Beachy Memories

If your kids are like mine, they are always trying to keep every little rock, bucket of sand, broken shell and sea tumbled piece of trash that they find on the beach. Or in a creek. Or just walking down the road. Sure you can bring it home in the name of preserving your sanity, but then what do you do with it?!

I let everyone collect all the shells and sand that they want and then sometime things “blow” out of the car on the way home. What are you gonna do? With a paired down set of shells, rocks and sand, we create little jars. They are cheap at Michael’s and we try to get the same size each time – or at least the same style. Then we fill them, label them and put them on a shelf. Easy to dust and no beach memories on the floor!

And if glass scares you, grab a plastic jar instead and hot glue the lid on for a toddler / hands on friendly version.

Easy way to control the amount of crap that comes home and keep it in one place is to use a drink cup with lid. If you’re extra fancy, remember to pack some ziplock bags

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Our sand dollars were purple and hairy. We put them in a bleach bath over night and voila! White and smooth.

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Ta da! A sweet little mess free collection of our vacation!

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Also works with creek rocks:

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A Conversation with Auggie

Me: Auggs, could you please get your shoes on? (Auggie runs out of room).

Auggie: (returns)

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Me: Right. So about those shoes? And did you put jammies back on?!

Auggie: I’m Boots and Bonner!

Me: So I’m thinking we’re going to be late.

Auggie: Do you want a hat too??

Sibling Love

Driving to school yesterday, I was in my own head and trying to tune out the argument coming from the backseat about where someone’s stuff animal could sit and where someone’s backpack should go. But then after a minute of silence, I overheard this:

“Sissy. When you go the ballet next time with Grandma, can I go too?”

“Sure, buddy. I think you’re big enough now.”

“How big do you have to be??”

“……..”

“Like how high is the stick??”

“………OH! Like on a ride at Disneyland?? No no, you don’t have to be tall. I mean OLD enough. You’re old enough. You can be any height, you just have to be able to stay up late!”

“Are you KIDDING me?! I can do THAT!”

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Kiddo Know it Alls

This is the conversation Auggie and I had walking into the bathroom at the doctor’s office today:

AW: waving his hand in front of the light sensor: “IIIIII. AAAAMMMM. A genius! See? I made the yight (light) turn on. I knew you had to wave your hand in front of it. Genius.”

Me: “You know your shorts are on backwards, right?”

AW: “Uuuuuhhh…yeah. I did know dat.  I like dem dat way. Genius!”

Me: palm to forehead

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Oh How They Grow

We got the best surprise at Auggie’s school Christmas program last week – he sang! My money was on him crying his eyes out the entire time. But instead, he quietly sang along to 1 Little 2 Little 3 Little Reindeer and was particularly enthusiasic about the HEY! arm swing and all.

Sadly, his perfectly matched and pressed pants did not make it to the show. Sigh. Oh well. At least he was wearing pants, even if they were his back ups.

Please forgive my pictures – I was A. hiding from him and B. not using a flash so I didn’t distract them!

IMG_8035 IMG_8037 IMG_8038At this point my mom leaned over and said “Goodness they are tiny! I can’t believe B was this small at her first show!”. I dug around and sure enough, they were that small. It’s so cute to see all her buddies in these pictures were singing with her this year too.

IMG_3603 IMG_3607 This kid has never been shy a day in her life!IMG_3613

 I’m trying not to get emotional thinking about this being her last preschool Christmas program…

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Singing her face off…

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Summer Time and the Living Should be Easy

When Baylor was a toddler, I dreaded trying to keep her entertained in the summer. There’s a limit to how much pool time a two year old will do. I got sick of sweating it out at the splash pad. The museams start to loose their appeal….and trying to get a bored toddler to nap? Did not happen.

As soon as she was old enough to go to day camp, I would sign her up immediately. Our days went from being filled with bordom to being jam packed and allowing just enough time for some mommy and me fun without putting either of us in the looney bin.

That is until this year. I jumped at the chance to sign her up for camp at the swim club. She was bumped into the older group because she can swim well (score one for weekly swim lessons – yes I am patting myself on the back) and she gets to play tennis, golf, basketball and anything else they can play on the grass. And she loves it – she comes home with rosy cheeks, tired eyes and a belly full of junk food. She is running with an older group and the kids are allowed to move between their activities without a lot of guidance – plus there is free time where they can do whatever they want from video games to swimming. She is in love with the independence!

The down side is that I’ve heard her say a dozen times “we have to leave now?! I just want to play with my new toys!”. And pick up time is smack in the middle of Auggie’s nap. Which means my mid morning is spent trying to push his nap time out which is amazingly fun.

That’s when I realized that somewhere in the last year or so, we’ve started to transition to the big kid “I don’t need constant entertainment” phase. And Auggie has never been in that phase which is leaving us a little over scheduled and for no reason. So we pulled the plug. I canceled the last two weeks of camp and instead, we’re going to spend it getting bored. We’re going to stay in our jammies until nap time. Hit the pool. Watch Frozen too many times. Make and eat popsicles.  Play with birthday presents.

So here’s to easy living, catching our breath, getting bored and enjoying a relaxed summer.

Let ’em Go!

Baylor is in that phase where she’s ready to do some things on her own and it’s hard to let her. The pastor at our church has been calling all the kids at mass to the alter to sit and talk about the Gospel each week. So when he called for the kids, I shoved her out of the pew to run up. It turns out, they were instead taking all the kids over to the school to do a more kid focused hommily – something B has never done before. I raced to the back of church ready to escort her back to our seats after I explained where they were going. She looked at me with a confused look, shrugged her shoulders and said “I don’t mind!” and followed the herd. She returned happy, unscathed and I think more educated on the readings of the week.

I know I sound like a helicopter mom and in some ways I’m sure that I am, but it’s not a safe world. There are bad people and bad things and I couldn’t live with myself if I knew I let her walk into an unsafe situation – even unknowingly. The quote about having children means you understand what it’s like to have your heart walk around outside your body has never been truer…I’m taking deep breaths. I’m talking with her about what is appropriate and not appropriate when mommy is not there to help her judge. I’m giving her the skills to be able to go out into the world and be safe…I’m drinking lots of wine just thinking about it.

Dear God…what am I going to do when she’s driving?!

Come On Ring Those Bells

This past Friday we saved almost an entire pew in the chapel of Baylor’s preschool for family and friends so that we could all witness the adorableness that is the preschool Christmas program. Three songs and a group sing along have never been cuter.

The beautiful stained glass window in the chapel

IMG_5857I’m the mom with the super zoom lens…everyone makes fun until the pictures come out

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This is the picture from the program two years ago. Eeek she’s getting big!

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Adrenaline Junkie

We hit Zoo Lights this year on the perfect night – there was no one there! I don’t know if there was something bigger going on around town or it was just too cold – either way, it was fantastic. The only down side was that because there were no lines, we broke the bank on light up necklaces, kettle corn, Polar Slide, etc. Sometimes the lines are a good thing.

We’re into themed hats

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I had on no less than 4 layers. I realized in the car that the temperature was 56 degrees. It’s amazing we lasted in DC as long as we did…

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The Polar Slide had no lines so we shuffled on over to check it out. It’s made of some kind of plastic mesh – like the stuff Olympic skiers practice on in the summer. It’s super slick, but not cold. It’s pretty cool – but the initial drop off scared me just to watch. But Baylor decided it looked fun so she and Peter headed up to the start line. I assumed they would have her ride with him – nope. She got her own inner tube and went flying down the hill giving me a coronary. She proceeded to go 4 more times until we ran out of cash…I hope this isn’t the beginning of other death defying feats!