Saturday, February 26, 2011

MommyBrain, glad I'm not alone!

Since having kids, I tend to be rather forgetful.  I do things that aren't logical  Occasionally, I can't remember the day of the week.  I search for keys that are in my pocket, sunglasses that are on my head, and ... and more often than I care to admit, I cannot finish my thoughts ...

But this time, I am not confessing to my own moment of MommyBrain.  This time I am calling out my dear friend Missy.  We've known each other since high school, and I love her like a sister.  Which totally gives me the right to share this{hilarious} blunder with you.  This story is just so funny, I cannot resist.

Missy is in the second trimester of her second pregnancy.  I've been there,. but I've never dealt with as much as she is currently dealing with in her life ... believe me when I say she has every reason to make this kind of  mistake.

This past weekend, Missy planned to have her mother-in-law visit. In the hopes of having some childcare for her son, so she and her husband could get things done around the house.  Being the wonderful daughter-in-law that she is, Missy even made the travel arrangements and booked an airline ticket online.

Her mother-in-law arrived at that airport yesterday - prepared to travel - and discovered that her airline ticket (the one Missy took care of for her) had been purchased not for February 25th but for MARCH 25th.

She was only off by thirty days!  And, of course, it had to happen to her mother-in-law!

Now that, folks, is MommyBrain at its finest!

*The airline was able to accommodate Missy's MIL on the flight, but I can still picture her reaction upon hearing that her ticket was for a month later ... and Missy's reaction to getting that news in a frantic phone call from her MIL at the airport!  It's not just me, right?  That's funny stuff!

Friday, February 25, 2011

same bib, same age

My recent post claiming that my girls look nothing alike prompted Chitown Momma to point out that a side-by-side comparison should really involve the girls at the same age.

So here you go ...
both girls sitting in the same high chair,
wearing the same bib,
at the same age, 14 months.

nothing alike

It's been awhile since I've done a side-by-side of the girls ... 
who are sisters by the way ... 
born to the same mother and father ... 
just reminding you of these facts because ... 
aside from the pajamas and the chair,
I don't see any similarities between these two!

Natalie is 8 months younger and 3 pounds heavier 
than Charlotte in this side-by-side.

Natalie weighed 17.5 pounds at 6 months.  
Charlotte weighs about 14.5 pounds at 14 months.

Okay, so my girls are alike in some ways ... 
like the fact that they both L-O-V-E that binky!

And Itty Bit (white bunny) is a hand-me-down lovey from Natalie.  
Both of my girls love that Bunny by the Bay.

Other ways they are "nothing alike" ...
  • First and foremost, Natalie is a great sleeper, and she is a heavy sleeper.  Charlotte is a very light sleeper and wakes easily and often.
  • Natalie has always loved reading books.  She would sit on our laps for hours and read one story after another.  From a young age, she "read" stacks of books by herself.  Charlotte will sometimes tolerate having a book read to her.
  • Charlotte will eat fruit all day long ... berries, citrus, as long as it's not pureed, she'll eat it.  Natalie refuses to eat any fruit; she will occasionally eat applesauce or a banana or one slice of a clementine (but only if I insist).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Past. Present. Future.

My mom {Grammy} arrived just a little while ago.

Thanks to a persistent fever, Charlotte is not sleeping well (or on schedule) today. 

I just sat and rocked my daughter as my mom readied herself for bed in the room across the hall.

In the moment, I was looking at Charlotte's sweet, flushed face.  Feeling the warm and weight of her little body.  Noticing her hand resting on my neck.  And I thought, "This is my present.  My now."

Many years before this moment, my mom held me and looked at my face and felt my weight in her arms.  I wondered, if she stood in the doorway right now and watched this scene, what emotions would be conjured up?  What memories of me as a baby does she have tucked away?

Just like that, I could suddenly imagine myself as the mother of a mother.  Someday my daughters may play out this same scene in front of me.  I will be standing at the doorway recalling those quiet moments and warm cuddles.  Watching my daughter calm and cuddle and rock her own baby.

It's like a repeated image to infinity. One that can be viewed in both directions ... to the past and to the future ... while being in the moment.

hey there, blue eyes!

My dear sweet Natalie,
I am not entirely convince we look all that much alike.  In fact, I think you're a beautiful blend of both your daddy and me.  But I am taking credit for those baby blues!  So much of your personality is like looking in a mirror of my {much} younger self. 

You are sassy and talkative and sensitive and dramatic and curious and so smart! 

I, too, took some fashion risks of my own, but your sense of style is really a sight to behold! 

You love singing and dancing ... and having full attention on you.  I am so glad you inherited my hip hop moves and taste in music! 

You tackle new experiences with gusto but sometimes lack persistence to see it through; that is definitely a trait from me.   Hopefully your daddy's example will impact you that way it has me.

When you're hungry, your world begins to fall apart and you get an awful case of the grumpies.  You'll learn to keep snacks on hand - at all times!

You would rather stay inside and play dress up than go outside and play.  I think it's safe to say, we are both city girls.

I love you, NHV.  I love the smart, silly, inquisitive little girl that you are ... right now ... and always!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

gotta love some snow

After not seeing much of the white stuff this winter, last weekend we headed for the mountains for a little sledding and snow frolicking.  A bright sunny day.  45 minutes of driving.  A great family outing ... disrupted only by Natalie's distaste for the wetness of snow on her hands paired with a refusal to wear mittens.  Being three is so tough sometimes!  However, we persevered and managed to enjoy our little snow-cation.

Apparently, we also inspired some lowland snow showers.
Just yesterday the snow fell at our house!

and it caused quite a bit of excitement, wonder, and awe ... 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

no sleeves, please

I recently revealed to you my addiction.  Well, it only seems fair that I share with you the fact that my daughter is also an addict.

Natalie is addicted to dress-up clothes and tank tops.

When we leave the house for a playdate or errand, I don't allow her to wear dress-up clothes ... because once you start there is no turning back, she has a very cute wardrobe that already gets limited wearing, and clearly I am the meanest mom in the whole wide world.  Honestly, she is totally fine with it - being in plain clothes only ever bothers her if she spots another little girl - where ever we are - who happens to be wearing dress-up clothes.  That situation can send her into a tailspin with a quickness.  Thankfully there are far more "mean" mothers in this world.  For the past few months, I have also been refusing to let Natalie wear a tank top outside of the house ... because it's WINTER in the NW, for goodness sake!  Tank tops are for the summer.  Several times each week, Natalie asks me if it is summer yet.   Poor thing - we only get about six weeks of summer around here!

Since dress-up clothes and tank tops are off limits outside the house, Natalie takes off her clothes and changes into her princess outfit AS SOON AS we walk in the door.  I'm talking trail of clothes up the stairs - like some scene from a racy movie or something!  Once she is transformed, she is glowing with happiness.

Santa brought her four new princess dresses - but none of them are "tank tops."  Those four dresses have gotten minimal wear; instead she chooses the same tank top options time and time again.

Here's a look at her favorites:

A hand-me-down from cousins Caroline and Emily, this - according to Natalie - is Ariel's briding dress.  It reminds me of old school Madonna. I must admit to hiding it on occasion.  The tulle skirt is shredded to almost nothing.  She uses a wadded up scarf as her bouquet.  The socks and Crocs are so bad!

This is Natalie in the Rapunzel dress she wanted for Christmas.  When she first put it on, pure joy - look at that face.  Then she realized it has sleeves, and it hasn't been worn again since.

The pink, sequin leotard is another hand-me-down from cousins.  She would wear this every single day.  The skirt was made by my super talented friend Carrie ... it's the only "dress-up" clothes that Natalie is allowed to wear out of the house - as long as she wears leggings underneath.

This is Natalie's BJ_Mama dress - that's exactly what she calls it.  "Hey, mommy, look. I'm wearing my BJ_Mama dress!"  It was made from a tank top and could not be more perfect in Natalie's eyes (or mine for that matter).

Oh, this darn Ariel nightgown.  It was a birthday gift from Mimi for Natalie's 3rd birthday.  It was the ONLY thing she would wear to bed for six solid months.  Grammy sent her a trio of princesses replacement - but it had sleeves, so I had to cut them off.  And Mimi just sent a new Tinker Bell "nightie" which met Natalie's approval.

Just this week I made another effort to get some of those beautiful princess dresses - the ones with sleeves - off the rack and onto her body.  I tied ribbons around the sleeve material to make it seem more like a tank top.  Can't you just see the skepticism on her face?  Yeah, that didn't last long. The Cinderella dress went right back on the hook, and Natalie put on some random outfit consisting of a sleeveless leotard and a blue jean skirt!

Should I be concerned about what she'll want to wear as a teenager?!  Heaven help me!

happy valentine's day from cjv

My little sweetie was looking oh-so-cute yesterday! I just couldn't help but snap a dozen (or two) pics of Charlotte ... we started on the carpet in the living room, but she quickly took off crawling to the hardwood near the kitchen, and I ended up loving those shots the most!

P.S. I totally "heart" that she is officially crawling now - I may not say that in a day or two when I can no longer keep up with her ;)

Oh, I almost failed to mention her true motivation for heading to the hardwoods ...

 to pull Louie's ear ... 

... and offer him a {big, juicy} kiss.

Louie - very politely - declined :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Photo Challenge ... updated but still in progress

Somewhere out in blogland - I honestly cannot remember where because it was during January's self-imposed blog restriction and I was breaking rules just being there - I came across a Photo Challenge that piqued my interest.  I apologize to the creative blogger who came up with this list.  Anyway, I copied-and-pasted the "requirements" into an email, which happened to catch my eye at midnight ... when I should really be sleeping.
While I was not deliberate about this challenge, I did find photos to meet 2 out of the 5 requirement and now I am motivated to complete the other 3, which means I should probably shower and "make an effort" tomorrow!   Better add "find" and "figure out how to set up" the tripod to my To Do List.

Shot 1+ will be a photo of you and each one of your children individually, not a group shot.

Out for an afternoon walk.  
I love my Pikkolo carrier, and Charlotte loves riding on my back!

The exposure came out weird on this one ... it was taken with the timer and the camera was propped up on a bookcase - I have no idea what happened with my settings. But I love our expressions, so I played with the color and went with it!

Shot 2: you with all your children very close together, think close hugs.

Shot 3: a family shot with a non-distracting background so this can be framed.

Shot 4: you alone, yes, just you.

Shot 5: a photo of you and your spouse alone. 

{I have my younger brother "Uncle Tyler" to thank for these two photos.}

Friday, February 11, 2011

High Chair Games

To say that Charlotte loves her big sister would be an understatement of epic proportions. And the feeling is most certainly mutual.  Grand gestures or official announcements are not necessary, sisters show their love through pure silliness!

One of their favorite games is played after just about every meal ...

Natalie hops up from her seat and takes off jogging around the table. 
Charlotte follows her every move, kicks her feet and waves her hands.
Natalie gets close and smiles and laughs and says something hilarious.
Charlotte is so excited she nearly jumps out of her high chair.
Natalie starts off on another lap and the game continues.

I love the squeals of delight.
I love the expressions of pure joy.
I love the pride Natalie feels from making Charlotte so happy.
I love my girls and their silly games!


I cannot get enough.

Believe me when I say I've tried ... 

to get enough.
I wake up thinking about it.
I fall asleep thinking about it.
I'm driving my husband crazy.  
He shakes his head.  
Gives me a knowing grin.
He doesn't like it as much as I do.

My first time was just a few weeks ago.
I have Chad to thank for introducing me.
Now I have it once, twice, ... 
maybe three times a day.

It can't be good for me.

But, oh, it is so (ridiculously) good!

I wonder if I am the only one 
who feels this way.

I wonder why it's taken me so long 
to discover ...

Did you blush reading this post?  I totally blushed while writing it.  I know it seemed like I was talking about something naughty ... but, no, it's not naughty ... it's Nutella!  Hard to believe I've gone my entire life without tasting its nutty, chocolatey goodness! 

The fact that it's in the house now - two large jars of it - is a result of Chad's recurrent problem with random Costco purchases.  There was a coupon, Chad was shopping solo at Costco, and - just like that - we became the proud owners of two large jars of Nutella. Well, actually, there is only one jar left ... because I have been eating it morning-noon-and-night!  And, yes, I did give him a hard time about the "impulse/gotta get the deal" purchase, but that was BEFORE I tasted Nutella for the first time.  Now, I am wishing he had maxed out the coupon limit and gotten four jars!

Nutella on a lightly toasted english muffin (multi-grain to up the nutritional value). Oh. My. God. 

So, please tell me if you LOVE Nutella as much as I do.  And please, please, please share your Nutella "recipes" - how do you eat your Nutella?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Knee Crawling

Woot!  Woot!  My little inchworm has graduated to a much more sophisticated and efficient ... full-on KNEE CRAWL!  And it just happened like - BAM - overnight!  The baby gate was re-installed at the top of the stairs on Sunday, and Monday morning Charlotte took off crawling ... on her knees!  We're guessing that our baby girl has high standards when it comes to safety.

Here's a quick glimpse - the lighting is awful and Chad is rambling about something in the background (I think he thought I was listening but clearly I wasn't).  Regardless, the cuteness and pride still come through :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Binky Inception

After three days of hard-fought afternoon binky battles involving an overtired three year old, 
After seven separate wake up calls for binky rescues the night before last,
After watching a certain Leonardo DiCaprio film,

Chad and I were chatting about our current binky situation.  Both girls LOVE their binkies.  A perpetual habit which I must accept blame for ... at least I've been very firm about only allowing the binky in bed/crib.  My girls don't walk around with a binky in their mouth.  But they do depend (heavily) on that piece of rubber to put themselves to sleep.

Natalie has been a good sleeper since the age of about 10-months - and was putting herself to sleep starting at about 3 or 4 months.  She typically sleeps 12+ hours a night. Until about three weeks ago, she took a three hour nap, too.  In my mind, getting tough about that binky means losing my good sleeper.

And I said I wouldn't make this same mistake with our second, but here I am again.  Charlotte was born 4 weeks early and needed practice with sucking.  There is also some research that supports the use of a pacifier at bedtime reduces your baby's risk of SIDS.  All of which seemed to justify giving Charlotte a binky when she was an infant.  Now that she's 14-months old (today!) and very attached to that darn thing and (finally) teething, I just don't know what to do!

When it occurred to us ... perhaps the answer is to make it their idea to give up the binky.  We need to plant the seed and wait for it to grow within their own subconscious.  Yes, folks, we need ourselves a Binky Inception!  Brilliant, right?!

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