Monday, January 31, 2011

Over the river and through the woods...

Last week I packed up the kids and spent a few days at grandma and grandpa's house. Aunt Terra and Malachite are visiting for the winter and I wanted to spend some time with my sister and have Rosemary spend some time with her cousin before they leave.

First up on the agenda... shopping. I already showed you my new bag, but I wasn't the only one who got new, pretty things that day! Rosemary got some new "dancing" boots! Her Lola wanted to get her some boots last time they were in town but we couldn't find any she liked. As soon as she saw these, she had her mind set and that was it. But do NOT call them cowgirl boots. They are dancing boots. Rosemary will make sure you understand that! Grandma then treated her to a new dress. I wish this picture was better because the boots and dress are so adorable!

During our down time, Aunt Terra took a few minutes to read a story to the kiddos. Rosemary loved playing with Malachite!

She also loves holding Xander. She doesn't, however, like sitting still for pictures. This was my attempt at getting a good brother/sister shot:

sit still Rosemary

got something in your teeth?

get your finger out of your mouth

almost there!

I may not have gotten the perfect sibling shot, but I did get a new book! I actually checked this out from the library when we were going through the terrible twos. Now we're in the throws of the defiant threes and I decided to just go ahead and buy it. It's like a friend in my pocket. At least I know I don't have the only "spirited" kid since there is actually a book about it.

I didn't get any pictures, but Saturday night was so nice. We just sat around the house and let the kids play. It was so nice having my family around and Malachite for Rosemary to play with. We usually get together during the holidays so there isn't much down time. It was really nice to have an evening to just sit back with my family and let the cousins get to know each other. I can't wait until Xander is old enough to join in the fun. We read stories and played in grandma and grandpa's bedroom, which was all fun and games until I made the mistake of getting into grandma's hand creams. I have always loved the smell of my mom's hand creams and lotions that she keeps by her bed, so I tried some on and of course Rosemary wanted to try them out, too. The difference is that I know when to stop. So before a natural, or not so natural, disaster started, I had to usher the kids out of the bedroom and away from the hand creams. All in all, it was a nice visit. It just made me even more sad that we don't live near my family. It would be so nice to be around them more often.

On another note, last night I went grocery shopping and left Joe in charge of the kiddos. This is what I saw when I came home. All three of them fell asleep in the recliner! I love him. He's such a good daddy.

On another note, I think we picked a preschool.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Isn't she lovely?

We are all having a great time at grandma and grandpa's house. I was able to get this picture of my mom and Xander. I think she looks beautiful. I wish he would have looked up!
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Love at first sight

I am 31 and have never bought myself a nice handbag. It was time.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Polite Tea Party at Grandma's

I'm not sure why, but Rosemary calls our pre-bedtime tea party "polite tea." It's so cute. Tonight I had mothers milk tea while she had "polite warm milk tea" (really just a cup of warm milk.) She liked her tea so much that she had 3 cups! Now I know how to trick her into drinking her milk!

On another note, I made the drive to my parents house today to spend a few days with my sister and Malachite before they leave to go back to West Virginia. Actually, my parents met me halfway and we had lunch in Ocala, then my mom rode with meet the rest of the way to their house. It's a long drive and Xander hates the car, so it ended up being 5 hours (including the stop for lunch), at least 4 of which consisted of Xander screaming, and about thirty minutes of Rosemary getting fed up at telling him to stop it. So it was really nice to have my mom keep me company on the second half of the trip.

On yet another note, Xander's reflux, which hasn't been so bad lately, was horrible tonight. He was screaming in pain off and on for a couple hours. Poor little man. I haven't heard him this upset, and seen this much spit up, in a few weeks. Hopefully its just a bad night and not a new cycle of reflux.
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Preschool jitters

Someone please tell me that my choice of preschool is not going to completely determine my child's educational future. I am researching this as though I'm applying to college. I'm so overwhelmed! I went from wanting her to go to the one closest to us to going to THE BEST and nothing less than the best. I have plans to visit 5 at this point. At this stage, I think I've already rationalized selling both vehicles and taking out a loan for preschool. I am seriously freaking out here. I had no idea registration started NEXT WEEK for some of them! We just started looking into it and I feel like I have to decide NOW. I'm checking out a mix of daycare/preschools and private/religious ones. I hope we find the perfect one but this is so difficult! My mom didn't have to make this choice! They just sent me to the closest one and it was great! As a teacher, I am VERY particular about what I want. I want a good balance of academic and discipline. Not strict to the point of instilling fear in the child, but I want a teacher who will demand and teach respect while remaining gentle enough to understand the sensitive nature of a child. I want her to come out of preschool prepared for the intense demands of kindergarten today but also still overflowing with innocence. I hope I can find what I want! I can find lots of daycare preschools, but I haven't been able to find a list of "preschools" that are not part of a daycare, so the only ones I have found have been through word of mouth. I hope I'm finding the right one somewhere!

Is it only Tuesday?

I'm 0 for 3 in trying to find something active and fun to entertain Rosemary with this week. Yesterday I took her to the new childrens museum. We've been to similar places and she always enjoys them so I went ahead and bought an annual pass. Big waste of money there. The only thing she enjoyed was walking up the spiral staircase that led from one floor to another. After going from one exhibit to another and getting the same reaction-a very blase "eh" as though she is too good for it, I decided to take her out and have a picnic. Sunshine and fresh air on a beautiful day should perk her up, right? Well, you can see by the picture that she loved that a whole bunch. Actually, that probably was the highlight of the day. Because after lunch we walked down to the waterfront playground. What child doesn't like a playground? Um, that would be mine. As soon as she saw that there were no swings she threw herself on the astroturf, if that's what it was, and refused to get up. First I want to paint an accurate picture of this scenario. Xander, who was being a little angel all day, was happily chilling out in the baby bjorn. I was also carrying a 50 pound double diaper bag (this might be a slight exaggeration, but I know it weighs more than Xander who had his 4 month checkup today and is 14 lb, 6 oz). So now I had to pick up my 34 pound, tantrum throwing, three year old and walk from the waterfront to the fourth floor of the parking garage through downtown Tampa. That was fun. NOT. Then today I wanted to get out and do something fun so went to Mc D's for lunch. The one by us has a really nice indoor play place and since it was supposed to rain all day, which it hasn't, I wanted something inside. So we get our food, enjoy a nice lunch, and then I tell her that we can play now. That resulted in her sitting next to me and pouting.
After a couple failed attempts at encouraging her to go play, I finally once again had to pick her up and carry her out of there. Apparently my child thinks she's too good for a state of the art, brand new childrens museum, a playground, and McD's playplace.

So we get home and I am so frustrated that I just explode. I not so nicely express my frustration that my child doesn't know how to play like a child and ask her what she does want to do. Her response? Watch a movie. I remember back when she was about 6 months old when I vowed that my child was not going to be a couch potato. I'm not sure what happened to that vow. So now we are watching tv, playing dressup, and brushing a My Little Pony. But at least neither of us are screaming or crying. And at least she's not just staring at the tv. I would like her to run around and get some exercise, but I guess this will have to do for now.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Four months

Today is Xander's four month birthday. That means he is officially no longer a newborn. That means he no longer has that floppy head that needs to be constantly supported. That also means, and as I type this I hear angels singing and trumpets playing, that he has finally grown out of the colic!!!!!! I don't care what you want to call it- colic, reflux, or fussy baby, he has finally outgrown it! ALLELUIA!!!!!! ALLELUIA!!!! WOOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!! Party time! Excellent! (My ode to Wayne's World). The past few weeks have been wonderful. I have a happy, smiley, giggly little boy. Here is a list of his favorite things:

- Mommy. I think I'm his favorite thing in the whole world. And I love it!

- Boobs. He won't take a bottle like Rosemary did so he loves my boobs. Rosemary calls them "bobs" and has been known to try feeding Max (the doll that Xander gave Rosemary when he was born) with her little boppy and my nursing cover. I think it's cute.

- The stuffed elephant that Rosemary gave him when he was born. He just recently took an interest in this toy. You pull its tail and it plays music. He likes to suck on the trunk.

- The star toy from Aunt Terra. It's this little start that has different sensory toys at each point. Some crinkle when you play with it, some are silky, one of them has a little squeaker inside. He loves it!

- Baby and Me class. He really loves laying under the parachute and playing peekaboo. He gets all giggly when the parachute goes up and he gets a big burst of air!

- His baby carriers. Just like Rosemary, he loves being carried. I have a Baby Bjorn, a Maya Wrap, and an Infantino Wrap and Tie and he loves them all. He also loves my arms.

- Bathtime. He loves taking baths. Either sponge baths or tub baths, he loves them. Sometimes if he's fussy, I just take him in the bathroom and he gets a big smile!

I love my happy little boy.

This video is from when Xander was about a couple weeks old. He was just learning how to hold his head up.

And here he is just a couple weeks ago testing out his exersaucer for the first time. I was holding my phone the wrong way and can't figure out how to flip it, so turn your head. lol. He was not impressed with the bird or lizard!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

My Little Pony

If there is one thing Romy loves almost as much as princesses, it's horses. So when I found out her friend Gavin's birthday party this year was going to be at Hire-a-pony, I knew she would be thrilled! This was her third or fourth time riding the pony Alabama. While she was disappointed that she did not get to ride Phillipe (Belles horse from beauty and the beast for those of you not immersed in the world of Disney princesses), I think she still enjoyed it. I also think riding lessons are going to be in her future. After riding Alabama, we played around on the swingset, met some of the animals, saw newborn baby goats (aren't they precious?!), and of course ate our yummy cupcakes! Thank you Gavin for letting us share your special day! I can't believe you and Rosemary are three!!!

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Friday, January 21, 2011


After a week spent mostly at home, it was obvious that the kids, and me, were ready for some playtime. Thankfully, we had a playdate scheduled today. Rosemary got to spend some time chilling with her buddies Kaeden and Eva (and Eli and Lukas who unfortunately didn't make it into the picture) and Xander even got to hang out a bit with his pal Leah, born just a couple weeks after him. While he was mesmerized by the toys above him, I couldn't help but notice Leah giving him the most amazing, huge grin. She is a doll! Rochel, you have your hands full when she becomes a teenager! She's a charmer!
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

I had an epiphany today...

I'm tired of the meal-time struggle. We bribe with dessert, we play airplane with the food, we beg, and yes, we cry, trying to get the child to eat. After a particularly rough morning, I knew I wasn't in the mood for a fight, so I thought, "why don't I just make this fun?" So every time she took a bite, I'd take a glass bead out of our table centerpiece (thanks again to Michelle for another memento from her wedding that has become a favorite of Rosemary!) Each time I took one out, I'd place it strategically and she would guess what shape I was making. Here she is playing around with the beads after finishing her lunch.

[I just removed this picture. My little girl likes to go around topless when she's not wearing her princess dresses and I don't have any privacy settings on this blog.]

Here is the glass vase.

We made a glass bead Rosemary:

We made a flower:

We made other shapes, but you get the idea. It was fun! And it made our pretty centerpiece into a functional educational learning manipulative.

After lunch, Rosemary decided she wanted to be a mermaid princess, complete with the tiara and high heel shoes. Last week this tiara/veil broke. Mommy came to the rescue and hot glued it back together. I was a superstar that day...

My new favorite mommy/daughter bonding activity is our before bed tea party. I made a pot of chamomile tea and mix in a little bit of Crystal Light (she doesn't like the taste of chamomile, but I like the calming effects of the tea so this way we both get what we want, and it cools the tea off enough so it doesn't burn our mouths. It's actually really good!) We sit at the table and drink it out of her little tea cups. Tonight we shared a cupcake and some Nilla Wafers along with our tea. This is something I want to continue doing and make a little tradition out of. It's a really nice way to unwind at the end of the day after daddy gets home. Xander will not let me put him down. Ever. If I have to go to the bathroom I either have to wear him in one of my baby wraps or put him down and listen to the howling protest. He may have given us a scare with his little lungs in the beginning, but I assure you, there is nothing wrong with those babies! So when Joe gets home and I can (try) to let him have some father/son bonding time (even though it is usually mommy he wants right now), it's nice to have some time to focus just on Rosemary. Most days I just want to run and hide and take a break, but having those few moments to just focus on Rosemary doing something as simple as having a tea party is my new favorite part of the day. And I think we both need it. I can see us doing this for years to come. I love my little princess.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Secret

I've heard amazing things about The Secret. I've watched the movie, and I've browsed the book. It's basically the power of positive thinking. According to the principles in the book, you make known to the universe what it is you want, and the universe will bring it to you. If you imagine it. A lot. And believe in it. Unconditionally. I'll admit, I'm very skeptical. But I think I'm ready to go from skeptical to hopeful. I am going to release into the universe my most intimate desires.

- A castle in France.

Castle of Chambord

This one will do.

- A beautiful garden.

Love for you, 400000+ views.

No bugs, no weeds, just beautiful flowers.

- Sleep


Silent, uninterrupted, peaceful sleep. About 10 hours worth. At one time.

- A happy family.

Star Power 2008

I found this picture while searching flickr for "happy family." I love it. I want happy kids. I want to be a happy mommy. To me this picture symbolizes a family collaborating to make something beautiful.

- Time.

Cuba Gallery: Retro / vintage / alarm clock / time / typography / orange / photography

I want more time to exercise. Time to bake. Time to make a phone call. Time to catch up with old friends. Time to breath. More time to enjoy my children.

- A clean, organized house.

wash my back, I'll wash yours.

I just thought this was a cute picture. And the baby looks happy so it goes back to my wish for happy kids.

So, universe, give me these things, please? It's not much. Well, the castle might be a bit much, but a girl can dream, right?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

You spin me right round baby, right round...

She couldn't do this with our old sofas. We are loving this extra space!
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Is this a hormonal thing?

That's what my sister said when I told her we were getting white sofas. I love them.

Added later: I wish I could get all fancy and add beautiful, artistic photos like all the lovely home decorating and mommy blogs I stalk, but alas, we're currently technologically impaired so my G4 photos from my beloved phone will have to suffice. I've been wanting to replace our red sofas since we moved into this house. I loved them as though they were my children, but then I actually had my own children, and bought a house and quickly realized they just didn't fit in our tiny little abode. If I was all fancy, I would post photos of our living room from the townhouse we rented before moving here where they looked all suave and contemporary and luxurious. But I'm not fancy, so I'll try to describe for you the reason for replacing these sofas. Small house. Two kids. No space for running around, floor puzzles, in-door games of tag, wii, etc. We needed the space. Plus, the contemporary look of the sofas just didn't work in this house and the lighting in here is so bad that the red color made it feel even darker, and therefore smaller. As I said, I loved those red sofas (actually one sofa and one lounge). We bought them before we even got married. They were our first big purchase and the only piece of furniture we've ever financed. I remember picking them out in the store. We had just moved into Oak Hill Apartments and had absolutely no furniture except a bed. So we were sitting on our living room floor until we found the time to go to the store and buy them. I slept on the couch almost every night during my pregnancy with Xander. It was much more comfortable than the bed and kept me propped up on my side more easily than pillows. But the time has come for them to be replaced. I've been eyeing the white, slipcovered Ektorp sofa since Ikea first opened here a couple years ago. But surely, I'd be insane to buy white sofas with two children. But still, I yearned for them. I longed for them. I dreamed of my cute little home all decor'd up (a phrase I coined) in a beachy, cottagey style ala Pottery Barn or Coastal Living Magazine. But with little children who like to paint, and eat, and not to mention potty training, I'd be insane to buy any white furniture! Right? And then I found this blog (I haven't asked permission to link her, but no one reads this except people I know, at least, I think no one reads this that I don't know about- make yourself known if you are there!). I felt as though reading that gave me permission to fulfill my dream of owning this white sofa (and the matching chair and storage ottoman). When we went to Ikea to make the purchase, I saw a coffee table book of beautiful "lived in" homes. The first home featured the white Ektorp sofa in a house full of little children. It's like we're joining a cult. The cult of white, slipcovered sofa owners with small children! I love my sofas. Are they going to get dirty? Of course. That's why I purchased an extra set of slipcovers. They get too bad? They go in the wash. And look at how spacious my living room looks! See where the area rug is in relation to the sofa- about a foot away? That's how much wider our red couch was. It's like we added a foot of space to our entire living room! A foot of space that will be greatly needed when X starts walking and I have two mobile children who do not have a play room in addition to our living room and therefore need that space for toys and games and, well, living. Oh, and next time mommy has a wii party I won't need to move my furniture around to play!

On another note, know anyone who needs a sofa, lounge, or coffee table? Direct them to our craigslist ads:
And be sure to tell them the pictures do not do them justice. Again, we are currently technology impaired and posting photos from our phones.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

To this...

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Somehow my day went from this...

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How time flies...

It wasn't too long ago that Romy and I were sitting in Chick-fil-A with her "bottle-noise dolphin/humpback whale" (she used those two terms interchangeably to refer to a giant purple killer what that Joe won for her at Sea World) and a lady who worked there asked Rosemary if her whale wanted a chicken nugget. Romy looked at her completely seriously with her deadpan face and said "it's not real." At the time I could only laugh, but I soon realized that she took everything seriously and had no concept of make-believe. Thinking how sad it was that she didn't know how to make her dolls have a tea party or pretend that she was a princess trapped in a castle waiting for Prince Charming to come rescue her, I simply said to her one day, after she told me that her Little Mermaid doll wasn't real and therefore wasn't hurt when she was flung across the room by an angry toddler, that we can pretend that she is real. Apparently she was just waiting to be told that it's okay to play make-believe because right after I told her that, she told me that she was baby Ariel and I was mommy Ariel and daddy was Prince Eric. This particular charade went on for at least a week. I fed baby Ariel dinner. We waited for Prince Eric to get home from work. Baby Ariel had to keep her tail clean at bath time. We eventually moved on to the other princesses, each capturing her imagination in the same fascinating way. Currently, we' ve been playing lots of Shrek. I'm Princess Fiona, Rosemary is baby Shrek, and daddy is the dragon. When I took this picture today, Rosemary told me the beads were from the Crystal Kingdom (a reference to a book we have about Dora the Explorer). She begins every meal we eat together by saying "Thank you for coming to my princess tea party" and will not let me eat until "all the guests have arrived" after which we must then all take the first bite at the same time. I find it shocking that it was less than a year ago that her idea of playing with her princess dolls was to line them up and count them. Now those same dolls spend their time running away from dragons and pondering which dress they are going to wear today. I was once sure that my daughter was going to take after her father and become an accountant. But now I can only imagine that she is going to be on stage accepting her Oscar for best actress for her portrayal of Sleeping Beauty. And to think I used to worry that she had no imagination. I guess she just needed a little encouragement.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The conversation went something like this...

Rosemary (after not finishing her dinner, therefore not getting to watch her"movies", what she calls her tv shows): I want to watch a movie!

Mommy: Then finish your dinner.

R: NO!

M: Ok, then we can play a game.

R: I don't like games, only movies. I don't like anything but movies!

M: That's so sad. You don't like the playground?

R: NO!

M: You don't like your dollhouse?

R: NO! Only movies!

M: Then we should give your dollhouse to one of your friends who will like it.

R (pause): Well, maybe I will play with my dollhouse.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

I'm in love

I just went into Rosemary's room to tell Joe I'm going to take a shower and for him to keep his ear open in case Xander wakes up. This is what I saw. The two of them were dancing around her bedroom to music playing from her music box. Joe had a fake flower between his teeth. I love this man. I love how much he loves being a daddy.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rainy days and cupcakes

It was a dark and gloomy morning. The whole house was quiet until the late hours of the morning. A groggy Princess Rosemary woke up and wandered into the living room. Too wet and dreary for our morning walk, Queen Mommy made the executive decision to stay in pajamas all day. Around noon the noble queen decided an activity would be nice (nevermind that by then the sun had come up and it was a beautiful day, the decision had been made that today was a pajama day). The queen mum (aka Grandma) gifted the royal family a Babycakes cupcake maker for Christmas and it was the perfect day to experiment.

Here's Princess Rosemary (in her royal nighty) proudly showing off her strawberry cupcake!

Can I PLEASE eat it?! Take the picture already!

After they cooled, they were frosted (my first attempt at homemade icing, YUM). Plenty of icing remained after the cupcakes were frosted, so I scoured the cupboard and found Nilla Wafers and gingerbread graham crackers that we made sandwiches out of and put them in the freezer. YUM!

They are good. VERY good.

Oh, and we did remain in pajamas until around 3:00. I got spit up aimed directly down my shirt by a giggling prince and had to change and the princess put on her Cinderella dress after rest time.

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My little princess
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Baby and Me

Today's was Xander's first day of school!!! I took him to our first Baby and Me class at the Family Support and Resource Center. I started taking Rosemary when she was about 15 months old but decided to go ahead and get Xander started early. He loved it! I was so nervous because the class was during the time that I can usually get him down for a nap so I thought he might be fussy, but he did awesome. Rosemary was able to join in, too. There's another 3 year old with a younger sibling in the class and he was such a sweetie! Rosemary was her usual diva-self and wasn't always doing what she was supposed to, and he took her hand and led her to the toys and shared his toys with her. He was such a sweetie! Hopefully this class will be good for both Xander and Rosemary! Next week I'm going to have her bring Max (the doll Xander gave her in the hospital when he was born) so she can do the activities with him.

I wish I had thought to take pictures! Next week I'll try to remember!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sleep, baby, sleep

I did this. I put him to sleep. If you have ever had a colicky, can't be put down baby, you will appreciate this. If you haven't, I hope you never will.
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