Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Bluebonnet Baptism!

Here in Texas it is a spring tradition for families to take pictures in the bluebonnets. Today we loaded up the car and went for an outing to find a good patch of our state flower.

They really are pretty flowers and such a gorgeous shade of blue!
They  must be sweet too, we did have to dodge the bees that we saw in the thickest part of the field.

Cade brought along his cowbody hat and boots (not pictured: he wanted to leave them in the car).
Good little Texan nonetheless!!

Devy Girl's first bluebonnet pictures.  Sweet success!
(and no bee stings = bonus!)

She was enamored with her Daddy. Cade sweetly offered a flower anyways.

My favorite pic of the day was Nick with the kids.  Cade spontaneously reached out for Devyn. The look between the two of them in typical in our house. Dear God, please let them love each other and look out for each other forver!  As I was taking these pics I got so many great ones of Nick with the kids. I couldn't stop snapping away. I was torn between, "Jeez he's a hottie!" and "My babies are so damn cute!"

(Oh.My.God. funny side story. We were in Macy's the other day and Cade saw a Vaquero walk by. Transltion: A Spanish-looking man wearing cowboy hat, Wranglers, and boots, thus clearly he was a Vaquero!  Cade stops and stares and then after the man walks by he loudly says, "Howdy partner!"  The man turned around and smiled and said "Howdy!"  Cade then decided to say a random slew of other cowboy slang he knows: "giddyup, yeehaw, partners, woohoo!")

So long, partners!
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St. Patrick's Day cuties!

While Mommy was at a friend's baby shower, these two leprechauns played at Lolli & Papa's house!
His shirt... Sonoma Kids from JC Penney
Her shamrock leggings and embellished shirt....Carter's from JC Penney

Hug it out!

Tickling her toes, and she loves every minute!

When you are pregnant with your second child you hope and pray they will love each other.
The second pregnancy is like a gift to your first child.
Their first best friend.
And for lucky child #2, her best friend was right there waiting for her from the minute she was born.
And every day she learns new skills, she becomes cooler and even more fun for him!
And her gift, her big brother, is always there to take care of her.
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WTF, parents w/ kids at Hunger Games?!

I am a HUGE movie fan. I love to go to the movies, cuddle up with  my popcorn and escape from life for a few hours. I also love to bring my kids to movies. Appropriate movies. G-Rated or PG-Rated movies. The Zorax. Chipmunks. Muppets.  I 100% support you bringing your little people 12 and under to these movies. In fact, I also support you bringing your clueless, colic-free infant to these movies.  They can quietly nurse and sleep in your arms. I'm down with that. (Anyone fresh on maternity leave--- go try this out! It's such a good time. Most big cities have theaters with Cry Baby Matinees. Lovely!!)

What I am NOT okay with is bringing your FIVE YEAR OLD to the Hunger Games.  Without spoiling this book (which is arguably one of the best books I read this year, LOVE IT!) or spoiling the movie (also so freaking amazing--- I can't wait to see it again!), I don't understand why you'd bring a young child to a movie whose whole premise is teens and pre-teens fighting to the death in a government-mandated match. 

What does this say about you as a parent (or as a person, for that matter?)?  Lets explore.

1. You are selfish. You couldn't wait to go see the movie, and you couldn't wait for a sitter to watch your kids. You are so selfish that you spent $12 a ticket (we are at the XD theater) for you and your kids to sit through scenes so horrifying, just the circumstances of the society in the movie, that you somehow justified it was okay?

2. You think your kids are so dumb they won't understand the fight & death scenes.

3. You can just "cover their eyes" during the scary parts. Maybe you are so dumb you forgot about the screams of characters dying.

4. You want your kids to learn a lesson about obeying the government at all costs.

I don't understand. I can't think of one great thing a five year old would get out of that movie. Maybe they liked the colorful fashions and make-up of the characters in the Capitol? My heart was racing so much throughout the entire movie, I was kind of scared for the prego next to me might have blood pressure or heart palpitations --- that's the level of anxiety you get watching the events take place (even knowing the ending).  I can't imagine being able to have a good time watching the movie and not worry about scaring the hell out of your child the entire time. They didn't leave early! There was no, "Ohhh! I thought this movie was about food competitions! What the hell - we're outta here!"  There was no, "Oh shit, this is way scarier for him than I thought it would be!"  

Thank God they didn't sit anywhere near me, so I wouldn't have had to step up and parent the poor kid during the show.  That or constantly turn around giving them disapproving looks...

Maybe I'm over-reacting. I don't like to judge other parents, but this was INSANE. Argh!!! Whew... vent over!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sick Days

So I guess it was either bound to happen or I totally jinxed myself. Just a couple of weeks ago I was high-fiving my coworker because I made it to March with no sick days - me or the kids!  All of my personal/sick days were demolished by maternity leave. Message to employers: A great baby gift would be 5 sick days exclusively for mommy to stay home with sick kids. Every hour I am working for you is an hour my kids are surviving the sneezes, coughs, and snot of the under 4 crowd.  I'm just sayin' it would be nice to not be penalized pay when I stay home to take care of them when they get viral infections. (It's always viral, isn't it? "Just wait it out, do what you're doing with the Tylenol. Nothing else we can do here." Those are the words I dread second most to a chronic disease. Viral infection. Ew.)

Um, so that was SO  not the intended slant of the "Sick Days" post. I cringe to imagine what my coworkers without kids think I must be doing when I have to stay home to take care of my sick baby. I cringe because I'm pretty sure in my young, single, carefree days I imagined crisp jammies, Starbucks in hand, fluffy blankets, soft candlit living room and cuddles with a perfect pink baby. Oh -- and my hand glued to my remote sifting through all the delicious rom coms On Demand.

Reality Check. Sick Days are more like momma and baby outfit changes due to any of the following: throw up, snotty wipes, overflowing mama milk (weaning, owwww!), or amoxicillin spit up. There is no time to load up the sick baby and busy toddler just to whip by Starbucks for a Grande Nonfat Mocha Light Whip. The cell phone is glued to my hand waiting for the clock to hit 7:30 so I can do the mad dial to score an early appointment with our regular pediatrician. I dial too early and get the voicemail a couple of times, mentally damning myself because I'm having flashbacks to the mad dial that was registration for my college classes each semester. Anxiety is pumping through my veins just remembering the stress. Hearing each busy signal meant that I was losing ground in fitness electives. Yoga. Pilates. Line Dancing. Full, full, full. Bowling. Raquetball. Swimming. Full, full, full.  Fencing. Full. General Health and Fit. Open.  Ugh!

No, sick days are far from luxurious. Getting to the doctor in the pouring rain 8:30am rush hour was insane.  We finally make it in and to our room to wait for the Dr, and toddler boy has to pee. For real? I mean, "Yay! Thanks for telling me you have to go potty. Lets go!"  As he wanders through the office maze to the bathrooms, forgetting his purpose with each step, I keep rushing him in the nicest voice possible. Holding sick infant, trying to help toddler onto the potty I caught a glimpse of myself in the  mirror.  I looked like some S&M over-tired frizzball. I had on my cute new black rain boots, skinny jeans, and men's Urban Outfitters t-shirt. What the hell was I thinking? Why are there no toddler sized potties in the PEDIATRICIAN'S OFFICE?!

So after the check up, we head to Tar-Jay to pick up the script and some necesseties. In torrential rain. Worst 2 minutes of my life getting the kids out of the car and into Target. It was a little therapeutic to get some shopping done while we waited for the meds to be made. We made it home just in time for lunch time for all 3 of us. 3 meals cooked later I put the kids down for naps. (Simultaneous nappage = bonus! Ohhh...or time to do laundry and clean the kitchen.)

By the time they woke up and got cuddles it was time to make dinner and start baths. And then run back up to work to make sub plans for another sick day tomorrow. Come home, finish laundry, eat my dinner and head to bed.
Crazy crazy sick day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

WTF, strange mean daddy?!

This morning we decided we were overdue for another traditional Sunday morning breakfast at our fave little spot. We love having breakfast out, it's a family ritual that keeps us all on the same page before a busy week starts. As I was loading the diaper bag to go, I realized this was a milestone morning. Devyn started on solids recently, so I packed a little travel ramekin of rice cereal and grabbed some Earth's Best apple sauce and we headed out.

One of the things Nick and I have always loved is eating out. When I was pregnant with Cade people would tell me "Enjoy it while you can! Your days of eating out are gone for a LONG time!" Nick and I had a brief moment of horror and then discussed over that entire meal how we wouldn't let our children's potential bad behavior keep us away from eating out. In fact, we would make sure they got exposure eating out from an early age so they would know how to behave. We fell in love while we were both waiting tables at Cheddar's, so we knew that you had a choice as a parent. Be Family A whose exasperated parents let their toddlers throw chunks of cut up beanie weenies and empty sugar packets on the table. Be Family B who sit in silence as everyone reads or the parents talk while the kids play Game Boy. (We met in the dark ages, before texting, iPhones, or DSi). Or, we could be Family C whose kids sat up nicely, ordered their own food with manners, had nice convos with their parents, and left barely a mess behind them. We chose to be Family C, a choice we still stand behind today.

Anyways, the waitstaff at our haunt are so kind to Cade (and now Devyn). We got one of our favorite booths this morning and Devyn sat in a restaurant high chair for the first time! She was trés proud of herself!

She was so fascinated by sitting up and seeing everyone around her. She got lots of approving smiles and a few "Aren't you cute?"s. I was so proud of her. Cade made himself busy by stacking creamers and counting them. When his little "tower" tipped over he said, "I go down there get them" and pointed to the floor. We told him no, to stay in his seat and we'd get them. He said' "It's okay. I be right back." and then crawled under to retrieve the lost creamers and put them all back. Not ideal to crawl under the table, but what nice words he used!

Our food had just arrived and we were enjoying some talk of our fave comedians (we saw Lewis Black live last weekend, and now we have the comedy itch). Both kids were eating nicely. Then a family of 3 boys under 5 came to sit down behind us. They were a tad rambunctious settling into their booth, and I thought "Oh well, at least we're in the little kid corner. They won't mind if Cade gets noisy or needs a reminder to sit down in his seat."  Almost immediately though, this dad launches into the "Don't do that! Sit down! Be quiet. What are you going to order. NO, you're NOT going to eat that. What is your problem? I told you to sit down. We are going to ENJOY this meal!"

Devyn was taken aback. I SO need to go through my camera phone pics, because I have a pretty classic "WTF?!" look on her face as she stares at the freak show in this booth behind us. Nick and I shut up immediately, partly because we wanted to hear why those poor children were being yelled at, and partly because we were afraid of getting yelled at by Mean  Daddy ourselves.

The WHOLE remainder of our meal went like that. I WISH I could remember their children's names. Lets just say we laughed in the car that maybe those kids kept pushing their limits because their parents chose THE 3 worst names in the Old Testament and it was their way of revolting.

I never saw any behavior worthy of the verbal lashing these kids were taking. And the mom just sat there and let her husband berate their every move. Finally Strange Mean Daddy said, "If you don't stop right now we'll go outside to the van. Do you need to go outside? That's it! Lets go settle this outside!"  I am frequent viewer of What Would You Do? - the Primetime special on Friday nights. (woooo-eeee! you know you want my social life!)  I asked Nick, "Am I on What Would You Do? What should I do? Do I follow them?"  He told me to sit down. I said I'd give them 1 minute to have what I prayed was a Daddy-Son pep talk and if they weren't back I'd go out and investigate. Thank GOD they came back in shortly after.

WTF is the matter with people? Those kids didn't even get 30 seconds to sit down at the table and settle down before this guy started reeming them. If that's how you act in public, what on Earth is happening at home? The kids seemed calm and cool with it. I saw nothing worse than some lameo haircuts on those kids.

Super awkward, totally ruined my appetite, and I did NOT want to hang around to expose my own kids to more of this guy's venom. (Or his terrible choice in clothing. Superhero-print polyester?? Who IS this guy?!)

Anyways bloggies, lesson learned. Next time I might do more than shoot terrible looks over my shoulder and make loud positive, sweet comments to my own children to set a better example for Strange Mean Daddies.  Just when you think you might be a crappy parent someone walks into your world to remind that you are actually a ROCKSTAR!!!  There is no excuse to talk down to your kids.  If they truly didn't deserve a nice meal out with the family, then take them home. Otherwise, here's a dose (or twenty) of patience and compassion.  Use it. And lose the attitude when you talk to your beautiful babies. Ugh. The end.  

7 month pics

Dear sweet Devyn,
Seven months? Really?! That is all I have known you?
You have been here much longer, surely.
I was in Pottery Barn Kids yesterday,
buying gifts for dear friends who are pregnant.
I remember dreamily walking around the store.
Wishing so badly I had a little girl to buy for.
Then dreamily walking around the store with my big belly full of you.
Rubbing your kicking feet and feeling the rush of picking out
the flowers, the butterflies, and the little pink sheets
that are in your very perfect little room.

And here you are!
Your beautiful room a tribute to our beautiful little girl.
Those sweet little fingers, that teeny tiny nose,
and those rolls on your marshmallow thighs.

You and your doggie Izzy are the best of friends.
You look for her when you first wake up in the morning.
She runs to you when  you cry or sneeze.
She brings you her purple ball,
You squeeze it and squeak it for her.
She thinks you're going to throw it.
But you chew it.
Because best friends share.

You never stop moving these days.
Any day you're going to crawl and take off!
For now you are happy to play with your toes,
Pull them to your nose.
Roll back and forth, tummy to back.
Stand up (finally!)
And yesterday, you officially learned to clap.

Yay you! We love you so much!
love forever and always,
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