Thursday, April 24, 2014

Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt

So, I'm a few days behind on posting photos from our neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.  I actually had them all uploaded and edited by Sunday night, but life got in the way of me actually getting them posted here so I'm not as on top of my game as I thought I was.  #momfail  By now, I'm sure you're all sick to death of seeing a million photos of kids you don't know hunting for stupid plastic eggs.  I'm here to post a million more, so feel free to skip this one if you're totally OVER it. 

Early Sunday morning, the troops gathered in the circle of our cul-de-sac for the group photo before heading out for the hunt.  Mac refused to cooperate for the photo, which of course didn't surprise me one bit.  It was 8:30 a.m. and he'd already had 3 meltdowns that morning over not getting to eat chocolate eggs for breakfast, not being able to hit the dogs with a baseball bat and having to wear shoes, so we knew it was going to be "one of those days."  
Once the hunt began he got in a slightly better mood.  He grabbed the first egg he saw, opened it, started eating the candy out of it and refused to move on to the next one until every bite was eaten.  He didn't quite get the concept of collecting the eggs, but he was a big fan of eating all the candy.  
The rest of the kids had a great time running up and down the street collecting as many eggs as they could find.  For such a little street, we have a lot of really adorable kiddos. 
Mac gave up egg hunting relatively early and traded it in for worm digging, bike riding and fence climbing. 
Ryan showed Mac how to hit a baseball off the tee, while Mim and I took photos and snuck bites of  Mac's candy stash.  She really liked the lemon Starburst (my usual least favorite flavor).  This child's love of lemons is getting ridiculous.  
All in all, it was a blast.  It was such a gorgeous day and it was so nice just being outside and in the sunshine.
By 9:30 the whole thing was over and Ryan and I were asking each other if it was naptime yet.  Mac was pretty cranky and gnawing hard on his fingers (I hate teething), but I NEEDED one shot of the kids in their bunny ears.  Just one.  Even if it was a bad one.  So I grabbed the bunny ears, a bag of dog treats, Sage's bumper and my husband and prayed.  Even on rapid fire shooting, I only got about 4 photos before the dogs ran away and the toddler threw the ears on the ground in protest.  I quickly looked at the screen and shouted HALLELUJAH!   

I don't know what Ryan did behind me to get Mac to smile this big, but this is a winner!  Mac is adorable, Sage looks like her usual sweet (albeit dirty) self and even Mally managed to not give me a look of death.  I need to recruit Ryan's help with photo shoots more often.  Look how cute they are!  If you remember last year's photo (HERE), we had 0 of 3 looking at the camera, so this was a huge success.  It made my whole day!  

Right after this we went to Home Depot to pick up a few items and Mac proceeded to run around the store like a freaking lunatic on fire, screaming and giggling and knocking shit off the shelves.  Next year we will not be putting any candy in the eggs at all.  Lesson learned.  :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Anyone else deal with sugar-induced toddler madness?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Mac - 23 Months

Dear Baby Mac,

In just one short month you will be two years old and your poor mama will be crying her eyes out over a giant piece of birthday cake.  The last two years have been full of so many contradictions and simultaneous conflicting feelings.  I feel like you just got here, yet I also feel like I've known you my whole life.  I want you to stay little forever, yet I can't wait to watch you grow up and see who you'll become.  I can't get enough of you, yet sometimes I just want you to go to bed!
True to form, you're a bit ahead of the game and we've officially entered the Terrible Twos early.  The tantrums and whining are pretty over the top these days and what I thought was a tantrum a few months ago now looks like a hiccup.  You are perfecting the art of kicking, screaming, biting, flailing, stomping, shouting and hitting all at the same time in order to get what you want.  You can go from 0 to meltdown faster than I can blink.  Most meltdowns are over things like wanting a sucker before breakfast or not wanting to go inside when you're out playing (both of which I understand), but sometimes they're over ridiculous things like not being able to eat chapstick, kick the dogs, bring worms in the house or dump out the trash.  Boy, can you get angry!  We try reasoning with you, distracting you, offering you other choices, but you are one persistent and determined little shit dude and it usually doesn't work.  More often than not you just have to work it out and cry while I stand there in absolute shock and horror watching ("ignoring") you.  Toddlers are so much fun!
But really, you are so much fun these days.  Your vocabulary is just amazing.  You put together entire sentences now and can basically carry on mini conversations with me.  I love it.  You say things like "mama, sit right here" now, instead of just "chair" like a few months ago.  You can count to ten, know all your colors and some of your alphabet.  You sing songs and know what's about to happen in all of your books.  You know all the neighborhood kids by name and every dog on the street.  You tell me what you want to eat (usually pancakes or pasta), what you want to watch (usually Aristocats or Robin Hood) and where you want to go (always outside).  You've started contemplating things (or at least mimicking me contemplating things), which is so stinking adorable.  I will ask you a question like, "Do you think there will be elephants at the zoo?" and you'll get a serious look on your face and say, "Hmmmm...might be."  I die.
And this probably goes without saying, but you are so smart.  Lately you've started negotiating with me for things that you want.  I'll tell you that we can watch one minute of Bambi before bed and you'll say "one minute Bambi, two minutes Robin Hood."  Are you kidding me?!  I guess that's what happens with lawyer parents.  You never forget anything and I'm constantly amazed at how often you bring up things that happened days/weeks/months ago that I'd forgotten all about.  The other day you saw your Santa Claus sippy cup and said "Ho ho, cry, picture, George and Charlie." Which is ridiculous - how can you possibly remember that we saw Santa with George and Charlie and got your picture taken, where you cried nearly 5 months ago!  It's crazy.  And you are getting so good at giving us context clues to get your point across when we don't understand what you're saying.  The other day you wanted your pajamas with the firetrucks on them (although you insist that they are garbage trucks), so you said "Hey Hey Block Away," which is the first page of your book about garbage trucks. And then I understood.  Amazing!
When you're not having a meltdown, you are usually happy.  You might not be one of those kids that laughs at everything or smiles nonstop (you've got a serious side), but you are a very happy and affectionate child.  You wake up every morning with a huge smile on your face and say "Wake up, mama!  Wake up, daddy!"  You love being tickled and giving hugs.  You love jumping on the bed and snuggling under the covers with us.  You give bear hugs to the dogs, cat and fish every day.  You love waving good bye to me when I go to work and give the best sloppy kisses.
But mainly, you are busy.  And I mean busy, busy, BUSY!  You never seem to stop moving. Getting you to sit still for anything (bath, meals, etc.) is a challenge these days.  You never seem to walk, you run.  Or jump.  There's lots of jumping off of things happening at our house.  You are also obsessed with this little Radio Flyer mini bike that one of the neighborhood kids gave you and you can fly on that thing!  You go as fast as your little feet can go - you remind us of a Flintstones character with your legs spinning as push yourself around on this thing.  You love to race too...preferably down a big hill.  Such a speed demon.  We're in for trouble.  You have a helmet, but it's still pretty big and awkward, so you don't wear it as much as you probably should.  When you move up to something with pedals, we'll insist. You're also pretty athletic, just like your daddy.  You are becoming a champ in swim class and seem to have no fear when it comes to water.  You swim underwater from the nanny to the instructor and jump in the pool from the side (and fully submerge) and then beg to do it again.  I can't wait to take you to the beach next month!  You love playing basketball and never get discouraged when you miss it.  You are also getting really good at golf.  You will turn anything into a golf club and are pretty good about making contact with the ball. I think it's about time to get you a real set of clubs.
So that's about it, little man.  I'll save the rest of my gushing until next month when you turn two. For now, just know that you are so incredibly loved and have made your dad and I the happiest, proudest parents on the planet.  Keep being you, dude.

Your mama

Favorite Things:
  • being outside
  • slides
  • chapstick
  • squirt bottles
  • digging for worms
  • swimming
  • little red tricycle
  • suckers
  • pasta
  • trains
  • airplanes
  • doing things on your own
  • your sister's room
  • golf
  • cookies
  • daddy
  • talking
  • jumping on the bed
  • lemonade
  • getting dressed
  • diaper changes
  • being inside
  • going to sleep
  • getting your picture taken
  • getting your hands/face wiped
  • getting in the car seat
  • being told no
Hope you all had a very "hoppy" Easter!  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pregnancy Update - 25 Weeks

How far along (how big is baby): 25 Weeks!  It feels so good to be in the "viability" stage, but I sure hope she doesn't come early.  We are not ready!  Right now baby Mim is as big as an eggplant and weighs just under 2 pounds.  She has fingerprints, sweat glands and has developed that blink-startle reflex.  Her hearing is fully developed and she's working on getting her lungs She should already be favoring one hand over the other - will Ryan finally get his lefty?  

How I'm feeling:  Good!  I finally feel like some of my energy is back and my appetite is definitely improving.  I had a good weight gain at my last OB appointment and the bump is getting bigger by the day.  I'm finally to that honeymoon stage of pregnancy that I love where people are super nice to you and ask you questions about the baby (which I love).  Most people seem surprised that I still have 3+ months to go, which means I am probably bigger than I even realize. Although everytime I say something to Ryan about how big I am (or grunt while trying to get up off the couch), he laughs at me and makes some comment about how much bigger I'm going to get. Yes honey, I know...that doesn't mean I don't already feel giant, but knowing how much more growing is still coming is a little wild.  I also passed my glucose test the very first time (woo hoo!), which is huge.  I had to do the 3 hour test with Mac after failing the 1 hour test, which made me miserably sick for days.  I'm thrilled not to have to go through that again. My friend Liz just recently dealt with gestational diabetes, so I have a whole new respect for what that entails and the seriousness of it.  However, I did reward myself with a giant piece of lemon butter cake (recipe here) that was so good I nearly cried.  
Nursery Planning:  I'm starting to get really excited about her nursery. Ryan painted the room (a fresh coat of white) and I'm almost finished painting an old dresser of mine, which has been a labor of love.  I can't believe how much work it takes just to paint furniture.  I still need to add knobs to the drawers and a top coat of sealer, but we're getting close.  I've got the bookshelf assembled, but it still needs to be primed and painted as well.  I just put down the rug in the room and's not quite the exact shade I wanted it to be.  I don't love it, but I am just going to have to live with it.  I'm not going through the hassle of shipping it back.  It'll work.  Still need to assemble the crib, order curtains and figure out the "glider situation."  I'm also working on a couple other projects for the room and slowly building up her wardrobe.  I'm gladly accepting hand-me-downs (thank you, Claire), so if anyone would like to contribute to Mim's closet, I'd be greatly appreciative (and will take you out to lunch/pedicures in exchange). Right now I have only have 2 hairbows and 1 headband, so I need to work on getting her some fun accessories.  I'd love to support small vendors, so if you have an Etsy favorite, let me know.  And speaking of accessories...moms of girls - how do you store/display/organize bows and headbands?  I've seen a couple ideas on Pinterest, but I don't really love anything that I've seen.  Anyone have an awesome way to deal with them? 

What I'm looking forward to:  I'm SO looking forward to all the photos that are coming our way soon!  The photographer that I've been using for the last year recently moved to Houston (sad), but was back in town for a couple days last weekend, so we had a quick family session (Mac's 2 year photos, really) at the Museum of Transportation (perfect for a train-obsessed toddler).  We've basically had this booked since November, but it still completely snuck up on me. I was scrambling for outfits and location ideas just days before the session.  Not my greatest hour. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my desperate plea for help picking out a top (I chose the white/navy striped one, in case you were curious) the night before the pictures.  Mac was adorable, as usual, so I hope they turn out well.  I also have an upcoming maternity "practice session" with my friend Jessica.  She's trying to build up her portfolio, so we are just going to play around with getting some bump shots that I can use for Mim's pregnancy book (way better than the ones I'm taking here with the tripod and remote).  Plus, I get to hang out with Jess for a while anc catch up, which will be awesome.  And I'm SUPER excited that I finally booked Mim's newborn photo shoot with the fabulous Kristie from L Photographie!!  I met Kristie at a Camera Love class she taught and developed a bit of a girl-crush on her.  Her photos are gorgeous (and you know I'm a photo snob) and she has a son just a bit older than Mac, so she'll know how to handle our wild child. We're going to do a lifestyle newborn shoot at our house, once Mim and I are home from the hospital and settled in, with the whole family.  I'm so excited!  
Differences in the pregnancy: Can I still say that nearly everything has been the opposite?  The biggest was how sick I was this time around compared to how wonderful my first trimester with Mac was.  Now that I'm finally feeling better, the differences are less dramatic, but still there.  I'm carrying this baby much lower than I carried Mac.  He was super high and I felt like he lived in my ribcage, which caused a lot of rib bruising and heartburn.  Mim is really low, which is less painful, but I also feel like she just going to fall out sometimes.  I constantly find myself wrapping my arms around the bottom of my belly to "carry" her around.  So weird.  I also have way fewer cravings this time around.  All I really want is lemonade...lots and lots of lemonade.  Actually, lemon-flavored anything sounds good.  My Pinterest board is filled with recipes for lemon cake, lemon muffins, lemon sorbet, lemon pie, etc.  I can't get enough citrus.   With Mac, I was tired during the day and awake at night.  With Mim, I wake up feeling pretty good, but am exhausted by 3:00 each day.  Mac's heartbeat was fast, hers is slow.  Mac was active during the day, she's active in the evening.  With Mac I craved salty foods, with Mim I crave sweets.  My belly with Mac was rock hard and I could push around on him all I wanted.  With Mim, it's big, but still pretty squishy and very sensitive - any pressure (even from clothes) makes me nauseous.  All these differences in pregnancies make me so curious to see how different they actually are once she gets here.  Since Mac is so much like me, I'm really hoping Mim's just like her daddy.  I could really use a laid-back easy-going baby.  

Thoughts, worries, fears:  Now that I feel her moving all the time, I think I'm much less worried/stressed about her physical well-being.  I still get nervous occasionally when I look at Mac and think that he's so damn perfect it's scary and how can I get so lucky twice, but I'm starting to get over it.  No matter what happens or how she turns out, she's going to be so incredibly loved, it won't matter.  Worrying doesn't help, so I'm trying not to.  I scheduled my c-section at my last OB appointment, so I'm slightly nervous about that, but less so than I was the first time around.  I'm really hoping I feel better after birth this time, since I won't have to go through 17+ hours of labor before-hand, but otherwise, I know what to expect.  I think my biggest worry right now is about breastfeeding.  I so want it to work out this time.  I'm hoping she's a champion eater and it works out for us, but I also know that if it doesn't, it's not the end of the world.  I'm going to try to be much easier on myself this time around.  And the stupidest worry I have is that someone will "steal" our baby name.  Actually, we don't even have an official name or anything decided, but every new baby girl our friends have eliminates one more name we could have used (hypothetically).  Even if it was a name I knew I didn't want to use, I feel like the pool of names is dwindling dramatically every day.  Isn't that ridiculous?  I'm possessive of names that aren't even ours.  Does anyone else think about this or am I the only crazy one out there?  I have quite a few friends expecting in the next couple months and part of me wants to just pick a name and stake our claim to it publicly so no one else can have it.  Although, even if someone else did pick "our" name, I'd be fine with still using it. Believe it or not, there's more than one Sara out there.  Shocking, I know! Such a silly thing to worry about.
Baby action: She's moving around like crazy these days.  I feel kicks and punches all over the place from all different directions.  I have no idea which way she's facing, nor does it matter, I guess.  Ryan's felt a few kicks here and there, but she tends to get shy whenever he tries to feel her.  She responds mainly to music and to Mac's voice.  Anytime she hears him talk, she kicks. This makes me so excited because I know she is going to be his biggest, most adoring fan someday, whether he likes it or not.  Last night she woke me up with hiccups at 4:30 a.m.  Super cute, but I wish she'd keep those to daytime hours.  I'm starting to be able to see movement from the outside, as she dances away in there.  Occasionally I'll get hit with a wave of nausea and then all of a sudden I'll feel her do a big flip and I'll instantly feel better.  Pregnancy is so wild!

Big brother's reaction: Mac loves talking about the baby.  Whenever we mention her, he asks to "see" her (which involves me showing him my belly button).  Sometimes now he'll just randomly pull up my shirt to see the baby, which is fine so long as we're not in public.  He always asks if the baby is kicking or sleeping, which I guess is all she really does in there.  He gives her hugs and kisses, which melts my heart.  He loves going in her room and saying "seesta!"  Whenever I ask him what he wants to name the baby he says "Boo Boo" or "Doo Doo."  He'll be disappointed to learn that those suggestions did not make our list.  Anytime we ask him if he wants a baby, he says "nooooooo!"  But he is very curious about babies and likes to look at them and pat their heads.  I'm hoping to take him to a big brother class at the hospital and maybe even get him around a newborn a little bit so he isn't absolutely shocked when she gets here. 

So, that's about it.  Sorry (not sorry) about all the ridiculously dorky bump photos, but I just can't help myself.  Loving the bump these days! Can I seriously just stay exactly this pregnant forever?  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Showers Bring...Worms

Every night when I get home from work, I usually have about an hour of uninterrupted mama and Mac together-time before Ryan gets home.  Well, "uninterrupted" is probably not the best word for it, as it's always interrupted by stupid adult things like changing out of my work clothes, starting dinner, answering the phone, letting the dogs out and going to the bathroom -- any one of which will send my little toddler into a flying fit of fury and tears because he wants mama to go "OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW!"  Patience is not his strong I said, he's so my child. 
The other night when I got home it was cold and had just finished raining.  I definitely would have preferred to put on some sweats and play trains in the warm basement (or take a nap), but Mac insisted on going outside to play.  He's just like his dad in that sense...happiest when he's out and about and free to explore. 
Most days I leave my phone in the house and camera in the bag and just spend one-on-one time with my dude.  He's talking up a storm these days and I love to just give him my undivided attention and listen to what he has to say.  He makes the most amazing connections and is so observant.  We say hi to every birdie we see, pick up any trash, rearrange rocks, make piles of sticks, chase squirrels, pick flowers, wave to airplanes and talk to our shadows.
But this day, I decided to bring my camera along to catch Mac in action, doing...well, whatever it is that he does.  He's not really into the camera these days and basically refuses to look at me or smile at all when I'm holding it up, so I have a lot of photos of the back of his head and his profile.  Out of nearly 200 photos I took, I have exactly 2 where he's looking at me.  TWO.  And he's such a busy child that he doesn't stand still for very long, so I have to be quick. He moves from one activity to the next in a blink of an eye.  Although, his love for the lawnmower is still pretty strong.  He's now mowed through all four seasons, in sun, rain and snow. 

I was hoping to get a couple really cute puddle jumping photos so I'd have them for the April page of the calendar I make every year.  Unfortunately, the puddles by our house were pretty lackluster (I guess that means we have good drainage?), so there wasn't a lot of splashing.

But he still had a lot of fun stomping around and getting his boots wet.  I love these little yellow rain boots.  He loves them too, because he can put them on by himself, so he insists on wearing them often (around the house, to the store, for walks).  The only problem is that I bought them a size too big, so they tend to come off at random times while we're playing, only for me to discover him halfway down the street in wet socks and boots two blocks behind us.  But he's growing so fast I doubt we'll have this problem for very long.

Lately his absolute favorite thing to do is go outside and dig for worms.  Yep, worms.  Slimy, dirty, disgusting worms.  I wish I could blame his love of worms on my husband or my father, but it was actually me that taught him how to dig for worms and find them.
I bought him this little red shovel from Home Depot (which he calls the "heaby shobel"), despite the nasty comment and judgmental looks from the checkout lady, who had the nerve to tell me she'd never buy a 2 year old a shovel.  To which I replied that I bet he's really glad that I'm his mom and not her.  Ugh, people. 
Of course, worm digging is at it's absolute best when right after a rain when it's slightly muddy.  I know this from years of experience digging up worms with my dad to use to go fishing.  I guess it's the country girl in me, but I have no fear of the creepy and slimy and can bait my own hook like a pro.  Since he's two going on twenty, I figured it was high time Mac learned the ins and outs of worm handling.
Occasionally we'd get distracted by a car driving by or a plane flying overhead and he'd have to stop and wave.
And then we'd have to talk about what color the car was, who was diving it, where we thought the plane was going and incredibly important things like that.
Then we could get back to worm hunting.
Luckily it's pretty easy to find worms.  Even an almost-two year old can do it.  You don't have to dig very deep and they're not real fast about escaping.  After showing Mac how it was done and letting him touch one or two, the student became the master.  He's now a worm hunting machine.  (I will refrain from posting a bunch of photos of our're welcome.)
I think we've worm hunted every single day for the last two weeks and have found no less than 6,000 worms.  We're considering starting our very own neighborhood worm farm for some extra income.  Because college ain't paying for itself.  

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