Monday, June 27, 2011

Peas In A Pod

I love my little peas in a pod.

He refuses to walk and hold hands with me and TG, but he happily holds hands with his Sassy as she leads him to the mall playground.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Alone Time

Smething unbelievable happened this week and it all started with a mini vacation for Riley.

Gigi and Papa invited her to their house. All. By. Herself. Without mom or dad. For a week. I was a nervous wreck. She was an excited ball of energy. So last Sunday I packed her bag and TG drove her to his parents. I'll admit I cried when they pulled out of the driveway.

Over the next few days we spent some incredible one on one time with Camden. We've never had just Cam before and while we missed Riley so much it was nice to lavish all our attention on him. He thoroughly enjoyed it and we did too.

But TG was itching to visit his family too, and he's out of school for the summer, so on Wednesday he loaded up our baby boy and went down to his parents house.

You read that right. I was here. Alone. For 3 days. (hardly anyone was privy to this information ahead of time because i was raised paranoid I slept with scissors and a flashlight in the bed with me right.)

At first the silence was eerie. For the first two hours I sat on the couch wondering what to do with myself. Then I got a piece of paper and made a list of all the projects and tasks I've been wanting to do or finish in the last few months. When I was done there were 16 things on the list. 16!

Believe it or not in three days time I finished 12 of them. Plus I gave this house a good scrubbing from top to bottom. Over the next few days I'll be sharing what my list was and what I managed to finish. I'm pretty amped about some of them.

Some of the jobs were more fun than others, but it was amazing how much I could get done in an empty house. Also interesting was just how very little sleep I need when I'm not playing with a 1 and 3 year old all day. It left me wondering what in the world I was doing with all my free time pre babies.

Anyway, my little family is reunited now and while I very much so enjoyed my days of quiet, I much prefer a house full of giggles, cries and just the noise of life.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I could write a novel about TG and the amazing man that he is.

And as I was searching at Target for the perfect card for him I found the same was true for the card companies. Most of them were "novelesque". But I picked one that succinctly stated just how I feel about TG as a husband and father to our two beautiful children.

Perfect. Maybe not perfect as in the literal sense of the word, but perfect for me and our little family. We would simply be lost without him.

Happy Father's Day honey! We love you so much.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Day 5 - Sealife, Snorkeling, and Sun Sick

We woke before the sunrise again on our 5th morning in Hawaii.

I can't remember why we left Gammy and Gampy behind, but this particular morning we hit the Waikiki Beach walk with Tata and ended up (3 miles later) at the aquarium.

The first time either of my two kiddos had been to an aquarium was for Riley's 3rd birthday and I was eager to go again with TG so he could see how much they enjoyed all the sealife.

It was much smaller than the Baltimore Aquarium, but it was right on the beach and the perfect size for the time we wanted to spend. They had several indoor exhibits that led to an outdoor space where the seals, living reef, and animal demonstrations took place.

Riley agreed, halfheartedly, to pose with some fish. She wholeheartedly refused to hold the starfish the scientist had pulled out.

We tried to throw little man, who was feeling slightly better, up there for a photo op, but he wasn't having it.

He only wanted to climb on these stairs.

After we were reefed out, we went to meet the resident monk seal.

Riley liked watching him swim back and forth and she asked me to take (several) pictures of him.

On our way out we got both of the kids a little toy from the gift shop that have now become beloved pool and bathtime toys. Riley picked a whale that flaps it's tail and we chose a squeaking dolphin toy for Camden. I was the lucky surprise recipient of a beautiful Christmas ornament from TG! I was swooning over them when we made the kids purchases and when TG went back in at the end to pick up a much needed sun hat for Camden, he picked a beautiful globe for me. I can't wait to hang it on our tree this year.

Armed with our toys we started the trek back to our hotel, but on the way we talked to Gammy and Gampy who were at...Denny's! We decided to meet them there, but that's when we discovered that Gammy was not feeling well at all. She and Gampy had tried to go for a walk and she had to stop.

They thought she might have the flu, but after hearing her symptoms and putting that info together with the fact that she was sunburned from too much time in the sun the day before I informed them that she probably had sun poisoning. A quick Google search confirmed and advised us of some treatment options. Basically poor Gammy spent all of day 5 in bed, drinking lots of fluids.

After breakfast, we left Camden napping in the room with Gammy and Gampy so Tata, Riley, TG and I could head down to the beach. I intended to snorkle, but the waves were up that day and it was too choppy.

Here's a pic of me "snorkeling" while holding Riley in her hippo floatie. She's wearing Cam's new sunhat. "Mom! You see any feesh down theres?"

Riley and "Di-mon Head!" The first day there my Dad taught her the name of the crater and for the rest of the trip if you asked her, she remembered.

The memory of her saying that made my heart hurt for a minute as I'm still missing the islands and my family very much.

Riley loved playing in the sand as much as she loved the water. She is such an imaginative child. I'm constantly in awe of her, and she was always making, creating, or playing something completely inventive in the sand.

The rest of this day was fairly low key. Once Camden was awake we made a Wal-mart trek and then had dinner at Wailana Coffee House. I could tell Cam was feeling a bit better because all he wanted to do at dinner was walk around the restaurant. I actually ended up leaving early with him and walking back to our hotel.

So ended day 5 in paradise. Although, Cam and my Mom had both been sick, (and two more of us were about to be taken out) we were having fun and so enjoying being together as a family.

*It's funny, I've been writing most of these from memory, but thankfully the last afternoon we were there I sat down with my seester and quickly jotted little notes of what we did each day. I thought I would remember every detail but some of it is already fading, and it's not even been two months since we left. I'm so glad I took the time to do that.*

Monday, June 13, 2011

Weekly Menu

We're in the final week until summer vacation. Let me just say...


So this week's menu is a little, blase, because I need simple around here peeps. Simple, quick, not a lot of work involved, or thought, because at the end of the day coherent thought is hard to come by.

Sunday: Pioneer Woman's Braised Short Ribs with Rice and Corn on the Cob
Monday: Pigs in a blanket with Kraft's Homestyle Mac and Cheese
Tuesday: Rotel dip with tortilla chips and quesadillas
Wednesday: Date night with Twinnie
Thursday: Chicken in Wine Sauce with Asparagus
Friday: Grilled hamburgers and Hot Dogs with Steak Fries
Saturday: Spaghetti with Bruschetta

I was supposed to make the Braised Short Ribs last week, but we ended up having an impromptu meal out. I pushed the meal to Sunday night and let me just tell you, Pioneer Woman did not disappoint.

First of all, if you have never heard of Pioneer Woman, get your self over to her website. Immediately.

Ree, (Notice I like to refer to her by her first name like we're friends), is among other things, an amazing chef, who not only shares her delicious recipes, but in a user friendly step by step (with photos) format!

I've tried several of her recipes and that woman seriously works magic in the kitchen. I was a little nervous about making short ribs because I've never made them before, but she was right. They were melted meat heaven on a plate.

I won't retype her whole recipe, it doesn't do her justice. Just next time you're at the grocery store buy some short ribs and go here.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Seen and Heard


Our much adored Riley girl, actually looking at the camera. I'm not sure if you've noticed from our pictures, but she is almost always wearing a dress. Every morning when she wakes up, after hugs and kisses, she will go straight to her closet and pick out her own outfit for the day. She prefers dresses and I love how sweet she is in them.

Our little man, pushing his toy car around and making "vroom, vroom" sounds. He loves playing with cars, trucks, buses, anything with wheels.

Camden playing in the toy kitchen. He started bringing out the teacups and teapot after watching Riley and I play tea party earlier this week. Now, he will toddle over, hand one to me, bang his cup against mine (cheers!), and then pretend to drink.

Our mini mes.

Yes, our 3.5 year old still has a paci. Yes, she's only supposed to have it at sleep times. Yes, her major dependence on it round the clock until she was 2 is probably why she has some speech quirks. Yes, she is being weaned of them. Yes, she will be paci free before kindergarten.

But also...
Yes, our child sleeps in her own room, in her own bed,for 12 straight hours, and has not once ever gotten out without our permission. Yes, our child uses her paci as a lovie and doesn't have a blankie or special stuffed animal. Yes, 99.5% of the time she leaves those pacis in her bed and is not allowed to carry them around or out of the house with her.

Yes I'm defensive about it. Why do you ask?


Riley: Mom? Mom?
Riley: A wittle help here? Please?
She rounds the corner into the bathroom where I'm washing Camden and her nightgown she was trying to put on is stuck on her head.

Riley: I don't like this car. I think we should get another one.

Riley: What are we gonna do today?
Me: I don't know yet bug, why?
Riley: Hmm. I'ms thinking that maybe we could see my fw-ends and haves a picnic.
Me: Oh yeah?
Riley: Yes, that sounds like a good ideas!

Riley: We got a fishies and we put them in a tank in brudders room.
Gammy: What did you name your fish Riley?
Riley: I don't want to give dems a name. I thinks I'm just gonna call dem fishies or something.

Me: Camden, all done?
Camden: "aw duh"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tata!!! - Day 4

Well by Sunday, we were hitting our Hawaiian groove and we were very excited because, well, TATA! She came in 4 days after my parents and our family arrived and we were very anxious to see her.

This morning we decided to take Camden to an island doctor. He had been on the new antibiotic we got the day we left for several days and was still very tired, very feverish (think in the 103-104 range if we let the Motrin wear off), and extremely fussy.

So that morning I googled and discovered a walk in clinic in the Sheraton Hotel on Waikiki. We were going to walk, but Gampy volunteered to drive us over there. Let's just say that after months of dealing with this, and now watching it rear it's ugly head on our long awaited Hawaiian vacation, I was prepared to go in guns blazing and demand the antibiotic shot for our son, basically the last option we had.

But turns out that was unnecessary. The entire staff, from the reception desk to the nurse, were so very friendly and after I explained Camden's history of persistent ear infections and the doctor confirmed that he had yet another double ear infection, he said he wanted to treat him with rocephin.

Now I had this shot before and it burned like the devil, so I was pretty nervous for our little baby, but I just positioned myself right by his face and quietly sang to him while they administered the medicine. Right afterwards I was able to pick him up and let him nurse to sleep. I ended up carrying him out of there sound asleep in my arms for the short walk back to our hotel. He woke up the minute we hit the street though, and was pretty happy so TG and I decided to take our time heading back and hit up a couple of the Waikiki shops before meeting my parents and Riley at, you guessed it, Denny's!

That morning while Cam napped, Riley, my Dad and I picked Tata up from the airport. I love joyful airport reunions (and hate the goodbyes)! We quickly took her back to our hotel where we spent the rest of the afternoon together at the hotel pool.

Tata is so amazing with my kids. She's a natural, even my other mom friends who have watched her in action agree. Riley adores her and the two of them are like peas in a pod. I loved watching the two of them play in the pool together as Tata willingly played horsey, and dive master for quite a while. She even shared her sun-g's with our little Sassy who wasted no time setting herself up quite comfortably on a lounge chair with a snack.

See this pic? I gave birth to a mini Tata.

Riley snapped this photo of her Gammy enjoying the Hawaiian sun, a little too much as she would learn the next day.

Patiently waiting for her next jump.

She would do this all day if there were a willing catcher.

Even after a long flight, and all afternoon at the pool, Tata happily carried her mini me piggyback style to our hotel room.

Little man was in the water for a bit, but you can clearly see from his poor face that he was not well. He was still rocking his little band-aids from the shot and even got a band-aid tan.

When we got back to our room, it was naptime, and Riley asked Tata to lay with her for a while. It wasn't long before Gammy and Camden joined in.

After a naptime enjoyed by all, we met some of our Hawaiian based family for an early dinner. Camden was very fussy and so I plucked him out of the highchair and put him in my lap just in time for him to get sick all over me. I had to quickly excuse myself in tears from the table and dash to the hotel room.

When I got back to the room, I fed Cam and attempted to lay him down for the night, but he flat out refused. I then had an epic meltdown, not far from a toddler tantrum, where in tears I was saying that I just wanted to go home. My poor family, my husband and parents included, who knew that I was mostly just exhausted, spent a while trying to talk me down from my ledge. Finally my Dad convinced me that tomorrow would be a better day and sent me to bed. Proof that your job as a parent never ends, not even when your kids are almost 30. Good news is, he was right, the next day was better, for all of us, but one.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Strawberry Patch

Last Saturday was gorgeous. Sunny and breezy, and warm, but not too hot.

So we packed up a picnic lunch and wound up here.

The last time I picked strawberries Matt and I were young, in love and carefree for the summer. We took a daytrip adventure in our hometown to a tiny patch to pick some berries. That was a long time ago people, and little adventures like this make me so happy, and I was seriously excited about this.

Little man helped direct us to the field.

Where we and our little strawberry attired friends filled our baskets.

With these ruby beauties.

While Camden picked from this patch...

These adorable three year olds disussed their finds.

"See Mom, a saw-raw-berry!"

Then someone decided he wanted in on the pickin' fun.

So TG helped him find some good ones.

When all was said and done we had 2 lbs of the most mouthwatering strawberries ever. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to go back to enjoying the grocery store fare again.

And an "All Natural (Strawberry Stained) Beauty" giving me the goofiest grin ever.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Boy And His Popsicles

Some nights after dinner the kiddos get a popsicle for dessert. This night I knew little man wanted one because he retrieved the dilly bar from the play kitchen and was walking around and pretending to eat it.

Even after I gave him the real thing he couldn't be persuaded to give up the dilly bar. So doublefisting it is.

Who me?

Haha, this is tasty.

Halfway gone, maybe I should slow down.

Or maybe not...

Definitely not.

High on the deliciousness of fudgesicles.

On to the dilly bar!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hello Summer

Okay, so I know it's not technically summer yet, but it sure feels like it around here.

And when it's this hot there's nothing more fun than visiting our local fountain park. This is our third year coming here. The first year we watched our little Riley running about with glee. Last year we watched our newborn snoozing and talked happily about the time when he would be able to join his big sister.

And now that time has come. Last Thursday I loaded up our two sweet babies for Camden's first trip to the fountains.

When we got there the water was in an off cycle, so Camden didn't quite understand what was going on.

Riley, the old pro, immediately stationed herself in the path of impending water.

Her patience was rewarded.

I did wonder what Camden's reaction would be. Most babies aren't too fond of randomly spraying water surrounding them and hitting them in the face, but he loved it.

Riley ran circles around all the other little guys there, including her brother. Who loved sticking his chubby hand in the water.

She darted through the water a few times.

But she was no match for this little guy! Who cracked me up as everytime the water hit his face and he would violently blow raspberries.

Here's to many more days of summer fun. Less than two weeks to go!