milly!

Once the crazy kiddos were in bed, we did what we do best… ATE RAMEN! Duh. I mean, it’s not a celebration without Ramen from our favorite takeout restaurant.

Then, on Saturday, the real celebration began. We spent ALL MORNING trying to get out of the house to deliver our lovely children to Grandpa Ivan & Grandma Mimi’s house. Despite runny noses, crabby children, and so. much. stuff, we made it.

Once out of our care, we booked it to take advantage of a full 24 hours of kid-less fun. We went to the Third Ward where Mark had planned a day of adventure & fun. We started at the Public Market where we ate at the fish market… LOBSTER ROLLS! OYSTERS! BLOODY MARY’S WITH LOBSTER. Yeah, that was fun!

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Oh hello there, oyster!

Then, we did an amazing amount of shopping, exploring galleries, shops and boutiques, drinking so much coffee, and even a wine tasting.

IMG_5289Mid-day wine tasting!

We had sushi for dinner and decided to go see Beauty & the Beast in loungy recliner chairs. The movie didn’t start until 10pm, so we went to Splash, a paint / wine bar first.

Mark ordered us a couple of “first date” shots, we had a BLAST painting and then booked it to our movie.

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My masterpiece for Stef!

I buried my face in popcorn and somehow fell even more in love with… Emma Watson. Oh, and Mark!

The next morning, we slept in (for me that was 8am) and then went to Cafe Grace for brunch. French bistro. SO GOOD. We had mussles and I had the yummiest Croque Madame sandwich thing that I’m still thinking about. And, to top off all the fun, we went to Holy Moly for donuts and then to NORDSTROM. So fun.

All in all, it was an AMAZING celebration. I’d do it again any day of the week 🙂

Oh! Mark got me an amazing gift… the gift of guilt-free shopping!!! YES! Hello, new watch and purse. I love you!

My gift to Mark was an Amazon Dot or Echo Dot… I don’t know… the little Alexa thing. Needless to say, the toddler loves it. “LEXA, PLAY FWOZEN!” “LEXA, PLAY DOCA STUFFINS!”

With the traditional gift for year 4 being “flowers or fruit,” I decided to also gift Mark with one full week of all vegan cooking. For anyone that knows him, you know that this is a happy treat for him. I’ll be sure to share all of the good recipes!

 

 

Whooosh! Another Month Gone & Hemy is 10 Months Old!

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**I failed my goal below…**

I’m determined to get this damn post up within 1 week of Henry’s 10 month mark (April 2). With that said, what in the what!? How is H-pie already 10 months old? That’s 2 months shy of a year (in case you were struggling with the math). My sleepy and distracted mom-brain can’t handle that. My baby is getting SO OLD and time is flying.

Excuse me while I hyperventilate.

Okay, done.

Onto my big old lovey of a man who made some big changes over the past month. It was a significant developmental month for H.

Weight: Henry is somewhere between 23 and 24 lbs. That puts him at around the 75th percentile. Dang, Henry, you skinny.

Height: Henry is 29.5″… Mommy is 60″. Yup. Henry Morris is a 1/2″ shy of half my height… at 10 months old. While that number seems surprising (as I think C was 30″ at her 2 year check up???), H has moved from the 95th to the 75th percentile for height.

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Health Updates: Henry had another little cough/cold and woke up with a big fat puffy eye the other day. OH! And the little stinker was eye goobering everywhere (although didn’t seem to have pink-eye – doc and I agreed) and managed to give his momma a nice solid case of pink eye. I haven’t worn make-up or contacts in a week (feels longer). Pink eye is the devil.

Sleep: Henry continues to be a great sleeper; although, not at the same caliber as his sleepy older sis. He goes to bed around 6:30 and most often wakes up at around 6:30, but sometimes as late as 7:30 or 8. Naps, on the other hand, are not AS great. They’re still good… but not Charlie good.

His schedule these days most commonly looks like this:

630/7: Wake up (we will usually either give him a bottle or I’ll nurse him)

7:30/8: Breakfast (2 egg yolks)

9ish: He typically naps for 1.5-2 hours in the morning (wake up between 10 and 1130ish)

12/1: Nap – This nap is usually 2-3 hours. Probably most often around 2.5 hours. Today; however, it was 1.75 hrs. Not. Enough.

2:30/3:30: Sometime between 2:30 and 3:30pm (most commonly) Henry wakes up.

2:30/3:30-4:30: Henry destroys mommy’s office, pulls cords, generally speaking, he f’s things up.

5/5:30: Dinner

5:30/6:30: Bed – Some nights this is a little later, but lately, Henry has been pretty sleepy and ready to go to bed around 530.

Clothes/Diapers (Sizes): Henry wears 12m and 18m clothing and size FIVE diapers. If Charlie were still in diapers, they’d be in the same size. HOLY COW!

Diet: Mr. Henry face LOVES food and drinking water from his sippy cup. He holds on with both hands and tips it back for a good solid chug. 70% of the time, he then lets the water spill out of his mouth.

As for new foods… oh I don’t know! I feel like it’s been a lot of the same. He seems to enjoy peas? Also, confession, I’m excited to be done breastfeeding… or at least pumping. I’ve made it very clear that I LOATHE pumping, which has not changed. In the past few weeks, I’ve switched from pumping twice a day to only once (slight improvement).

But honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of breastfeeding this time around. I loved it with C, but they’re so different. With Charlotte, she never cuddled… like, ever… EXCEPT when she nursed. She would just curl up like a little love and I adored that time with her.

Henry, on the other hand, is a total cuddler. It’s amazing and wonderful and I just LOVE Henry hugs. They’re amazing. He smashes his face against mine or puts his big noggin on my shoulder. It’s total heaven. HOWEVER, when he nurses, it’s not really like that so much. He gets distracted SO easily, he’s bitten SO many times (so I tend to be on edge), and it’s just not comfortable. Maybe C was a gentle nurser… Henry, not so much.

With all of that said, I’m excited to wean. We’ll see how H feels about that… especially because he literally wants to crawl back inside my uterus on a daily basis.

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Teeth: The Henry man has lots of chompers. He’s currently at SEVEN! 4 on the bottom, 3 on top… but that 4th one on top will come through any day. He looks like such a little jack-o-lantern man with those tiny spaced out teeth. Gives me a good chuckle.

ALTHOUGH, Henry has been known to use those chompers for inappropriate chomping. The other day, he leaned in to give big sister a nice smooch on the cheek. They both lingered in the cheek kiss when all of a sudden, Charlotte screamed and started crying. Apparently, Henry couldn’t resist those chubby Charlie cheeks.

He also bites me now and then… on the arm, leg, nipple… good stuff. I pray that this little phase ends quickly and never returns. Ever.

Baby Gear Love: Guys, we lost Henry’s Comotomo Teether that he sleeps with every night. Oops. Thankfully he’s a chill little man and was okay with the replacement random teether I’ve been giving him. As for other toys, he still loves everything dangerous, truly enjoys fucking things up (shredding paper, pulling cords, yanking drawers open, throwing cell phones, etc).

Milestones/Firsts: Mr. Henry is now officially an army crawler. He drags himself around, as if he weighs 1,000 lbs. He has gotten his belly off the ground, but still isn’t crawling normally.

He loves to stand (with assistance) and to pull himself up on mommy. I’m guessing he’ll probably start walking around the time he’s 16… years old… Just in time for my hips and back to totally disintegrate.

Henry has totally mastered the art of feeding himself.

Hmmm…

I’m struggling. I know there’s a lot more, but I can’t remember.

He chitter chatters all day. It’s funny because he legit sounds like he’s talking.

 

Likes: Henry loves food, trouble, mommy, Toby & knocking things over.

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Dislikes: Henry HATES when he doesn’t get what he wants. And he doesn’t appreciate having to sit still.

Things I Don’t Want to Forget: Henry totally lights up and bounces and giggles and reaches for me when I enter the room… this usually turns to dramatic, “I need you RIGHT NOW” cries, but still. It’s pretty sweet and funny.

Henry smooches. He loves to kiss and finds it so funny. And oy, he gives such great hugs.

He’s amazing and perfect and I want to give him a big smoochie.

Charlotte’s 1-Year Photos

Yes, guys… I know. GF is almost 3 years old. So, why am I posting her 1 year photos now? Because I finally got access to all of them. For whatever reason, I never downloaded them from our photographer’s site and it took her a bit to get them back up on the website.

Here’s the sneak peek I posted 2 years ago! haha

Anyway, without further ado, here are some of my favorites…

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I just love this one…

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So funny!!

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Little bunny!

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Umm okay. Hello, cutest little lady face!