Happy Birthday, Grace

For Grace’s 4th birthday, I thought it would be fun to remember a few of her favorite things right now. (I also did this last year, click here to compare.) Continue reading

New Mom Survival Kit

For my sister’s baby shower last Saturday, I wanted to give her something fun that she didn’t have on the registry. I loved when I was gifted with thoughtful gifts from experienced moms who knew what worked and what didn’t. When I came across the Worst Case Scenario book at a price I couldn’t refuse, I knew I had to include it. It’s a bit of a family joke, but it’s entertaining for anyone to flip through. Most of the other supplies I found in the travel section, which also makes this a pretty wallet-friendly gift idea.

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Dear Sophia

You just might be our wild child. You are loud and funny and you love attention, specifically from me. You were dancing last night and kept yelling, “MOM-my! MOOOOMmy!” any time that I wasn’t watching you. You also started this phase (that needs to end now, please) where you won’t eat unless you can see me. You’d rather grow hysterical and not eat than have me even think about leaving your airspace for a split second. Oh, and you have a temper. You’ve tried to swat Grace when you’re angry at her, and your screams will shatter our glasses one of these days, I just know it.  Continue reading

Weber Week + Detoxing

So I really didn’t mean to let this space go, but last week we were on vacation, and this week we’ve been hurled right back into regular life.

First, vacation. We spent a week with Joe’s parents and siblings, the first time in a few years that all of us have been together. We rented a big house in the Minneapolis area and had fun exploring, playing games, and just hanging out. Joe and I introduced his family to Spaceteam (a fun chaotic app game), the girls coaxed his mom into her first-ever pedicure, we took the girls to the zoo for the first time (thanks for the tip, Jenna), hit up the Mall of America, and the kids loved all the extra attention from everyone. Grace was Grandma’s little shadow all week, and I’m pretty sure Sophie thinks that Aunt Marian’s name is Bubbles, because of all the time (and patience!) Marian spent blowing bubbles with the kid.

Dear Old Navy, thanks for the free balloons. You made the day go so much better and gave us a very content toddler. Love, Francine

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full disclosure: most of the photos I stole from family because I was terrible about taking any)

Before I forget, another reason I didn’t blog while we were away was that Joe was putting the finishing touches on his studio’s website, which has been many months in the making. It turned out pretty awesome, so you should really check it out.

And I guess that brings me to this week. Vacation detox hasn’t been as bad as it was after NY, but Joe has been working day and night, since last Sunday, thanks to an annual event that’s really pretty cool but means lots of nighttime hours. Tonight’s his last night (yay!) and I really hope I’m not jinxing it, but thus far, we’ve survived pretty well.

Granted, I’m tired all the time so our bathroom is still grody and there’s been days where we haven’t gotten dressed, but for the moment, the dishes are all! washed! and nobody is crying in protest of bedtime, so I’ll take it. While in Minnesota, Sophie discovered crayons and Grace discovered tearing pages out of the coloring books, so at any given moment the house is littered with coloring book pages and Sophie is asking one of us to draw Elmo faces on the pages she’s not scribbling. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that the new little Picasso has been trying out other mediums:
IMG_0208So there’s that.

Throw Me a Bone

It turns out that what I thought was Sophie’s allergies and teething was actually colds/slight fevers that have been making their way through the house. Joe and I got sick over the weekend. I’m pretty sure that it should be against the laws of nature that both adults in the house should definitely not be sick and miserable at the same time. At least Joe can take stronger meds than his pregnant wife to help him sleep at night. In the meantime, we’re seriously considering buying stock in Kleenex, since we’ve been going through them at an alarming rate lately. I’m crossing all my fingers and toes that we’re on the upswing now.

Joe is healing well, and is now cast and walking boot free! He still has to wear a wrist brace, now has physical therapy, and has an ankle brace that is just big enough to ensure that he can wear almost no shoe over it, which is the whole point. On the plus side, he can drive now. Hooray! Unfortunately, his car is currently dead and even if it wasn’t, he can’t drive it. His car is a stick shift, which I have yet to learn (yes, I know. Joe has tried to teach me, even though I’m a poor student who takes out frustration on him) and because of his injuries, he really shouldn’t drive it anyway. It seems that after my pregnancy sickness, his lingering injuries, everyone’s summer viruses, and crazy work/social calendar, we really can’t win.

Grace went to our church’s version of Vacation Bible School (Bible Story Timeout, as I’ve been corrected by her a zillion times) and loved it. I won’t say I was sorry to have a 2 hour break from her every day (especially since she was a hellion as soon as I picked her up) and I know she had a blast. It makes me excited for her to start preschool next month–not for the break from her, but because I know she will love it. Anyway, they sent a CD home with her at the end of the week with some catchy little biblically-based songs (“Joseph’s brothers did something wrong, oh no, oh no!”) and she wants to listen to it all the time. I fall asleep at night to these songs in my head.
IMG_0203She took a break from watching the Kentucky Derby to sing along. She’s a bit bashful about it, and from what I’ve gathered, there are also little motions that go with the songs, but I’ve only caught her at them a few times.

I was starting to plan ahead for a family trip we’re going on soon, and am realizing that I have nothing to wear. Not in the ‘I just don’t feel like wearing any of these clothes because I’m fickle like that’ but in an awkward pregnancy phase of my regular clothes not fitting and maternity clothes still being a bit big. I’ve been living in sweats lately (thank you, sickness) so I’d kind of forgotten about the fact that it mostly just looks like I’ve given up.

The girls have a new favorite pastime, called Sneaking Into the Bathroom and Throwing All of the Q-Tips Everywhere with Glee. It is not my favorite game. Their other new fad is freaking out when they see a fly, which fails to get the sympathy they’re usually going for. Soph has been vacillating between wanting to play with “Dace” and getting angry if Grace comes within a three-foot radius of her. It generally makes for lots of screaming, either way.

IMG_0204Don’t be fooled by her cute smile. She really does hate everything, except her own reflection in my phone.