Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Mini Vacation From My Boys

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When I became a mom no one told me that my baby would drive me crazy some day. No one said that there would be a day when you just needed to be ALONE. Over the last (nearly) two years there have been times where I’ve wanted to just use the restroom solo–even the dog joins me now! I’ve also had moments where I just need everyone to remove all their hands, feet, toys, etc from my person so I can just be me without their attachments.
Today was one of those days.. That being said, I LOVE my boys. Liam has started cooing and smiling at me at random times that we aren’t suffering from his colic. (And by “we” I mean everyone in the house; Xander now shushes him if that tells you how often we’re trying to stop the crying!) And Xander has slowly become my mini-me in the way he loves cooking and painting and he’s also developed some of my not so great habits. (Like becoming very upset when he found out I painted after he went to bed last night!)
All the great parts of being a mom of two aside, today I needed a mommy vacation. The newborn crying and toddler tantrums got to me. Not being able to pee solo got to me. Not being able to even finish washing dishes even though Liam was attached to me REALLY got to me. So after dinner when Super Dad told me to go do something by myself and not come home for at least 30 minutes I jumped at the chance.
Did I do anything exciting? Not really. I tried calling a few college friends (to remind myself that I’m more than just a stay at home mommy!) and noone answered so I just drove. And drove. And drove. Thankfully we live where there are really pretty views so I just drove and enjoyed the view. And after about 20 minutes driving north, I turned back around expecting to get home and be thrown back into the chaos now that I was feeling refreshed. As I was turning onto our street one of my college friends called me back so I turned the car back around and drove so that I could enjoy a phone conversation without anyone crying or pulling the phone out of my hand “to talk”. After twenty minutes of a grown up conversation, I parked the car and braced myself for the screams. Imagine my shock when Super Dad had Liam asleep on the couch, and Xander was contently watching Signing Time.
It was a much needed reminder that as much as my boys need me, they’ll survive without me for a little while. Now I’m off to tuck my Xander bug into bed and find a babysitter so I can plan a date night for sometime soon. :)

Xander’s 2nd Birthday Party

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Yesterday we celebrated Xander’s 2nd birthday!  Of course it was a few days early, but that didn’t seem to hurt his feelings at all!  Last year we went all out and had a pool party, and while we had a great time we also didn’t have two babies.  This year we went MUCH more low-key and had a cook out.  Only it was much too hot to be outside, so we all hung out inside while Super Dad grilled everything.  We ended up having two other couples join us, one being the neighbor’s that have a little girl just a month older than Xander.  They moved in about two months after us and their little girl and Xander are quickly becoming best friends!

Xander playing with his friend A.  They ran all over the house playing chase.. And later crawled around pretending to be puppies. (I think)

Xander playing with his friend A. BTW, he painted the two on his shirt! (That’s a post for later though!)

Paul grilled stuffed jalapenos, hot dogs, hamburgers, and two different types of bratwurst.  We also had watermelon and then cake and popsicles.  Originally we had planned on “carving” a cake out of the watermelon but that changed when the watermelon got knocked off the counter yesterday morning–a gecko had gotten into the house when Paul took Allie out so I made a quick trip to the grocery store and got an actual cake.  It all worked out. :)

This boy loves his momma's popsicles!

This boy loves his momma’s popsicles!

The monster face.

The monster face from the popsicle.

Xander and his little friend got to color, play with all his toys, and they even got to play with some balloons that Maria brought for him.  (Maria works with Paul and moved here the same time we did.  She’s been over to our house LOTS and even watched Xander while we were at the hospital having Liam–we love her!)  They were both a bit sleepy and as the “party” was winding down we popped a Signing Time DVD in and they both chilled on the couch happy as clams. :)

Getting ready to blow out candles

Getting ready to blow out candles

 

We let them both blow out candles a few times.

We let them both blow out candles a few times.

It couldn’t have been more perfect–okay well if we could have had family here it would have been perfect, but that’s the story of our life!  Xander was surrounded by lots of people that love him, and we were able to sing Happy Birthday and that’s really all that matters.  He woke up this morning and went straight to opening the toys he got yesterday and playing with those while I made him breakfast.  He’s one happy and blessed little boy–and I still can’t believe he’s almost 2!

Watching some Signing Time before everyone went home. :)

Watching some Signing Time before everyone went home. :)

Xander’s Craft Table

There are days when my husband drives me crazy and I can’t wait until he leaves to go to work just so I get a bit of a break.  I’m sure every married woman can relate; they don’t put their dirty laundry in the hamper, or don’t rinse out their coffee mug so you have to scrub to get the stain off.  Lately, there haven’t been many of those days despite Paul having had the last 6 days off of work.  It could be in part because we’re fostering a dog that drives me batty and I already feel stretched thin by two very needy little boys and Paul being home has really helped give me a little room to breathe.  It could also be the fact that he just finished building something I’ve wanted for Xander, but didn’t think we could accommodate as far as space, time, and money were concerned.  I’m going to go with the last one.

Xander helping Dad put together the chairs.

Xander helping Dad put together the chairs.

Growing up my grandparent’s had this little wooden kids’ table that all of my cousins and I would eat our meals at.  It was also where we did all of our coloring, playing with play dough, and many other things.  I’ve wanted something similar for Xander for a while, especially since he loves painting, coloring, using cookie cutters on play dough, and anything else that demands I cover the surface of my table in order to protect it from permanent damage.  However, housing here is small, and when you factor in all the boys’ toys and then the five million things that I “just can’t live without” there isn’t a ton of room for a kids’ table.  Add in that one like I wanted was a little spendy I didn’t think it was going to happen.

The finished table and chairs.  Right now I'm keeping his Color Wonder markers and coloring book in the little stool--we'll see how long that lasts.

The finished table and chairs. Right now I’m keeping his Color Wonder markers and coloring book in the little stool–we’ll see how long that lasts.

About a week ago we were discussing what we were going to do for Xander’s birthday and Paul mentioned that it’d be nice to make him a table, but there really isn’t a great place to put it.  I jumped on that idea and we started discussing where we’d put the table.  The conversation ended with him telling me to find some plans online so he could go get the wood the next day!  As you can imagine I was ecstatic!  I found the plans for the table here, the chair plans here, and the little square chair/storage here.  Originally we had planned on putting castors on the square seat, but that would have added about $20 to the cost due to the locking wheels being $5 a piece!  Since Xander is a little wild neither Paul or myself felt that skimping and getting cheaper wheels would be a good idea.  I can just picture the stool getting launched into the sliding glass doors or him launching Allie or baby brother down the hallway as a science experiment.

He's already a big fan, and I'm a big fan of not having to cover my table.

He’s already a big fan, and I’m a big fan of not having to cover my table.

As it is, the project took Paul four days.  One for building, and then three for conditioning and staining the wood.  Since it’s so humid here it  took a lot longer for the stain to dry.  I think if we’d painted it instead it wouldn’t have taken as long, but it also wouldn’t have turned out as nice.  I’m extremely proud of the work that Paul did!  I’m also glad that he’s been home the last several days and for all the help he’s given me with the boys and everything else!  He truly is Super Dad, and for that I’m thankful!

Tuesday Timeout: Rain, Rain Go Away

I haven’t done a Tuesday Timeout in a while, and while I’d love to blame it on being so busy with two babies (which we definitely are in this household!) it’s more the fault of me not taking many pictures of me WITH the boys..

This is in our Florida Room.  When it rains like it did today, the mulch sometimes floods.

This is in our Florida Room. When it rains like it did today, the mulch sometimes floods.

That being said, Paul is home from work today and he took a few pictures for us. :) On his days off normally he and Xander would go on a bike ride, or go to the park, or go anywhere just to get out of the house (sometimes just play outside) and normally Xander and I spend at least part of our day outside as well–normally it’s in the morning because it’s so much cooler and not nearly as humid!! It didn’t happen this morning though.  I’m pretty sure it rained some last night, and right after breakfast it started pouring down.  We’re getting used to the rain because it’s rained nearly every day for the last month, there has maybe been 2-3 days we haven’t seen sprinkles at the very least!

Please let's go outside!!

Please let us go outside!!

I had planned a really fun morning that included meeting up with some other moms and kiddos down at the park.  We were going to meet up with our neighbor and her little girl, that’s a month older than Xander, and then walk down.  Of course, the rain crushed our plans!  So, I sent our neighbor a text asking if she and her daughter wanted to just come over and make play dough and play.

Pouring in some sprinkles.

Pretending to pour in some sprinkles. You can just barely see the top of little Liam’s head in this picture! Wearing him in the Boba is a total life-saver!

Originally I had planned on making it with both Xander and his little friend, but we had to clean the house a little and they were eating breakfast once we finished.  We ended up making it on our own and they got to our house just as we finished the second batch–we made blue and red.  As you can tell in the pictures Xander is still in love with using the kitchen appliances and is a huge helper.

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Not so big on smiling today though.  We used our cookie cutters and my rolling-pin along with some cups and forks/spoons.  Xander is finally to the age that he’s starting to like play dough.  His friend wasn’t as enthused about it, but I think that’s more because there were new toys at our house.  I was REALLY impressed with Xander’s sharing skills, and while they definitely need practice, he’s better than I expected him to be.  Needing practice just means we’ll have to have our friends over more often though!! :)

The play dough recipe is really simple:
2.5 cups flour, plus extra
.5 cups salt
1.75 cups water
2 TBS oil
Food coloring

Mix flour and salt.
Bring water and oil to a boil adding food coloring.
Mix the dry ingredients into the wet.  (I did this backwards and just poured the hot water into the kitchenaid bowl of my mixer)
Mix until the dough isn’t sticky, adding additional flour as needed.

Initiated into the Stay at Home All By Myself Club

Yesterday my boys initiated me into the Mom of Two Kids Does It All By Herself Club. Up until yesterday either Paul, my mom, or my baby sister Hunter had been around to help take care of the boys (and who am I kidding they helped take care of me too!) The boys gave me a rude awakening, and although it was a bit scary I’m pretty sure we’ll all survive.

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Liam thinks we’ll survive too. Haha.
Our day started off pretty good yesterday–of course we still had Hunter! We had to take her to the airport to catch her 2:30 flight and Xander was a big boy and just said “bye” about 100 times and blew about 45 kisses as she walked through security and then we headed to the car. That’s where my fun started. I started to buckle him in and he did the back arch of an Olympian gymnast and started screaming at the top of his lungs “Hunnn” “Hunnn!!!” once he realized she wasn’t in the car with us. That went on the entire drive home, and I have never in the four months we’ve lived here been so glad that Key West is so small!! I’d like to say that he was all better by the time we got home, but I’d be lying. He’s getting his 2 year molars in so between that, Hunter leaving, and him having some quirks about how toys should be put away (I might have put some toys in the wrong bin–oops!) we had a wonderful afternoon. So wonderful that when he started throwing a 20 minute long screaming fit at 6 pm I threw the towel in and started a bath for him. That’s right, we started his bed time routine at 6! He was in bed by about 6:30 and fast asleep by about 6:35!!
Not to be outdone Liam began his fit at promptly 6:37 and I spent the next two hours trying to make him happy… As much as I love these boys they make me a bit crazy!!

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Another story of my initiation to this new club: Xander is growing up. During one of his fits (I believe it was when I told him we don’t play with the dog’s food and water that sparked this one!) he took off down the hall and shut himself in his room. Because I am the ever so patient mother–haha!–I decided he could just stay in there a few minutes so we could both calm down. Well, he got quiet really quick, and I assumed he was demolishing his room. Since I knew that everything could be put away later I just let him. About twenty minutes later I went in and found him playing with his trains. (The pic above is what he was doing!) He had put all his train tracks together, and then put all the magnetic trains together, and was working on his block train… Normally shutting himself in his room would have put him into a panic, but yesterday it allowed him time alone to play completely by himself. My little man is growing up! :( Honestly though, as much as I want to keep my boys little, Xander playing quietly by himself probably gave me the sanity to realize that while staying home with two under the age of two is rough, in the grand scheme of things it’s a very short part of my life. I absolutely love these two boys and wouldn’t trade them for the world.. But I would trade a fit or two for a bunch of thin mints, of which I did have several after I got them both to sleep last night! I figure I earned them for surviving my first day alone. :)