Happy Birthday, Siena!

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Today is my sweet niece Siena’s second birthday.  Well, if you want to get technical it’s tomorrow, but since she’s in New Zealand, it’s already tomorrow.  So it’s her birthday today and tomorrow.  Lucky girl.

We celebrated her birthday when she was here in July.  It means so much to us to get to celebrate with her, even if it is a bit early.  Two cakes are better than one, amiright?

the baloney bug Sharing her cake with Nanny and Pop-pop

the baloney bug My parents got Siena the ultimate gift: a baby doll. 

the baloney bug What family photos look like with a toddler involved.

the baloney bug Siena may have been in a “birthday timeout” after she and Adelaide got into a massive fight over the baby doll and stroller.  Like I said, best gift ever.  My parents ended up giving Adelaide a doll and stroller as well to prevent future fights (which mostly worked) and Adelaide is equally obsessed with the toys, even months later.  That’s a big compliment in toddler world, considering most toys last .05 minutes before she loses interest.

the baloney bug And one final shot that’s not birthday related at all, because, that ponytail.

Happy Birthday, Siena!  We love you so much, sweet girl.

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Summer Inspired Cake Pops

the baloney bug I haven’t been baking nearly as much as I used to because um, my “helper” tends to make things a bit more complicated than they used to be.  I got her a step stool so she could see what I was doing on the counter, which is adorable to have her participate.  But also frustrating because she can now get into a whole new variety of things that weren’t accessible before.  Oh look!  Is that a knife block?!

Our local kids store was having a butterfly release party and asked me to make some summer themed cake pops for the event.  Ice cream, sunshine and butterflies seemed like the perfect choices.

They were a huge hit at the event and I enjoyed getting back in the baking groove.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Turning the oven on is physically painful in the summer heat, but definitely worth it for these little pieces of heaven.

 

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Family Photos 2014

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I owe you all an update on how life as a stay at home mom is going (hint: it’s hard) but until I get a minute, I’ll leave you with these photos we took two months ago and I keep forgetting to post.  It’s our family tradition to set up a tripod and snap some photos at sunset on our last night at the beach.

This year was um… challenging.  Getting two toddlers to participate in photos at bedtime?  Oh, a total breeze.

In fact, getting two toddlers to do ANYTHING simultaneously is a total breeze.  No sarcasm, of course.

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the baloney bug the baloney bug the baloney bug

Always gotta have a silly one in there.

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the baloney bug

This kills me.  We all look miserable.  So bad.

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Hello??  Toddlers??  Do you want to sit still for a second?

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Here they are playing Adelaide’s favorite game, Ring Around the Rosie.

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the baloney bug

And saving the absolute best for last.  Somehow Siena did not fall on her head, therefore this picture cracks me up every.single.time.

That’s all for now, I’ve got to chase a toddler who refuses to nap and is currently putting makeup on the dog.

 

 

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Changes

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Today marks a significant day in my life, both personal and professional.  After nearly four years of working for a company I love, along side some of the best people I’ve met, I will hand in my badge.

Jon and I have decided that what’s best for our family, right now, is for me to stay at home with Adelaide.

While I was pregnant and during my maternity leave, we struggled with deciding if I should go back to work.  We ultimately decided that I would give it a shot and see how it went.  It’s been almost a year since I returned, and it’s going fine.  I like working.  I like talking to adults and eating lunch with both hands.

But as Adelaide gets older, I realize just how much of her day to day I’m missing.  Not to mention, by the time I get home from work she’s tired and fussy, I’m tired and fussy.  I was getting the worst parts of her day without getting any of the good parts.

I always felt like I was running out the door at home to get to work, and running out the door at work to get back home.  I never felt fully in one place or the other.

So Jon and I talked about it.  And talked some more.  We discussed how it would affect our finances and lifestyle.  And ultimately we decided that the benefits of me staying home with Adelaide outweighed the benefits of me working.

I’m nervous.  I’m really nervous, actually.

Nervous about being lonely until I get in a groove and meet mom friends, about finding things for us to do all day, every day. About the cold days and the rainy days.

But I’m also excited.  So excited.

So here’s to the good and the unexpected and to making changes that scare us.  Happy Friday, friends.

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Matchy Matchy

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As a kid my mom would always dress me to match my cousin who was the same age.  But we weren’t fooling anyone, we clearly weren’t twins.  My sister and I started dressing the girls alike to get a good laugh, but then we couldn’t stop doing it.  The girls were just so cute.  I mean, can you handle this??

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Also, don’t be fooled by this photo of them happily playing together.  Most of their time was spent fighting over toys.

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Please note Siena’s high heels.  She could walk like a champ in them.

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Adelaide looks happy but she’s definitely thinking, “I’m gonna steal that toy from you and you’ll never see it again!”

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Yep, toldya so.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I’m sure one day Adelaide will get embarrassed and annoyed at all the getups I dressed her in as a kid.  Until then, matching outfits it is.

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Chincoteague

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Just a couple more photos from our annual family beach trip to Chincoteague, Virginia.  It was the first time I’d seen my sister, brother in law and niece Siena since last summer.  Except last summer the girls were so little (Adelaide couldn’t even sit up!) and didn’t play together or interact.  This summer they sat next to each other in the shade and played in the sand, fought over toys and talked about their crazy moms (ha, not yet, but I’m sure it’s coming).

I love bringing Adelaide to the sleepy little beach town where I spent my summers growing up.  Not much has changed over the years, which is just the way we like it.

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Love this photo of my mom with Adelaide.  Given the choice of my mom or me, Adelaide would pick my mom every time.  It was so special to see them playing in the sand and jumping in the waves.  Not to mention it gave me a break to sit for a minute.  Didn’t get to read any books like in past years, but a minute to myself is still a minute to myself.

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Siena couldn’t even wait for her bathing suit.  The sand!  The sand!

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The girls playing side by side.  A rare moment where they weren’t fighting over beach toys.

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Adelaide fell in the sand and didn’t want to put her hands down (she hates getting them sandy) so instead used her face to push herself up.  Yea…that didn’t go over so well.  Had to be mean mommy and snap a picture before cleaning her up.

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Play time with daddy.

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the baloney bug

She might not be smiling, but at least she’s not screaming.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Can the summer please never end??

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Adelaide 12-17 Months

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I thought my last Adelaide update was like a month ago, but apparently it was almost 5 months ago.  Time flies?

We’re right around the corner from Adelaide being 17 months, which for the parent of a young child means “17 months” but to a non parent means “stop counting in months and tell me how old she is”.

I personally will count in months until she’s 2, and then I’ll stop.  So just deal with me for another 7 months.

Five sentences in and I’ve already said “months” seven times.

Now for the actual update:

Food- Still a struggle.  The last week she’s been into blueberries and blackberries.  Will occasionally eat a slice of peach or apple.  She surprises us by scarfing down something one night, and then refusing to take a bite of it the next.  We keep offering her a variety of things and are happy when she eats any of them.  I’ve given up on making her wear a bib because she HATES THEM and is a surprisingly clean eater.  I’ve decided it’s not a battle worth fighting.  If she refuses to eat while wearing a bib, but eats fine without it, then no bib it is!

She still gets exclusively breastmilk.  I nurse her before work and before bed and pump 3 bottles while I’m at work.  I’ve tried giving her cow’s milk and almond milk, and she’s refused each.  Now we are slowly mixing cow’s milk in with her bottles of breastmilk to hopefully get her used to the taste.

Words- It’s interesting the words she decides are necessary to learn.  Her first few words were dada and then mama.  Then all of a sudden it was a very clear “Brady”.  Occasionally she yells a very stern, “BOBBY!” which Jon and I think is hilarious.  We may or may not refer to Brady as “Bobby” more often than not.  Not sure where Bobby came from, since she can say Brady with no problem.  Other favorite words are milk, cheers (while clinking glasses), cheese (while taking photos) and shoes.  That brings us to hobbies…

Hobbies- Shoes.  She will bring us our shoes and even pick up our feet and put them in the shoes.  Everyone must be wearing shoes.  If you take her shoes off her, she’ll throw a fit and insist you put them back on.

She loves standing on her scooter and making us push her around, as well as taking her plastic keys and unlocking the door to her Little People Farm.  (This is a favorite hobby of mine because it keeps her entertained, quiet and out of trouble.)

And as always, she loves playing in Brady’s water.  And chasing him around while he tries to get away.

Oh, and taking everything out of my wallet.  She still hates the car, so if I give her my wallet she will literally take every single card out and throw it on the seat.  It’s a pain to clean it up after every car ride, but better than her screaming the whole way.

Quirks worth mentioning- Adelaide hates to have dirty hands and feet.  If she gets food on her hand she’ll hold it up until we clean it off.  The first day at the beach when her feet hit the sand she immediately bent over and tried to wipe the sand off her feet.  The other day I took off her shoes and plopped her in a sandbox and she immediately lifted her feet to make me dust off the sand.

Songs and Books- Favorite songs are “Old McDonald Has a Farm” (she sings the “E-I-E-I-O” part) and “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” (wags her finger along with me).  She still hates reading, which makes me so sad.  For a long time I stopped reading to her because it was a wrestling match to get her to sit still and listen.  Or she’d be tearing the book into pieces before I could even get it back.  So I tried reading while she ran around the room.  And she still snatches the book out of my hand and tries ripping it to shreds.  She’ll like to read eventually, right??

She’s also started realizing that Jon and I aren’t necessarily drinking the same things as her.  In the past if she’d reach for my soda or my beer I could hand her her sippy and say “That’s mommy’s water.  Here’s yours!” and she’d buy it.  Now she’s all, “Get that out of my face and give me that beer!”

Except with less words and more screaming.

Oh Adelaide.  You exhaust me.  You push me and challenge me.  You make me happy.

I pray every evening as I snuggle you to sleep that you were fulfilled that day.  That I’ve shown you enough love, that I’ve taught you enough, that I let your spirit soar enough.  Being your mama is such an incredible responsibility that I’m so blessed to have.

Even if you are a little crazy.

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Happy Friday, Folks

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Love, a girl and her dog

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Cruise to Bermuda

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I’m going to wrap up a seven night cruise to Bermuda in one very photo filled post.  I swear we have jobs and we aren’t always on vacation, but we’ve definitely been burning through PTO days like water.

This cruise wasn’t originally on our radar, but when a couple of our friends invited us to come along we quickly agreed.  After all, we didn’t want to be the lame ones with the baby who got left behind.  Except we were kind of the lame ones with the baby who got left behind anyways.

You see, our first mistake was thinking we could keep up.  We just couldn’t.  Travel and vacations are different with a baby and we’re okay with that.  There were a lot of things we couldn’t do with a baby, for instance:

We couldn’t go cliff diving or rent mopeds or sit for an entire meal.  We couldn’t sunbathe (or sit still, for that matter).  Children in swim diapers aren’t allowed in the pools, so that was out.  There were no splash pads and Adelaide was too young for the children’s programs.

The entire week we really felt like we were just chasing Adelaide around one big not baby-proofed boat.  Jon and I ended up taking turns doing alternate things with Adelaide while the other one got to hang out with our friends.

The saving grace of the cruise was the unlimited booze package.  Yes, that’s right. Un-lim-it-ed booze.  Top shelf.  As much as we wanted.  At 9 am.  Having a frozen drink in hand before noon definitely made things better.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great trip.  But had we planned this ourselves (without taking a big group into consideration) we would have gone on a more baby friendly ship.  The one we went on was definitely aimed toward the grandparent aged crowd, making life a bit more difficult for us parents of young kids.  So now we know.

 

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the baloney bug the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

These two.  This is what my heart looks like when it’s really full.  Is there anything better than a dad and his daughter?

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I’m wearing Adelaide here in a water ring sling.  It’s basically made out of the same material as gym shorts.  You can wear your baby while you’re in the water and it dries quickly.  I wish I’d had this last summer, when she would have wanted to sit still.  This year, not so much sitting still.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Since we knew in advance that Adelaide wouldn’t be allowed in the pools, we ordered this inflatable bath tub from Amazon and it was our saving grace.  We filled it with water from the pool and plopped it in a shaded area on the deck.  We forgot to bring pool toys with us, but Adelaide was just as happy playing with a room key, complimentary shampoo bottles and plastic cups from the buffet.  Everyone that went by LOVED that we brought this along.  People would constantly come up to us commenting on Adelaide’s private pool.  Someone even came up to Jon one evening and said, “Oh you’re the dad who had the little pool today!  You win the award for best dad!”

I would like to say, for the record, that Jon said the pool was unnecessary when I spent the $12 on it.  It feels good to be right.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

We love cruising, and this was definitely no exception.  Next time we’ll know to look for a more kid friendly cruise.

And bring grandma.

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Bronx Zoo

the baloney bug For Mother’s Day, Jon and Adelaide got me a family membership to the zoo.  It’s pretty awesome- good for 4 different zoos (and parking!) as well as special exhibits and the aquarium.  We decided to go to the Bronx Zoo first.  Adelaide had so much fun running around the zoo grounds.  She didn’t pay much attention to the animals, but loved the fish tanks and water fountain, ha.

She became obsessed with that damn water fountain.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I can’t wait to take Adelaide to the other zoos.  I just hope they have water fountains so she has a good time too.

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