Three Years Old

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Where do I start?  I could fill up pages and pages with sappy words about how much this girl means to us.  She’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met.  She’s kind hearted, silly and insanely stubborn.

She asks me countless times a day, “Mommy, are you happy?” Which is so sweet in theory, but sometimes mommy is a little frustrated and it takes some effort to say “Yes, I’m happy.”

To which she’ll respond, “I want you to say you’re happy LIKE THIS!”

She is a people pleaser.  An animal lover.  She loves babies.  We started swim and dance lessons, and it’s been such a joy watching her go from clinging to me in the pool to watching her swim around, splashing and having fun.  She’s been potty trained for nearly a year, and cut out her night diapers soon after (all on her own, much to my hesitation).  Good thing I had just bought a Costco sized box of Pull-ups when she decided she wanted to start wearing underwear to bed.

We spend every waking minute playing dolls.  She would rather play dolls a million times over than watch tv.  Which is amazing in theory, but sometimes mama needs a break from playing dolls.

Adelaide, thank you for your spirit.  For making me want to be a better person.  For your eternal optimism and generous heart.

And for referring to me as “Dora” when we’re in public.

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2015 Christmas Card

the baloney bug Sending you lots of holiday cheer!  We’re in full on “Santa is coming!” mode over here.  Adelaide’s excitement is contagious and I can’t wait to see her face on Christmas morning.

I’ll be back soon to post a behind the scenes video how the card was made.  Let’s just say that Brady was the most difficult child and he was fired after roughly 2 photos.

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Santa

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We might have gone to see Santa almost a month ago.  Adelaide saw the Amazon wish list I was putting together for her, and immediately became obsessed with one particular toy.  I explained that we’d go visit Santa and she’d tell him what she wanted, and on Christmas he’d bring it to our house and leave it under the tree.

She immediately wanted to go see Santa.  It was all she could talk about.

So we saw Santa.  We wrote him a letter.  We talk about him constantly.  What a change from last year when she cried and refused to sit on his lap.

Every year the holidays get more and more exciting.  I love seeing her experience the Christmas magic and excitement of the season.  We’re still working on understanding the actual Christmas story, but it’s a bit harder for a 2 year old to comprehend than “Santa brings me gifts”.  We’ll get there.

I can’t wait to see her joy on Christmas morning.  I just hope Santa didn’t forget the batteries.

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Jumping in the Leaves

the baloney bug

A couple of Saturdays ago, I came home from running errands to come home and see Jon and Adelaide out front raking the leaves.  Each season in our home we discover some new type of outside maintenance.  Winter brought snow, spring brought flowers and gardens and weeding, summer brought lawn mowing and fall brought leaves.

Adelaide couldn’t resist the opportunity to jump in the leaves.  She spent a good part of the afternoon running through the piles we’d just made.  And helping, of course.

At one point I looked at Jon and said, “So raking leaves is basically sweeping your entire yard?”

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Thank goodness we have Adelaide to help us with all of this work.

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The Little Mermaid

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I know these are late, but I wanted to get our Halloween photos up before the Santa ones (yes, we’ve already seen him).  Adelaide has been obsessed with mermaids for quite some time, so when it came time to pick a costume I knew she’d be thrilled to be one.  I wanted to give it a go at making her costume again, before she’s old enough to decide wearing mom-made costumes is no longer fun.

To keep it warm I lined the skirt with fleece (and then she wore pants under it as well).  I layered a heat tech shirt under the leotard and then at the last minute decided to add a fleece lined cape as well.  The weather turned out to be pretty nice, so she barely needed the cape.

As soon as she got dressed in her costume, she started running excitedly all around the yard.  It was hard to get any pictures of her because she was “swimming” so quickly.  It’s hilarious watching a toddler waddle around in a mermaid costume.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Holidays are so much fun watching them through her eyes.  She grasps the concept of them so much more this year, and her excitement is contagious.  Happy (belated) Halloween!

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Adelaide 2.5 Year Update

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Adelaide is officially closer to 3 than she is to 2, which is just too much for my mama brain to handle.  This summer had some ups and downs, but we’re getting into our groove and our good days far outnumber the bad ones.

If there’s one thing I can say about Adelaide, it’s that she’s got an opinion.  And I don’t mean in a typical toddler way.  I mean in a very specific OCD kind of way.  The biggest example of this is with one particular blue dress.  She wore it for literally a month straight.

To the playground.

To bed.

Everywhere.

And everyone I talked to said it was just typical toddler behavior, except I knew it wasn’t.  She became so obsessed with all the aspects of her outfit- her stick on earrings, the one set of too small gold shoes, her nail polish, her red hair bow and silver bracelet.  If one of these things was missing, our day was ruined.

Ruined.

During a particularly rough day, when Jon had been away for 2 weeks, I called my mom in tears.

I have a strong willed child.

I love that about her.  I love that she knows what she wants and has strong opinions and convictions.  But at the same time, I needed to be able to go about my day without having to stop everything if her manicure was chipped.

(I’m not joking.)

Until one day (with lots of bribery) I convinced her to leave the dress at home.  And slowly, the rules changed and the blue dress was only allowed to be worn in the house.

So wore it in the house she did.  The second we walked in the door, all night long, until we left the next day.

And then one day she didn’t wear it as soon as we walked in the door.  And then she wore it less and less, until it became more of a lovey.  She now carries it around, and snuggles with it at bedtime.  She also told me she wants to wear it to see Santa, so…

In other news, Adelaide’s been potty trained since the 4th of July weekend.  I wanted to do the “pantsless potty training” and you need 3 days where you can commit to being at home, so I decided to just go for it.  Jon had been away literally the entire month of June, and we found ourselves with 3 whole days with absolutely no plans.  I went into it thinking we’d give it a half hearted attemped, and when it didn’t work, we’d try again later.

But it worked.

What??  We really did not expect that to happen.

She wore diapers at night for another month or so, and then refused to wear them anymore.  As long as I’d put her on the potty before I went to bed, she’d make it through the night without any accidents.  I recently stopped waking her at night to go, and she has successfully gone a few weeks of sleeping through the night without any accidents.

Half the time we’re still shocked that she’s totally potty trained.  She took to it far easier than we’d ever imagined.  Proud parents over here!

(For anyone interested, I read this article and followed it to a T.)

Things Adelaide love include play dough (it must be blue), screaming singing the lyrics to “Let It Go” and babysitters.  She watched an episode of Daniel Tiger where he had a babysitter, and then was thrilled beyond belief when we had to get a babysitter for a wedding.  She talked about it for months.

Without fail, she says “I welcome” instead of “you’re welcome”.  She can play with her doll house for hours and is obsessed with horses (with zebras and dogs being close runner ups).  She has perfect comedic timing and loves to accessorize.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

dress – brass razoo // sandals – zara // hair bow – gigi and max

Being Adelaide’s mom is my greatest responsibility.  It’s my greatest struggle and my greatest joy.

And I could definitely use a nap.

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Hank’s Pumpkintown

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Oh hey!  Remember me?  We’ve spent the last however many months overloaded with house projects, potty training, playdates and beach trips.

And watching the Mets make it to the World Series, of course.

Last weekend we took a day to drive out to the eastern end of Long Island to pick apples and pumpkins.  We got to there nice and early and managed to avoid some of the afternoon crowds.  Adelaide ran up and down the rows of trees picking apples and sampling them.  Then we headed over to the pumpkin patch and finished up the trip on the playground, tearing Adelaide away so we could get home in time for nap.  She had a blast and is now extra obsessed with eating whole apples.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I’ll be back soon (hopefully) to update what’s been going on with our favorite little two year old.

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Sonoma

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Our plan after a week in San Francisco was to spend a long weekend in Sonoma.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a few months old and were excited to see Sonoma.  Sometime late in our week I glanced at our flight reservations to realize our flight home was actually on Saturday, not Sunday like we’d thought.

We had to make our trip to Sonoma a little bit shorter than we’d hoped and stopped at one brewery and one winery before heading to Sausalito for the night.

Also, random side note: we chose to have a stopover on the way home in Minneapolis because we find the airport very family friendly.  One of the central terminals has a Chick Fil A right across from an amazing children’s play area.  Even if we only have a few minutes, we will stop there because it is such a win to let your toddler get some energy out halfway through your travels.

And all the parents said, “Amen”.

(I realize this sounds incredibly lame to all the childless people.)

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

California, we love you so much.  Until next time, my friend.

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Golden Gate

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In May we took Adelaide on her third trip to San Francisco.  While it’s one of our favorite cities, I think Adelaide and I won’t be back for a while.  Travel has increasingly become less about painting the town red and increasingly more about playgrounds and nap time.  We spent almost every day at the playground at Yerba Buena Gardens in the sandbox and on the slide.

She wouldn’t even eat the big Ghirardelli sundae I got for us to share.  I mean, what’s the point of going to San Francisco if it doesn’t involve a big brownie sundae??

Realizing that I didn’t travel cross country to go to playgrounds, I decided to cool it on the travel a bit.  We stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge one morning for more photos (see previous ones here and here ).  I love to see how she’s changed from trip to trip, and what better place than in front of one of the most famous bridges?

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug Adelaide’s face just about sums up how she feels about family photos these days.

Actually, I think it pretty well sums toddler life in general.

 

 

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New Zealand: Marlborough {Part 2}

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We did it!

Today wraps up our month in New Zealand.  Only five months later, but who’s counting?

We spent three days in Marlborough and our general plan was wake up, make breakfast, get a winery or two under our belts and head back to our cottage for nap (for Adelaide and for us).  After nap we’d head back out to one or two more vineyards before they closed around 4.

Not pictured: our daily stops at McDonald’s because of that damn spicy chicken crunch wrap.  Can stateside McDonald’s please catch up??

Some standouts vineyards were Cloudy Bay, Spy Valley (dumb name but actually had a pretty cool story behind it and the winery ended up being one of our favorites), Forrest (amazing rosé), Moa (brewery), Hunters and Allen Scott.

The pictures in this post were taken at Cloudy Bay and Hunters.  Wine tasting turns out to be a pretty awesome thing to do with a toddler because you can sip wine outdoors while your tot runs around and steals grapes.  The wineries in NZ were overwhelmingly child friendly, and many of them (if not all) had baskets of toys.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a baby and so many wineries didn’t allow children, so it was nice to not have to worry about that.

Also, we noticed the wines in New Zealand were significantly cheaper.  Most bottles were in the $20 range, where as California wines seemed to be $60 and up.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug We loved the parking spots at Hunters

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the baloney bug Not pictured: another three hour ferry ride back to Wellington, a one hour plane ride, a 13 hour plane ride and a six hour plane ride.

Home.

Sweet home.

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