Monday, July 26, 2010

The Escape Artist

The Girl was in rare form today. And not in a good way.

I don't know if it is the one year molars that are torturing her, or if she feels crappy from her shots last week, or if she is just a surly little beast but DAMN! That child is either the sweetest thing you have ever set your eyes on, or else she was sent directly from the devil. There really is no in between. And today was a devil day.

She had already been in her room for a "reset" twice and was finally wandering around seemingly happy. She had found her brothers sunglasses and found it quite humorous to wander the hallways while wearing them. I had finally finished cleaning up the kitchen and scolding The Boy (I don't know how many times it is necessary to repeat that we don't jump on the furniture before it finally sinks in...) when I sat down in the middle of the living room to read my magazine.

Every minute or so The Girl would wander in and motion for me to fix her fallen sunglasses, and once I did, she would smile and walk back down the hall to look at herself in the mirrored closet doors of her brother's bedroom. Her brother was running from his room, down the hall, stopping to kiss my arm (trying to make up for his previous scolding) and then slooooowly climbing up onto the couch and smiling at me like, "See? Not jumping..." He would then slither off the couch like a snake and run back to his room. Rinse and repeat. This process went on for a good ten minutes. I actually read several pages of my magazine while it was going on.

Then all of a sudden I realized I hadn't seen The Girl in a few minutes and it was awfully quiet. You know the quiet. The one where only bad things can be happening... So, reluctant to give up my place in my magazine and my peace and quiet I told The Boy, "It's too quiet. Go find your sister and tell me what she's doing." He rapidly ran off down the hall. He came back relatively quickly and said the following:

"She's outside Mommy. With her shoes off!"

He put such emphasis on that last part that it took me a minute. "I'm sorry...she's WHERE?"

"Outside. And she has HER SHOES OFF!!"

He was not concerned in the slightest that she had apparently left the premises, his only concern was that she had gone outside without her shoes. Breaking the rules for sure. Wondering how I could have forgotten to lock the screen door, I rushed to the back door only to hear him say, "No Mommy. Out front." Fan-freaking-tastic.

She apparently stealthily opened up the screen door and simply went.outside. She saw me tearing out the door to her and yelled, "Hiiiiii!" and waved from her spot at the top of the driveway. So damn proud of herself. She even made it down the porch steps. She was clearly confused as to why I wasn't praising her for her accomplishments.

And when she realized that I was bringing her back inside? Well the fit of all fits ensued. She made such a colossal racket that her brother went into his room, fingers in his ears, and shut the door. She LOVES to be outside. Loves loves loves. And I ruined her entire plan.

My daughter escaped. She simply opened the front door and walked out. What do you think my neighbors think? Granted she was probably outside a sum total of about a minute, but STILL. I am so unbelievably screwed with this child. Apparently we are done using the screen door for the season. She is my second child and she makes me feel like I have never parented before. Ever.

I'm exhausted.
Pictured above: So happy to be playing in a big grassy field while her brother enjoys his soccer practice. Have I mentioned that she LOVES being outside?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Big Girl

Dear Peanut,

I thought I wasn't going to write you another letter until you were 18 months old, but I simply had to. You turned 15 months old today and I really need to remember what a fabulous age this is. You are becoming your own little girl more and more everyday. Your personality is coming out and you now have distinct likes and dislikes and mood swings and belly laughter and an appreciation for the world around you more than ever before. There are so many things about who you are today that I don't ever want to forget so I must document them. I am not nearly as organized as I was during your monthly letters so I am going to go at this bullet style and then follow up with a few pics and call it a day. Sound good?
  • There is just no way to try and categorize you as a baby anymore. You are SO in the realm of toddler. The other day your brother referred to you as his baby sister and even a perfect stranger told him, "She's not a baby anymore..." No more denying it. My "baby" is gone. But I'm okay with that because each day is better than the last where you're concerned.
  • You started walking for real the day I posted about you walking with your new shoes. Prior to that you would walk between people if prompted but from that day forward, no more crawling. At all. You are upright, all the time. Crawling is so last month!
  • I simply cannot get over how much you talk. I know I have mentioned it on here before and I have no real comparison given that your brother had speech issues from a young age, but DAMN!! You talk all the time. Real words. I started counting how many words you had the other day so I knew for your doctors appt and I stopped counting at 35. That's insane. Not all of them are pronounced perfectly, but they work. You are a talker. You are following in your Mommy's footsteps in that vain my daughter...
  • Speaking of that, you call your brother "bruh-dah" and I think it's the cutest thing ever. You adore him. Except for when you don't, but mostly you love, love, love him. The other day he was gone for most of the day and you walked around the house calling for him. When he finally got home you squealed with such excitement and yelled "bruh-duh! Heyo bruh-duh!!" So effing sweet...
  • Your growing. Specifically your feet. About a month ago I bought you a new pair of shoes in a size 4. The week before that (literally one week) you had measured a 3 1/2 so I bought you a pair of those. Then just last week I couldn't stuff your little feet into the 4's. So I went out, again, and got you measured and bought you some new 4/5's. You are officially a 4 1/2. Not huge, but again that is a full size growth in like 6 weeks. Again, your brother wore the same size shoes each time for like a year. He only wears an 8 now and he's four years old. So no experience with this whole fast growing thing. It wears me out a little bit. Good thing I like buying you shoes.
  • Now that you're walking you have to be carrying something around at all times. You think it is just too cool to be able to move AND carry your toys, so there is always at least one toy in each hand. Your favorite thing to carry, by FAR, is your brother's straw cup. If I fill it with water, you will drink out of it. And then take another drink...cause, you know, it's fun...and then realize that you have WAY too much water in your mouth so you spit it out. Rinse and repeat. I have learned to just give you an empty cup. That seems to make you happy.
  • You still only have the 6 teeth but dear have to be teething. Your hands are in your mouth constantly. And I swear you're going to get more than just the 6 teeth...
  • Even though you only have 6 teeth you have NO problem eating pretty much anything I put in front of you. You could gum a steak if I would give it to you. The other night you scarfed an entire chicken apple sausage. You can still swallow and eat things your brother refuses to even touch.
  • However. You are not the magical eater you once were. You know have cravings and grudges and moods. What you will one day scarf with pure unabandoned joy, the next day you will spit out at me like I have given you poison. Then the next day? Somehow fabulous again. I now have to show you the food item before trying to give it to you and you either say "no," or "nom." We proceed accordingly.
  • On that note, I am no longer allowed to simply put food on your tray. If I do so, you will just immediately take your hands and wipe it all clean onto the floor. No thank you. What you prefer (actually insist) is that I put your food onto a fork and hand you the fork. You then put the fork into your own mouth and hand it back to me. Then I am allowed to put another item onto your fork (after properly checking with your whims first) and hand it to you. We proceed like this through the entire meal. If I am trying to eat my own meal at the same time? One of us is usually unsuccessful. I give you one guess on the one who goes hungry.
  • You wave at everything. The cats. Your Gigi. You wave goodbye to me when you leave a room. But you absolutely refuse to wave to someone you don't know, or if I happen to ask you to wave to someone. That gets refused. But by far the cutest wave happens at the end of the night when I put you in your crib and tell you goodnight. You wave night night to me. You have your binky in your mouth so you smile around it and wave. And my heart melts. Every single night.
  • You are happy about 90% of the time. Seriously a totally happy little girl. Unless something doesn't go your way. Example: Your brother takes the toy back that you have just stolen from him. You have to have your diaper changed when you are in the middle of something MUCH more important. Someone DARES to shut the baby gates on you when you are high tailing it into said room illegally. Someone has the nerve to not understand your pointing and grunting communication technique and offers you something different than what you actually want. Or god forbid we are sitting up on a bed or couch or something that you can't get up onto and therefore feel left out. If any of the above scenarios occur you scream like...well like a little girl. Loud and high pitched. The length of your scream depends on how serious you deem the infraction against you. You have been known to let out just a high pitched scream and then to move on literally the next second, but you have also been known to cry for over a half an hour if you're really good and pissed.
  • Okay Mommy has gotten a little out of control with the bullet points. It's clear that I think you're the cutest thing in the universe right now and I want to just put a little bubble around it and capture every moment in my memory so I never forget. But for now we'll just do a few pics and call it a night.
Mommy still isn't sure what to do about your hair. I put it up every day in either one pony tail on top of your head, or pig tails. And if I didn't? Here's what it would look like all the time:
Here you are practicing walking. This was all you wanted to do on our "staycation" a few weekends ago. There was a little slope/ramp thing and you just went up and down trying to master the balance it took...
Now that you can walk you think you should be able to drag the rest of us around with you. Here you are trying to convince your Gramps that you are not nearly as entertained by snakes as your brother.
You have NO fear. None. You see your brother going up and down that slide and you want to be a part of it too. You go up to pretty much anyone and bat your eyelashes and point to the slide like, "Can't you possibly just put me up there just this one time? Pretty please?" And then when you find a sucker to agree, you immediately demand that they repeat the process over and over and over and over...until they are ready to pass out.
This is pretty much all I see of you these days. Walking away from me ready to explore the world...a toy in your hand and another on the floor that you got sick of carrying.
Keep walking my little girl. I will be following and supporting you from every angle. I love you more than words will ever be able to express. Happy 15 months old baby.

PS--This is my 350th post! Holy crap, that's a lot of blogging!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Who Knew?

So when my mom got home from picking up The Girl from daycare on Thursday she said, "Do you want the good news or the bad news?" Being the pessimist that I am, I said, "Bad news." She said, "[The Girl's] daycare is closed all next week." I said, "Christ! Seriously?!?!? What's the good news?" "The good news is that you don't have to pay for it. You will get a refund..." Great. I would rather pay for it and have daycare...

So what happened is that her daycare was inspected this last week. Now before you get all judgy and assume that her daycare is ridden with rats and cockroaches, let me explain. One of the reasons I picked this daycare is because it is a home Montessori daycare. But unlike other home daycares where there is usually one major room for the daycare, this entire house was dedicated to the daycare. The woman who runs it lives in another house about 5 minutes away, but this particular house is entirely dedicated to the daycare/school. So the "living room" is the play area. She knocked down a wall between two bedrooms and that is the very large classroom. The back rooms of the house are the nap rooms and the art rooms. So there is a lot of area for the kids. I still really like this about it. But the problem? Apparently when a daycare/school is classified as a "home" daycare (something about the zoning being for residential as opposed to commercial etc...) you actually have to live in the house. So the inspector saw no evidence that the owner physically lived in the house. When she asked the owner "Is this your residence?" The owner answered yes because she does actually own the house, so it IS her residence in that way. But she doesn't actually live there. And apparently she has to.

So this weekend she spent the weekend transforming the art room into her "bedroom" and she is going to have to physically sleep there a couple of nights a week in order to get into compliance. Now she handled all of this over the weekend, so why is the daycare closed all next week you might ask? Well, of course, the inspectors can't get back there before that time. And of course the place has been shut down until it "passes" the inspection. So I have no daycare for The Girl this week. Sucks to be me. Actually sucks to be my mom more, because I have a fully booked week, but normally when I have an hour scheduled for lunch, I can actually eat lunch. Now during that hour my mother will be dropping my daughter off to me so she can get a much-needed break in the middle of the day. Of course she deserves that. Totally. No judgement on my fantastic mother, but man...this is going to be a looooooonnnggg week.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Spoiled Rotten, or Just Spoiled?

Let me get the business end of this post out of the way right now: My son is spoiled. There is no doubt about it. He has red hair and really long eyelashes and learned at an early age that if he batted those eyelashes just right then he could pretty much get anything out of his Gigi that he wanted. So I know he's spoiled, I really do. But what I take issue with is that somehow this makes him "rotten." Let me explain.

We all know that my son is a bit OCD, right? It is well documented. And this began at an early age. He also has an insane memory. My first memories of this combination began around 2 when he got really into Thomas the Train. I would watch him watch the TV episodes with such concentration, and often I would think, "Man, I need to limit the amount of TV I let him watch...this could become a problem..." But what I realized later was that he was actually memorizing the episodes. Once he showed an interest in trains he ended up with a train table and a couple of Thomas trains (see Gigi above...). I watched what he was doing and realized that he wasn't just randomly shoving the trains around on the tracks. He was physically re-enacting the exact episode he had watched earlier. He would do the exact same thing down to the most insane details. So, to him, it was simply TRAGIC if he didn't have "Percy," or whoever, because Percy clearly played a big part in X episode and therefore he couldn't re-enact it perfectly if he didn't have Percy. It was really fascinating to watch. So after about a years time, he had every single Thomas train that had ever had a part in any episode on TV. I still say I am going to sell those things and send him to college.

This trend continued on, but with different players. Once he became obsessed with the movie Cars he needed to have every single piece or character that was in the movie. Then he literally spent HOURS re-enacting things. So if we would spend $5 on Chick Hicks, we would watch him love and play with that damn toy for weeks and weeks and weeks. The mentality kind of became, "It's only $5 and he will play with it forever..." He was never one of those kids who walked through the Toy Store wanting every little thing they saw. And then when they got said toy, they took it home and played with it for approximately 5 minutes and chucked it into the toy box. No, he goes into each store looking for something specific and if it isn't there? He leaves with nothing. Not happily, of course, but something else simply won't do. He only wants whatever it is he is obsessing on at the moment.

These "obsessions," as I refer to them, almost always correspond with stuff that he watches on TV. It started with Thomas, and then went to Word World, and then the movie Cars. After that it moved onto Spiderman, which is where I made a realization and then a decision. If it was a given that my son was going to re-enact everything he sees on TV and loves (which is it), then I needed to severely limit what I would let him watch. Spiderman taught me this. He loved it, and as per usual, he started collecting all the pieces and characters. He then started to re-enact all the violent scenes he would watch. He would become a different little boy running around the house pretending to "shoot" the bad guys. Totally unacceptable. So now he is not allowed to watch Spiderman, or anything that isn't completely non-violent and educational. (Unless he is at his mother's house, which is an entirely different post...)

So, as of now, he is allowed to watch PBS and/or Sprout. That's it. I'm sure the other channels have acceptable content, but for our house that is the rule. He is also allowed to watch science/education shows. I have mentioned before he LOVES the Life series on the Discovery Channel. And as per his pattern, he became immediately obsessed with bugs and reptiles and amphibians and plants etc... So this is where we have been lately. So like before when he wanted to get every single Thomas Train known to man kind, now he wants to collect all the bugs and reptiles he can get his hands onto. He wants books on the subject, he wants the little plastic bugs that come in those cylindrical containers, he wants anything and everything he can get his hands on. And guess what he does? Yup, he re-enacts what he sees on the TV. But you know what? My 4 year old knows more about the difference between arachnids and insects than most adults. He has knowledge that amazes me when it comes to how things work. He knows how insects have a head, thorax and abdomen, he knows that a Daddy long legs isn't actually a spider and why. The moral of the story is, I am happy to buy him things that are educational and that feed his desire to learn more.

This brings me to this weekend and the reason I started this post (like a year ago...sorry this is so long...). The Boy has been obsessed with rattlesnakes recently. Not sure what started it, but he wants every book he can find, he wants me to show him pictures of them on the Internet, he wants to go to the museum and look at them FOR HOURS...he wants all the rattlesnake knowledge he can fit up in his little head. And even though we have like 20 different plastic snakes, not one of them is a rattle snake (and yes, he knows the difference and also knows the names to all he has). So imagine his excitement when he realized that we were going to a museum this weekend on our "staycation" that had a rattlesnake. He talked about it for days before hand. As soon as we were in the car he informed me that he wanted to see that first please. Once we bought our tickets he asked the lady for a map so he could study it and find the fastest way to the rattlesnakes. And once we found it, he stayed in this exact position for about 20 minutes. And that is not an exaggeration:
He was fascinated. And once I forced him to leave this exhibit to move onto the rest of the museum his focus shifted. He figured since this museum HAD a rattlesnake, it stands to reason that the gift shop would have a toy rattlesnake. And he simply had to have it. So he kept asking me if we were done yet and he could go to the gift store. Eventually I let him and guess what? No rattlesnake. He was crushed. Simply crushed. But there was one more shred of hope. We were heading to a huge toy store and there would probably be one there. So we finally get to the toy store and he heads up to a lady behind a counter and asks, "Can you tell me where I can find a rattlesnake?" She laughs at him but points him to the rubber snake section. He ignores the rest of this ginormous store and heads straight to the snake area. He bent down and picked and pulled through literally every single rubber snake looking for a rattlesnake and there wasn't one. Cobras, king snakes, water snakes...all sorts of other snakes, but no rattle. He was devastated. He just sat on the floor with little tears in his eyes. So I went and asked someone who worked there if there was any rattlesnake anywhere in the entire store. He went and found a stuffed snake with a rattle at the end. Now, as a general rule, my boy isn't big on stuffed animals (not realistic enough for him), but it was a snake, and it had a rattle. It would work. He promptly fell in love with the rattlesnake and asked me if he could have it. I looked at the price tag and it was $9.95 with 20% off. Sure, dude. You can have it. I bought it for him and he was thrilled. He wrapped it around his neck and wandered around the rest of the store checking things out but was perfectly content with his snake. Best $10 I ever spent.

No here's the problem. We were there with all of his cousins. And apparently all of his cousins had been told by their parents ahead of time that we were just going to look at the toy store, but that no one was getting anything. (Seems kinda like torture to me to take a bunch of kids to a huge toy store and then refuse to get them any treats, but hey, maybe that's why my kid is "so spoiled.") So when the cousins saw him with his snake they started saying, "But [Boy] got said no one was going to get anything..." My little 5 year old nephew even came up to me and said, "How come [Boy] gets something everywhere we go and I never do?" I just said, "Because I am his mom and it's my choice on what to buy him just like it is your Mommy and Daddy's choice on what to buy you." But understandably, the other kids started melting down because my son had received a toy and they all hadn't. They started running around the store pointing at water balloons, and hair ties, and baby dolls didn't matter WHAT it was, just so it was something! And then it moved onto their parents who were now glaring at me because I bought my kid a snake. I became the bad guy. I was the bad parent for buying my kid a snake. There was no way to try and explain to them that he only gets educational gifts, and that we had been looking for a rattlesnake for EVER for him, and really, I have no issue spending $10 on him when he will play with it for weeks... When really, I don't have to answer to anyone. But it was certainly implied that my son is spoiled rotten (I actually heard them call him that) and that it is my fault for making him like this. But you know what? I will raise my kids the way I see fit, and you do the same. Kids are different. And if my son was wandering around the store pointing out random things on all the shelves saying, "I want that...NO wait! I want that, no WAIT! THAT!" like some of the other kids, I probably would take a different stance.

But I stand by my decision to do what I did. And you know what? My son has slept with said rattlesnake every night since we bought it. He kisses it good morning and brings it to dinner with him and sings it to sleep (all while pretending it is eating his toy mouse). He loves that damn thing more than ever. And I stand by my decision that spending $10 on something that is A) educational, and B) that he loves so dearly is $10 well spent. Here is a picture of him with his beloved rattlesnake:

PS--And just so there's no confusion, I know he is spoiled. I don't dispute that. What I do dispute, however, is that somehow this makes him "rotten." And if you still think he's rotten, well I will have him sick his rattlesnake on you. You know the one with, "da poisonous fangs dat pierce into da prey and den stun it while da jaw open REALLY wide and den swallow it whole! Yeah whole...because den it travel down the length of da snake while it digest it..."

Sunday, July 11, 2010


You hear a lot about this whole "staycation" concept lately with most people in the US having some financial issues right now. Our staycation didn't actually come from a financial standpoint, but rather a birthday. My Dad emailed the whole family a few months ago and said that for his birthday he would love to have everyone go to an Embassy Suites about 45 minutes away from where we live and spend the night. He wanted to enjoy the hotel pool with all his grandkids and then have a big dinner and then go to a nearby museum the next day. I was initially a little annoyed that I was going to have to shell out almost $200 to celebrate my Dad's birthday but of course agreed to make it happen.

I will officially admit that I was wring to be annoyed. This was a great idea and definitely worth the $200 or so it cost me. We got here late yesterday (The Boy had his first soccer lesson that I didn't want him to miss) and checked into the hotel right as all the other kids were done in the pool and heading up for a rest (perfect...I didn't really want to deal with both kids in the pool etc, plus The Boy had already had his swim lesson that morning). So we unpacked and enjoyed the room. It was a two room suite with a little living room with a pull out couch, kitchenette and a flat screen TV and then the other room had a king size bed, the bathroom another TV and a big closet etc. Perfect for a little family.

And did you know that the Embassy Suites provides free drinks and food from 5:30 to 7:30pm? Like REAL drinks too, although I just had some wine, my brother and brother in law were drinking vodka tonics and rum and cokes. Fabulous. Then we went and had a big yummy dinner where we had a fabulous waiter who had 4 kids of his own and definitely knew how to serve kids. He was awesome and we gave him a huge tip. Then everyone went for a walk along the bay while I went upstairs and put The Girl to sleep in her pack n play. Then The Boy and I watched some TV on his pull out couch and I stayed there with him until he fell asleep. Both kids slept great and The Girl woke up at 7:00 and promptly woke her brother up by yelling.

We had a complimentary breakfast (and not just nasty rolls and stuff; this was made to order omelets, pancakes and French toast, fresh fruit and bagels and all sorts of stuff). After breakfast I went upstairs for The Girl to nap and The Boy finally got to play in the pool with his cousins. He is currently doing that and once he gets back we are going to head out to a museum and then hit a big toy store on our way home.

It really was a great night away. My kids had a great time with their cousins, there was no real "travel" involved and the entire weekend only cost $165. All in all it was a fabulous "staycation" and I recommend everyone to do it!!

PS--Please excuse the lack of linking to the hotel and stuff, I am posting this from my phone. So if there are any type o's, I apologize.

-- Post From My iPhone

Location:Stevens Creek Blvd,San Jose,United States

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quite A Day...

Today I returned my breast pump to the place that I rented it from almost 15 months ago. I remember walking into that place on April 15, 2009 HUGELY pregnant and contracting and so effing miserable I wasn't sure if I would live the next 5 days to birth my baby. But I did. And even when I rented that pump I wondered how breast feeding would go. I remembered my son who never latched and who I pumped for exclusively and breast fed for just 5 months. I hoped that it would go better but after living through the stress of what went down with my son, I was resolved that I was going to give it my best shot and if it didn't work out I wasn't going to beat myself up about it.

Who knew I would become one of those crazy breast feeding Mom's who is still talking about how to wean their kid at 15 months old? Who knew that I would be able to successfully breast feed and pump for over a year? I sure didn't. But it marks an ending. The returning of the pump (which I haven't actually used in almost a month) marks the end of my baby being a baby. She is still my baby, of course, and she always will be. But she is no longer the little baby that requires me to pump up to 5 times a day so that she can have exclusive breast milk while she was in daycare. Thank God for that.

And since we are here, I will give you the honest scoop (I am lying to pretty much everyone who asks me about whether or not I am still nursing...) Yes, we still are. Last week she was sick and teething and DEMANDED to be nursed during the day. (And by "demanded," I mean she would cry for over a half an hour even after I had "redirected" her like 50 times and given her yogurt, and offered her a cup of cows milk... And then I would nurse her for 5 minutes and she would pull off and look up and smile at me, TOTALLY HUMAN AGAIN, like, "was the really so hard Mommy?") But beside that week, we are sticking firmly to first thing in the morning and last thing at night. No more. I am going to try and give up the first thing in the morning soon. Soon-ish... I swear... Sometime really, really soon... :)

On another note, my daughter is hysterical. Seriously. I wish I could post all the things she does everyday that make me laugh, but I simply can't. But I have today's example. My BFF sent me an online coupon for a pair of Crocs that were on sale for a ridiculously low price (like $8 total including tax and shipping). So I ordered them for her even though she is barely in a size 4 shoe and these were size 4/5. I figured she would grow into them. They arrived today. And I showed them to her.

Her eyes lit up. "SHOES!!" She exclaimed. "Shoes ON," she told me. And promptly sat down and stuck her fat little foot in my direction. So I put them on. She LOVES them. My daughter loves shoes. Who does this kid belong to? Seriously? I have like a total of 4 pairs of shoes and will wear each of those until they blatantly fall apart and require me to purchase something to replace them. I am not one of those girls with 50 pairs of shoes in her closet. Not even close. But my daughter constantly reminds me she is her own person. So here is a video of her walking (have I mentioned that is totally official now?) with her new shoes? Too big and all, but damnit, she is going to ROCK her new shoes.

Breast pump returned to its owner. Said baby is officially walking and rocking her own look and the new shoes that she loves. I can't believe how fast it is all going...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back to Center

Sometimes it takes long holiday weekend with your kids to remind you what's important. Like all of us, I get caught up in the day to day grind of trying to work full time and take care of two kids. It gets overwhelming and exhausting. But then something like a 4 day weekend will come along and I allow myself to forget about work and obligations and just be there for my kids. If there was a way to bottle just the pure joy that comes with being 4 years old (or 1 for that matter) and literally not having a care in the world, we would all be rich. Rich and completely fulfilled...

Friday we had lunch at the Cafe served by our favorite waitress and the we went to the Disney Store where The Boy charmed his Gigi into new jammies and "Slinky" the dog from Toy Story 3. Meanwhile, I have been forced to admit that my daughter has a little bit of typical girl in her as she has decided that she likes her "baby" doll. It is a fabric boy doll that we bought for The Boy when he was little and it sits in her bookshelf in her room. Recently she has begun carrying it around the house saying, "My baybee...baybee." So I let her have a treat also and took her to get her another fabric doll at the adorable, albeit ridiculously priced, children's store. She loves it. We then came home and ate dinner outside and had a nice relaxing evening and got a good night's sleep.

Saturday, The Boy left with his mom for a few hours and The Girl, my mom and I went and did the weekly grocery shopping. We came home, all had a little nap and later my cousins (who The Boy LOVES!!) came by for dinner to introduce her boyfriend to the clan. We had fabulous food (salmon burgers from Trader Joe's...who knew?) and good times and a little wine. It was a great day. And then of course yesterday was Fourth of July...

This day deserves picture documentation. We started off by clearing all the furniture off the patio and cleaning the patio and all the furniture itself. The Boy was a fabulous help...
...and he only sprayed his sister once with the hose...
And then later we had my mom and stepdad and my grandmother over as well as some family friends. Can't really ask for more... Here is The Boy enjoying many a 4th of July strawberry...
...meanwhile The Girl was content to cruise around in her favorite little car...
My mom brought The Boy a little nerf airplane thing from the $0.99 bin at Target and he could not have been more thrilled. He played with that thing all night long...
And The Girl thought that there was no reason she wasn't big enough to go down the slide herself. So she tried. Over and over and over. Thank God the slide is surrounded by grass...
And after about 90 tries, we got a semi decent family shot:
Then after a fabulous dinner we put The Girl to sleep and my step dad stayed with her while my mom and I took The Boy to see his first fireworks show. We found a great park literally 5 minutes from my house, with ample parking, and sat down about 5 minutes before a 20 minute long fireworks show where I watched my son's face WAY more than I saw the fireworks themselves. We came home and all collapsed.

And today we get to just recoup. We slept in late and are still in our jammies as I type this. Tomorrow we return to the world of work and stress and finances but this weekend? It was all about time with my kids and realizing what amazing little people they are. I am a very lucky woman. Hope everyone had a happy and safe weekend!