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!

Jammie Jam

I tried to explain that if he would stop burning through clean jammies, I wouldn’t have to resort to putting him in his sister’s. His response was “I’M SORRY. I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER THESE LOUD, STRIPPED, GIRL JAMMIES!”. There was an incident later in the morning that resulted in me falling into the door jam while trying to evade his leg grab…I don’t think it was unrelated.

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Christmas Card Fun

Baylor brought me a catalog in October and pointed to a picture of an American Girl Doll wearing personalized Christmas jammies. She told me all about how we could all get jammies with our names on them and wear them at Christmas. The thought of Peter in personalized jammies was pretty amusing…but it did give me a good idea to get them for the kids and do our Christmas card picture in them. It would be great – two kids in cute pj’s and their adorable puppy. I would throw them all in the bed, get a picture of them being cute together and bam! I’d be done.

And it totally worked…the third time I tried. I mean like the the third time I dressed them both in their jammies, the dog was behaving and the lighting was right, it totally worked!

If Minted.com didn’t charge to put a picture on the back of the cards (when ordering 85 Christmas cards, that extra picture adds up!), I would have included one of these gems. So if you do reiceve a card from us this year, just know that out of the 40+ pictures I took, most of them looked like this. There were really only 2 pictures we could choose from for the card.

“Auggie. Auggie!! Auggie, put down the rock and look. Look over here!!!”

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Baylor’s signature choke hold

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“Don’t worry mommy, I’ll make them behave”

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“What do you mean Shirley can’t be in this picture?”

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Oh Heeeyyy Halloween

Listen, better late than never….

I don’t want to brag…but we ROCKED Trunk or Treat this year! Thanks to the D family for their refrigerator box, their awesome painting skills and creativity, we made two super cool haunted houses. Bonus? They are stored safely away for next year!

The princesses and a cheerleaderIMG_5758IMG_5760

The black lights really put it over the top!IMG_5764 IMG_5763Where’s the fire ma’am?

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We also Fall Fesitivaled and had actual Halloween – I was all too happy to pack up the decorations on November first. But having a holiday hangover is the sign that you did a good job, right??

Auggie’s look of confusion is priceless.IMG_5776 IMG_5779

Someone did not appreciate their butterfly costume

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B and I thought we were sooo cleaver making a crying baby pumpkin for Augg

IMG_5785The beauty of cardboard haunted houses – they’re portable!

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Art Walk

Scottsdale is great about art displays and art installations. I’m not going to sugar coat it – most of it is a little weird. But some of it is interesting and periodically, it’s downright pretty. But overall, I love living where art is all around us.

I love when they put stuff in the canal. I just think it’s cool. This installation is called “Message in a Boat”. Acording to the sign, at night you can download an app and if you stand in a particular spot, you can control the colors of the boats…

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Saran Wrap art…photo 1 (28)

 

Auggie was unimpressed

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Because Labs can’t run or even walk long distances until their hips develop, Mac gets to catch a ridephoto 2 (32)

All About Auggie

I can’t believe the little man is 13 months old. It’s strange how fast and how slow the last year seems to have been. Our little man has gone from a tiny little baby to a size 2T ball of fun. He’s totally self entertained, accidentally funny (hello dropping a Goldfish into the offertory basket at church) and just down right gorgeous.

At one year he:

Clocked in at 32 inches and 28 pounds meaning he’s grown 11 inches and gained 21 pounds in a year

Eight sharp little teeth have popped through

Says mama, dada, Mac (“ack!”), yes (“aaa yeah!”), bottle, up (“uppa!) and water

He loves to fish things out of the garbage can and is getting better about putting things in it

He can climb the jungle gym and go down the slide on his belly all by himself AND give his mother a heart attack all at the same time

He puts his blanket over his head and stumbles around to make his sister giggle

His favorite sippy cup is the pink one because it’s Baylor’s

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I have yet to witness a baby who never, ever cries in the pool – until this guyIMG_5634 IMG_5644

Those eyes are going to get him into and out of so much troubleIMG_5716 IMG_5730

From this guy:

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To this tank in just 12 months:

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Big Picture, Little Picture

I love weeks when I can see the big picture. I can see life for what it is and find joy in small things and have patience to turn bad behavior into teaching moments. I have the energy to tackle my to do list AND be a good mom. Get down on the floor and play. Get in the kitchen and cook together. Read books and go for walks. Make dinners and clean up the kitchen before 5pm. Get the laundry and ironing done. Clear my desk of bills, work and whatever else is lurking there. These are good weeks.

This is not one of those weeks. This is definitely a little picture week. I can’t see the forest for the trees.  All I can hear is a teething baby screaming, a puppy yelping and a smart mouth four year old. All I can see is the mess of toys, dishes and laundry. All I can think about is the pile of invoices that need to be created, put into envelopes, stamped and sealed.  All I want to do is look at the beautiful, smart, talented little girl in front of me and say “WHY??? WHY DO YOU KNOW WHAT MY BUTTONS ARE AND WHY DO YOU INSIST ON PUSHING THEM AALLLLL THE TIME?? WHY CAN’T YOU STAY IN BED AT NIGHT?? WHY WHEN YOU STAY IN BED DO YOU SCREAM FOR A PARENT TO COME TO YOUR BEDSIDE EVERY 2 HOURS TO FIX SOME NONEXISTENT PROBLEM??? WHY ARE YOU WAKING UP YOUR BROTHER??”.

Oh yeah, we aren’t sleeping right now. Again. It’s fun. I think B has a bet with Augg on how soon the men with the big butterfly nets are coming for mommy. It won’t be long little lady. It won’t be long.

My mom told me last week that I need to remember that her behavior comes from the fact that she’s bright. Actually, her quote was “It’s because she’s smart. If she were dumb, this would be a lot easier to solve”. And she’s right. Bay is no dummy. She’s capable of great things which is why I get so incredibly frustrated when she flat out refuses to do something. Or worse, pretends that she doesn’t know how (button pusher, party of one…). I’m not asking Hellen Keller to sign supercalifragalisticexpialidotious, I’m asking Einstien to add two plus two. So why can’t she just say FOUR and we could move on?!

I guess because she really wants to see if the men with the nets have white coats….

Just Us and the Zoo

Columbus day was the perfect excuse to go to the zoo. I decided we would go just us – Baylor, Auggie and me. That way we could go where we wanted, when we wanted AND we would actually get some time to talk. We had the best time –  we saw all the animals we wanted, Baylor got to ride the camel (Augg is too little but when she heard she could go by herself? she was gone), we hit the petting zoo, playground, ate chips, rode the carousel and meandered until it was too hot and we were hungry. It was the perfect way to spend a holiday Monday morning.

Ready to roll. Bonus: pushing the flipping 100 pounds of double jogger up and down hills is a great workout

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I couldn’t believe that there were no nerves what so ever getting on this guy by herself! We’ve got to get her riding lessons. Horse riding, not camels.

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I love the playground at the zoo. It’s made to look like a life sized Little People Farm. It’s just so cute!

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These goats make me a little nervous – they are so laid back. I always get worried that when there is one laying down that he’s not breathing… This guy however was great. His name was Mini Muffin. I’m not really sure there’s a better goat name.

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There was just a hint of attitude about why we only road the carousel once and not a bajillion times…I’m going to chalk it up to being hot and tired…

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Don’t Wake Me Up

I really love the song Don’t Wake Me Up – it’s really resonates with me and where life is at right now. If this is all a dream – don’t wake me up. It’s too good to stop dreaming it now.

I’m not saying that there aren’t some things that aren’t perfect – but those things are minimal compared to the great things. The frustration that comes with trying to secure / entertain two kids and a puppy in order to take a 10 minute shower are totally out weighed by Auggie padding around the corner in footy jammies carrying his sister’s necklace. The smile on his face is one of defiance and victory and it is priceless. Then watching him “run” as fast as his little legs can carry him, defying all the laws of balance, trying to get away from Baylor who is hot on his trail to her her necklace back is hysterical.

I almost always respond when someone asks how it’s going with “crazy! but good crazy” and I mean it. This life is nutty, overwhelming, frustrating, perfect, hilarious, imperfect, fuzzy, soft, smelly, gross, warm, snuggly and I wouldn’t trade any of it.

I read a great article on the Huffington Post about parenting twins. It’s hilarious how the dad describes the madness of caring for two babies – I can’t tell you how much I relate to the insanity. But he goes on to describe the freedom that comes with parenting:

“I can tell you that what people say about “losing your freedom” is bull crap. We’ve got a pathetically shallow notion of freedom in this country, and that’s perfectly reflected by this common claim that you lose it when you have kids. Sure, if “freedom” is merely “the ability to go places and do things with minimal hassle,” then, yeah, you’ve lost that. You haven’t lost it permanently, but for a good long while. This is a flimsy, flat, flaccid view of freedom. I believe there’s more to being “free” than vacations and financial flexibility. I’ve seen both sides of this; I lived completely alone for the first half of my twenties, so I know about this sort of freedom. I know about it, and I can honestly tell you that I feel more free now than I ever have before. If I didn’t have a family, I could go on a cruise, or move to Vegas, or see Paris if I so desired. In fact, I could go pretty much anywhere on the globe. But I’d only be “free” to travel laterally. Now, I can travel deeper. I’m free to go deeper into human existence and experience things that are much more life-changing, enriching, transformative and exciting than a thousand vacations to a thousand exotic locations. The greatest freedom we have as human beings is the freedom to change. I’m not talking about changing the scenery, I’m talking about changing ourselves. Having children is TRULY life changing; having free time is not. This is not meant to be an attack on people without kids and spouses; I’m just clarifying a point. They are not more free than you.”

The bolded section is the best way I could ever describe being a parent. Yes you give up the freedom to run out the door at any time, grab a drink with a friend on the fly, stay out late without an exhausting process of getting a babysitter, getting ready for said sitter and then actually getting out the door. But the freedom to really know what the best parts of life are through the craziness of being a parent is amazing.

So thank you my little banshees. You make me crazy and also crazy happy.

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Good Game

Four year olds are difficult. They are smart but they have few limits. They are funny but they do not have any filters. We have learned this the hard way with potty words. Basically, if you laugh when Baylor says “did you say Mini Cooper or Mini Pooper??!!” she will. not. stop. And while a good poop joke is funny the first time, the 19th time, it’s down right gross. So we’ve had to learn to be more careful than ever with our words and how we use them.

Correction. Some of us are being more careful with our words.

While playing Candy Land, Peter was doing some light trash talking. A few boos when someone would pass him. A few fist pumps when he was winning and just a hint of taunting. All pretty innocent…unless you are four and don’t know when the joke is over. As I tried to nicely tell him to knock it off, it got a bit worse because he thought I was being a sore looser.

So when it was time to say “good game” and shake hands, I licked my palm.

And because no one likes to shake a spit covered hand, he understood the joke was over and it was time to teach by example how to be a good sport.

Or at least do it when the kids aren’t listening.

 

I swear he does wear clothes. But it’s hot. He’s hot. He wears clothes when we leave the house and that’s good enough for me.

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Double Trouble.

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