Ahoy Matey!

Mike’s been saying ‘ho, ho, ho’ lately and sometimes it’s appropriate. Most the time he is pointing to a garden gnome or anything that has red or white stripes. That makes sense – Santa Clause. But recently he is saying ‘ho, ho, ho’ at the beach which had S. and I puzzled. UNTIL he brought us a bag of Pirate’s Booty Puffs saying ‘ho, ho, ho’.

*facepalm*

Mike likes Jake and the Neverland Pirates. He isn’t saying ‘ho, ho, ho’. He is saying ‘yo, ho, ho’! You know. Like a pirate. Duh.

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Happy 2nd Birthday Mike!

My sweet Bug –

I’m sitting at my desk on this rainy day looking at your pictures on my desk from the last month or so – you watching the snow while Charlie watches your cracker, you wearing your White Rabbit costume at Miranda’s birthday party and you just being you at the BWI Airplane park. Looking at these photos reminds me of a few lyrics from Marcus Foster’s song ‘You My Love’:

It’s true, my love, so kind are your eyes,
I see them in the darkest skies.
If it’s true, my love, I’ve got to see the way
I’ll love you till my dying day.

I can’t help but feel a little bittersweet about your 2nd birthday tomorrow. I know Daddy feels the same. We miss have a little baby to snuggle, but now we have a big boy to snuggle! And you are the snuggliest. You love to bury yourself between Daddy and me in the bed and pull up the covers demanding ‘sea-goo’ time. Sometimes you even grab our arm and drape it over you. If you catch Daddy and I hugging, you run right up and want in on that action. You are truly our little love bug.

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This has been an exciting year for you! Right before your first birthday last year we were watching and waiting for you to take your first steps unassisted. Now you are climbing on chairs, maneuvering up stairs and fearlessly walking back down. I won’t even mention chasing you as you squeal with glee.

You’ve gone through some other changes as well. We made the big move from Centreville, Virginia to Crofton, Maryland in January for a variety of reasons and none that we regret. The main reason was to be closer to family and this has proven to be so beneficial. Your Bubbe, Grandma and Grandpa have visited often and we have seen Mollie a lot. Daddy and I are thrilled you will be growing up closer to the family that is so important to us.

With the move came a new daycare. It was obvious by day 2 that I worried myself sick about nothing. You have flourished there, learning new things and making friends. You give me a hug, go to Miss Rachel and immediately you are waving, saying ‘au revoir’ and blowing kisses. If you do cry it is once in a blue moon and probably only for my benefit.

Oh my love, you do have your moments like we all do. You have mastered the ‘lay down on the floor and fake cry’ quite well, but it never lasts long and you are always quick to come find us so we can move on with our day. You can’t keep up the grumpiness for long, I don’t think it’s in your nature!

Mikey, as you turn two my biggest wish for you is to know how much you are cherished and adored. You are growing into quite a kind, easy going, and hilarious kid.  These are all things your Daddy and I dreamed about while watching you roll around in my tummy.

I’ll eat you up I love you so.

Momma, xoxo

Sea-Goo

My Sweet Boy –

Yes, I have neglected to write you a letter the past few months. However, your birthday is right around the corner so I have a whole year to review. But I wanted to capture yesterday and your need to sea-goo (snuggle).

Yesterday was the day that Mommas (and Daddys!) live for. From the minute you woke up to the minute you got in your crib you just wanted to be close to someone. And guess what? I was able to give you that.

When you try to say ‘snuggle’, it comes out as ‘sea-goo’ and usually involves a blanket. Yesterday when everyone got home, you were happily playing with your car in the living room while I watched from the futon. I stood up to make dinner and you said ‘sea-goo’ and pointed to the futon. When I didn’t comply right away, I realized that this wasn’t a request — it was a demand. Daddy happily took over dinner so I could lay on the futon while you played next to me.

Our after bath routine is pretty standard and includs snuggling between Daddy and me while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. You were very content with us all under the covers. And when bedtime came, you picked out a book (the first time in months you showed an interest in reading) and hopped right in my lap and sat through the whole story.

Sweetie, sometimes we all need to sea-goo and I hope, even as a big boy, you always feel like Daddy or I will sea-goo with you when you need it. Sometimes I even sea-goo with Grandma! You and I both got what we needed yesterday and that makes me a happy Momma.

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I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo

Sand is So Last Year

I’ve been pretty quiet lately, mainly because my blog is going through a branding upgrade thanks to a fabulous friend of mine! Once that is in place, I will be back to my regular posting and updates. HOWEVER, it has been gorgeous out and since everyone is working on their backyards, I wanted to share Mike’s Rock Box.

I found this idea when I suggested getting Mike a sandbox. S. couldn’t stand the thought of sand EVERYWHERE and it didn’t take much convincing for me to agree. I cruised alternatives and Mike’s Rock Box was born! A few people asked how I made it and guys? It’s stupid simple.

Here’s what you need:

  • A hard plastic pool
  • pea gravel (I used 2 bags)
  • A drill
  • Toys

Use the drill to pop a few small holes in the bottom so when it rain, it will drain and not give you a pool with rocks (though that might be fun too). Toss the rocks in the pool with a few toys and let your little construction worker at it!

rock box

Mollie Claire Turns 2!

Mols –

I can’t even believe you are turning 2. I remember writing you your 1st birthday letter and here I am reflecting on yet another year with you my sweet niece. Honestly, not much has changed. You are still just as beautiful, sweet and mischievous as you were LAST year. Perhaps this year you just have more hair.

I have so many favorite memories of you from this year I can’t pick just one. Most of them involve your milestones and how you interact with Mike. You are so kind with him and we can tell he is watching you to see how things are done.

One time you had me giggling was at your Daddy’s birthday you took your plate into the kitchen in hopes of a piece of cake only to come back into the room VERY upset your request was denied. A kid after my own heart!

I love you Mols, have a happy happy second birthday.

mollie

Well Hello Fresh!

I’ve seen so much hype around subscription boxes lately, I even tried RocksBox a few months ago and loved getting mail. So when my Momma and Sister-in-Law started raving about HelloFresh, I was cautiously interested. Here’s how it works:

Each week I log into my account and chose 3 meals out of the 5 they are offering. All the ingredients are surprisingly fresh as the name would lead you to believe. To be honest, the meals are not what I would normally pick if I was looking through a cookbook, but that’s half the fun. Did you know I like Tilapia? Me neither!  It also guarantees that my family is eating 3 healthy meals a week – which as a family with working parents is a huge win.

On Friday, when I chose my meals to be delivered, I come home to a well packed box with 3 bags. Each bag contains the measured ingredients  for each meal and a recipe card with pictures and detailed instructions. When I am ready to make a meal, I just pull out the recipe and bag and get started!

Each dish can be prepared in about 30 minutes and is more than enough for 2 people, and you can upgrade to 4 people if your family is bigger or you are having guests. Meat-free house? No biggie! They have veggie boxes too. The food is also kid friendly and Mikey is at the perfect age to instill a love of vegetables.

PicMonkey Collage

It’s really nice to know that I have everything I need to make a meal. While I do my best meal planning and shopping, it was inevitable that I would go to make chicken for dinner and be out of chicken. Everything I need is right there from HelloFresh (but stock up on butter, oil and oddball utensils like a garlic press and zester). Here’s some of the meals we’ve had:

Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Tangy Balsamic Potato Salad
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Mustard-Butter Bean Salad
Roasted Pork Chops with Onion Gravy & Rosemary Mashed Potatoes

Did I mention that each week is $69 and you are not locked in? Each week I am able to see what the menu is either opt in or opt out. I love not committing based on our tastes, schedule and budget.

The only downside is you still actually have to make the meal. But if you HAVE to make dinner (and Child Protective Services likes to know kids are eating), HelloFresh is the easiest and healthiest option. Want to try HelloFresh? Use this link to get $40 off your first box. I bet you couldn’t buy ingredients for 3 fresh, healthy meals for $29.

I signed up and after my first week, I told HelloFresh I was going to do a review, so they gave me a free week to try. They can’t afford to pay me for a good review, so I gave them an honest one.

Mike: February 2015

My Mike-a-roni:

As I am typing this my head is singing Do You Want to Build a Snowman from your current obsession, Frozen. You randomly said to Daddy a few weeks ago ‘let it go’ (or so it seemed) so I started playing the song from Frozen. Apparently you have seen the movie before and now it is all you want to do. You call it ‘Go’. It’s pretty cute, but has caused some meltdowns. I am sure in March I will be so sick of the songs I will want to scream, but for now I love how your face lights up and you gasp when the movie comes on. It’s worth it kid.

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It’s been a pretty quiet month, we’ve just focused on getting settled in Maryland and the weather was no so pleasant. We are eagerly awaiting spring for when we can venture outside and check out the playgrounds.

You’ve been quite the happy helper these days! You love your ‘boom’ (broom) and walk around with it sweeping invisible (or not so invisible) dirt. You help us throw away trash, empty the dishwasher and the dryer. I love seeing you follow directions! I know it won’t last, but for now, we are using it to our advantage.

You’ve taken a liking the Buddha. I happened to have a few small statues from my trips to China because Grandpa likes the Laughing Buddha and you point and say ‘boo-doe’. You even take the big one and rub his belly! It’s so cute to see you walking around carrying your Boo-Doe statues.

You are becoming such a little boy my love. Daddy and I are so enjoying seeing things through your eyes. Everyday is literally like Christmas morning – what excitement will happen?

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo

 

Is Forever Enough?

I was thinking this morning that February may be the shortest month, but this year it is DRAGGING. I blame it insane weather, today it’s the temperature – without the windchill it’s 3 degrees. 3 degrees. That might be normal for say, Fargo, but this is Maryland. Finding motivation to do anything more than what I have to do is hard.

I did unpack my CDs the other day, being a teenager in the 90s means I had a pretty extensive collection from bluegrass to broadway to hymns to mall punk. I didn’t keep them all, but they have followed me around. This morning I popped in Take the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks and was pleasantly surprised that the whole album still holds up today. Then I heard Lullabye and the lump in my throat came up. I had forgotten this song, which was beautiful in 2006 when I first heard it, is even more touching since I am a mom. I must have played it 47 times.

They didn’t have you where I come from
Never knew the best was yet to come
Life began when I saw your face
And I hear your laugh like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

I slip in bed when you’re asleep
To hold you close and feel your breath on me
Tomorrow there’ll be so much to do
So tonight I’ll drift in a dream with you

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

As you wander through this troubled world
In search of all things beautiful
You can close your eyes when you’re miles away
And hear my voice like a serenade

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough, is forever enough?
How long do you want to be loved?
Is forever enough?
Cause I’m never, never giving you up
Is forever enough?
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

how long

Run Run Run

I’ve spent a bit of time wondering if I should mention my new ‘thing’ because I feel like I have always started a new ‘thing’, gave it 110%, then forgotten about it a month later. Sewing reusable gift bags, Jazzercise class and tap dancing come to mind. As Awolnation say, ‘blame it on my ADD baby.’ But there are tidbits I want to share with you all, so I will share my current ‘thing’ – Couch to 5K training.

Last week I woke up and, literally twice, the first thing I thought about running. If you know me in real life, you know how I am not the running type. Or the fast moving type. Or the sweaty type. When someone would mention running I would respond by saying there is nowhere I need to be that quickly. But last week – something shifted. And it wasn’t in an ‘I need to lose weight’, or ‘I want to BE a runner’. It was just a ‘go run’.

I did some research and downloaded the Get Running app and on Thursday did my first ‘run’. It was hard. Real hard. Out of the 8 run sessions, I did 6. Saturday I had some fancy running clothes on and magically did all 8 sessions. It wasn’t fast and certainly wasn’t pretty. I had a repeat last night with the same results. It was still hard, but I didn’t talk myself out of doing it or try shortcuts. I just … did it.

I am not saying much about it on social media because I don’t necessarily need to motivating comments. Which sounds horrible. I do need them, I want them, but I don’t want to make this a big deal or be held accountable.

I don’t know if I am going to do the whole program, or even run a 5K. All I know is tomorrow morning I am going to get up and do the next session. Then we will see about the following session. It’s cool to see what a big scary goal can be reduced to when it is made into a one day at a time goal. It makes it so much less scary. I haven’t been very good at that in the past.

One of the most fun parts of my half hour sessions is my playlist. Music is such a part of my everyday life, so having a solid playlist is critical to running. Here’s what I am listening to right now – it’s equal parts upbeat AND promoting girl power.  What’s on your workout playlist? 

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Mike: January 2015

My sweet, sweet Mike-a-roni –

I can’t believe it is already February! January was a whirlwind of packing, moving, adjusting and unpacking. You – my sweet boy – were SUCH a trooper. Your Daddy and I still marvel at how you only had a few moments when you had some frustration the past month. You would quickly hit us then go in for a hug. It was a crazy month.

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{Moving} You had a rough night before our official moving day so you got to snuggle in bed with Momma. Then the next morning you hung out with Grandma, Miss Joyce, Aunt Ray Ray and Mollie while the movers did their thing. You even went to Chick-Fil-A! You had a grand time running around in the basement before all the furniture came in.

{Food} I keep joking that we need to start socking money away for groceries so we can afford to feed you in high school. If it isn’t nailed down, you are eating it. This includes french fries, chicken tenders, apple slices, applesauce (in the pouch, which you daintily hold in the corners), Mickey Mouse cheese snacks, Annie’s fruit snacks, crackers (ga-gas) and pasta. So much pasta.

{Daycare} You started your French Immersion daycare mid-month and it was harder for Momma and Daddy than for you. You did cry, but Miss Rachel said you stopped pretty quickly. Now that you are a few weeks in you attempt to jump out of your carseat, ring the doorbell and wave ‘au revoir’ to me. Miss Rachel was very impressed with how quickly you adapted and how much you eat (see above).

{TV} It’s not my proudest moment, but you’ve watched a lot of TV while everyone is packing and unpacking. You are obsessed with Chuggington (“Choo Choo”), Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Curious George (“Jew”). You enthusiastically ‘sing’ along when you know the right words. Or the wrong words. Whatever – you are my child.

{This and That}

You are best friends with the ceiling fans (“Fay”), you point them out, get very upset when they are not on and wave bye bye to them when we leave the room.

You have discovered wheels. You have a bunch of Matchbox cars and you love zooming them around over Mount Momma or Daddy. Everything is ‘Tuck’. And oddly enough, they all say ‘choo-choo’. Perhaps we will work on the difference between a truck and a train. One thing at a time though.

Well sweet pea, the theme of February will be fun, unpacking and finding our groove. It will certainly not be a problem for you Mr. Go With the Flow.

I’ll eat you up I love you so,

Momma xoxo