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summer bucket list round-up

Dude. Summer, the bucket list, and this blog are getting away from me. Since I last updated, we have crossed a few more items off the list, but we have several that I’m afraid will be slipping into fall…

We went to the beach in South Carolina for a week at the end of July and had a lot of fun. Monkey and his 8 year old cousin had a great time, meaning that they made it kind of miserable for the rest of us. Bouncing off the walls, not listening, just running wild. I had to remind myself and others of how super annoying my cousins and I were around that age and what incredible fun we had back in the day. Monkey is still talking about his cousins and missing them. All’s well that ends well, I guess! We visited the Serpentarium and Botany Bay – our yearly excursions.

Monkey feeding turtles at the Serpentarium

serpent

 

Granny and MM at Botany Bay

bbay

Mama and Mommy had two dinners out – woot! We also discovered the joy of Firefly sweet tea flavored vodka and lemonade. Highly recommended!

We spent every day on the beach and in the water. The MM took daily beach naps, mostly on me but on my mom one day as well (she was in heaven).

Our beach setup

beach

 

Cousins on the beach

cousins

While we were in SC, we had a rented golfcart for the week so we can strike that one off the list as well. It is a life-saver as an activity that the kids love and the adults have fun with, too, when you’re not on the beach. Every evening we’d put the kids to bed and have cocktails and play games. The new favorite this year was Telestrations. A combination of Pictionary and Telephone – super fun and funny!

Boys passed out after day at the beach

asleep asleep2 asleep3

It was great to catch up with family (my parents, my brother/sil/kids, aunt, cousin, 2nd cousin) and we dropped the news to them that we are interested in relocating, probably to the Southeast. This will tell me who is actually reading this blog 🙂 Yes, we’ve decided that we really need to leave SoCal – too expensive, unappealing school options, etc. I’ll do another entry on this later, but figured I’d drop it here since it was a big deal to let my family in on it. Yes, they are all working on helping me find a job already 🙂

In terms of the bucket list items that are not crossed off the list, I am still holding tickets for the local trampoline jumping place and we also have a certificate for dance classes for Monkey (Hip Hop!), so those will be happening in the coming weeks. I’m bummed that we never made Gym.bor.ee classes happen for my little MM. I will be getting that going, too, as it can happen while Monkey is in school (he started his third and final year of preschool today). Monkey had a playdate last week at Noah’s Ark, which we’ve been to before and love, so another one off the list.

Total of  15 bucket list items complete. By the end of August, it’ll be more like 18. Not a bad tally!

Summer Bucket List

  • Trampoline place
  • Science Center to see the space shuttle (Endeavor)
  • Splash pad
  • Monkey attends camp for the first time
  • Swimming lessons
  • Dance classes
  • First Gymboree class for MM
  • Fly to the beach and spend a week playing with family
  • Ride in a golfcart
  • Wash Grandma’s car – not happening due to the drought here in CA
  • Go to the (local) beach
  • Touch a Truck event
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Drum circle
  • Plant flowers in pots on balcony – not happening due to the drought here in CA
  • Go miniature golfing
  • Go bowling
  • Visit Noah’s Ark
  • Go to Natural History Museum
  • Take the MM swimming for the first time
  • Mini vacation at fabulous resort on the beach (thanks, workplace!)
  • Go to the zoo
  • Go to the Getty
  • NEW: 4th of July parade
  • NEW: Go carts!
  • NEW: Visit a California Mission

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the perfect christmas present

Some of you are my Facebook friends and saw that I received a gift from my DW yesterday that brought on the waterworks and want to know what it is. So I’m telling you, my bloggy friends!

First a bit of backstory… We are big comic  book fans and about 10 years ago, DW got the idea to get commissions of ourselves from some of our favorite comic artists. One of those artists is Josh Howard, artist/writer of the great comic Dead @ 17. We absolutely loved the commission we got from him – it was our favorite of the bunch:

jh

After we had Monkey, I kept telling DW I really wanted to get another commission of our family from Josh. I’ve mentioned it frequently over the last few years, but DW told me that it would be much more expensive and that she wasn’t even sure if Josh did commissions anymore.

A few months ago DW started talking about having the perfect Christmas gift for me that I was going to really love. I had NO clue it was this:

portrait_preview

 

That’s right – a family portrait by Josh Howard! I opened it and turned it around and just started bawling. Like uncontrollable, crazy, full on crying. I had to leave the room to collect myself – it was that insane! I blame hormones for the full freak out, but I’m sure I’d have at the very least teared up even not pregnant. I love it so much! DW also had New Year’s cards made to send out with this image on them, so that’s why I haven’t shared it on Facebook yet (want it to be fresh for those receiving them via snail mail).

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday!

 

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10w5d: ultrasound pic and sharing the news

Just thought I’d share the u/s picture from our last RE visit last week. This little baby was moving all around like crazy already. I don’t remember Monkey being active this early last time around!

We also went ahead and told my mom yesterday. She was happy and couldn’t believe we kept the whole thing a secret this time around. I guess since she (and everyone else in our world) knew every detail from before we were even pregnant last time, it would be a shock to just hear, “I’m almost 11 weeks pregnant!” Hahaha. I did tell her not share with anyone else (aside from my Dad) until after our 1st tri screen (which is scheduled for Oct. 25).

We intended to tell DW’s mom last night, too, but in her usual fashion, she has a health crisis that she called to share and it just didn’t seem to be the right timing. Of course, I’m not sure when it will be right, and I’m sure she’ll cry and make it all about her and how we should have had babies when we/she were younger so she could do more. Sigh. Her latest issue is that she has to have a major back surgery and she wants to come over and discuss it with us. I assume this means that she is going to be in need of some care after surgery, but I hope she realizes that DW can’t do it beyond a day or two. I’m sure I sound terrible, but I swear there has been one crisis after another with her for years now. I’m just numb to it now because it happens all the time.

Anyway, enjoy the u/s pic and imagine a very happy Granny!

 

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“vacation”

Sorry for being so MIA. DW was sick as a dog for like 2 weeks, I had a bit of depression around the BFN, and now we are at the beach with my MiL for a week (I’m working while we’re here). Things are fine, but I just can’t wait to go home. We knew this wasn’t going to be the most fun ever kind of vacation because we have difficulties with MiL, so spending a week with her wasn’t going to be easy. But I’m about to go rabid dog on her because she keeps trying to discipline Monkey even when both of his parents are here doing so. And she does things I really REALLY don’t like or agree with. It’s driving me kind of insane. I can’t decide whether I need to just let it go (which is what I’ve been doing) or if this is a test of my mothering and I need to step up and tell her to cut it out.

The two things that are really just not on and have my hackles up are:

  1. She YELLS out, “NO!” when he does something she doesn’t like/he shouldn’t be doing. Now we of course tell him no, but we do not scream or yell at him unless he is in physical danger if he doesn’t stop whatever it is he’s doing (and I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened in his 2.5 years of life). Instead we try to gently explain why he shouldn’t do what he’s doing and redirect. Usually works, no need for the yelling.
  2. Last night he was pulling my hair and DW and I were telling him to stop, that it hurts mama, be gentle, etc. This has become a fun game for him and it is really annoying, but you know, he’s 2. We will continue to do as we have and one day he’ll be old enough to understand. What did MiL do? When it was all over she looked at him and said, “I’m disappointed in you.” OMG I wanted to slap her. If you want to say you’re unhappy with a behavior, okay, but don’t tell my child you’re disappointed in him. That shit is mean and if I don’t do it, I sure as hell don’t want anyone else doing it. He studiously avoided her for about an hour and she made some comment about having “shamed him.” Pissed. Me. Off. I really don’t think I can let something like this slide again. I am just so furious about it.

I know that part of this is that I don’t feel she has earned the right to do any sort of disciplining. She has had one health crisis after another since before he was born so she has never helped us with him beyond coming over to play with him while one of us is home. Not to mention when both of his parents are right there, there is simply no need for anyone else to voice their opinion in the matter.

We are also cooped up in a small, not at all toddler friendly home in a totally non-toddler friendly environment (there is no yard to play in, the beach across the street is down a steep staircase and there is a sheer drop from the road to the beach with no fencing or anything for the entire length of the street), so I feel like the deck is stacked against my poor baby. DW is being great and driving him to a park or an activity every morning and every afternoon, so at least there’s that. But when he’s here, it’s constant redirecting and her shouting NO and ugh, ugh, UGH!

We leave Saturday. It can’t come soon enough.

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granny and papa visit

Sorry for being so MIA lately. My parents were in town from last Thursday through this morning. We had a lot of fun, but I’m ready to have my house back. We (finally) had Monkey’s 2nd birthday party last Saturday at a bounce house place. It was a ton of fun! The kids all had a blast (the adults did, too).

Image

We hit all of Monkey’s hotspots, including two local malls, our park, and Gymboree. We also took them to the Getty for the first time.

ImageIt is always a little sad to drop them off at the end of the visit. We’ll see them again in July for the annual beach trip 🙂

ION, we toured our local co-op nursery school yesterday and put Monkey on the list for next Fall. Craziness! It is walking distance from our house and very affordable. Another two mom family we know has their oldest enrolled and will be starting their youngest in the fall. He is 10 days younger than Monkey and they have weekly playdates, so it will be nice to have a friend on the first day 🙂 I can’t believe we are already to pre-school!

Monkey is talking up a storm lately. This morning when we left the house, he said, “Bye bye! See you soon!” Hahahahaha! Every day he has new words and better pronunciation than the day before. He loves to count and can get to 13 now (“thu-thu-thu-teen!”). He can also identify and say many letters. It’s happening fast and furious these days. He’s also done a bit of backsliding on sleep lately – maybe there’s a connection there. We’ve been up between 4-4:30 for a few weeks now after reaching 5:30-6 for quite a while. Let’s hope we’re back there again soon! Mama is so tired!

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misc. update

It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I have lots of disjointed things to discuss. So here goes…

2 year checkup

Monkey had his 2 year appointment on the 5th. It was the first time he was able to be weighed and measured like a big boy (standing on the scale). He freaked out! I have no idea why, but we weren’t able to get accurate stats for weight and height. Sigh. He did much better in the exam room, allowing Dr. S to look in his eyes, ears, and mouth with no problem at all. Wouldn’t you think that would be freakier than standing on a scale? Oh, Monkey. Anyway, all checked out just fine and we were in and out in half an hour. There was one vaccination – Hepatitis A. There were tears for that one, but that’s to be expected. I can’t believe we now have a whole year before his next regular exam! Yay!

Talking

Monkey has really amped up in this area. He is now putting phrases and sentences together like crazy and he has tons of words. He’s continually surprising us with what he knows. It’s so cool! He remembers stuff and talks about that, too. Like we had a beautiful full moon last night. This morning he said, “[Monkey] see moon!” And he talks about our friends’ dog who likes to chase balls (“Doggy chase ball.”). Yesterday we had a late holiday thing with some friends and there many Christmas cookies out. Monkey was constantly at the counter reaching up and saying, “[Monkey] cookie now!” Hahahaha! Adorbs.

Birthday party

We are having Monkey’s second birthday party on Jan. 21st at a place near us that is all bounce houses. It’s kind of pricey, but it’ll be fun and also nice not to have to do much but just show up. They are providing food (pizza) and decorations, and we are bringing cupcakes and a fruit platter. A friend had his son’s birthday at a place like this last year and it was a blast for kids and adults. Here is the cute invitation we sent out. I really wanted to get these cupcake toppers, but it’s silly expensive once you factor in shipping and getting enough for 24 cupcakes. I need to get crafty and learn how to make these sort of things… We figure we’ll just get some generic birthday-themed toppers and cupcake holders in primary colors and be done with it.

Granny and Papa visit

My parents are coming out next week for a visit. My dad is staying for 4-5 days and my mom will be here for a week. I took the whole time off, so we should have some good times. We are contemplating Disneyland, but I’m not sure Monkey is quite ready yet. No matter what we do, it’ll be nice to have them around. I know they miss seeing Monkey. Maybe Mama and Mommy can even squeeze in some couple time. What a concept!

Teething/sleeping

The teething situation has improved greatly since my last post. We are back to our normal nighttime routine (nursing a lot, but not up in the night for hours). I think he’s still teething, though, as I’m still seeing blood on the toothbrush and I’m brushing very gently with a soft-bristled brush. It is very difficult to get his teeth brushed as he fights it like crazy. We have to hold him down and brush, which we all hate. I’m worried about cavities but I’m not sure what I can do that we aren’t already doing. When do you typically start taking a kid to the dentist? I’ve heard 3, which makes sense, but I’m kind of concerned about waiting that long when he doesn’t let us brush appropriately. Argh.

General 2-ness

Monkey has decided lately that he HATES having a shirt put on. It takes forever to get him dressed to go anywhere, and sometimes we end up having to hold him down while he screams and cries and force a shirt on him. We try to get his PJ top on, but if he fights us (and he usually does lately), we let him sleep in just his PJ pants. Just this morning I was able to get him by just heading for the front door and saying, “Let’s go outside!” He came over and allowed me to put his shirt on. It’d be nice if this were a new trend, but I’m not holding my breath. He also pitches a fit when it’s time to go home after having fun somewhere. I find that just letting him have the tantrum (lay down on the ground and cry and generally freak out) while I stand or kneel nearby quietly works best. The tantrum ends fairly quickly and then we are on our merry way. I’m a little scared of 3 – everyone tells us that 3 is the worst in terms of tantrums and toddler craziness.

TTC #2?

Still not sure where we are here. Weaning is not happening right now, but we’re planning to start trying with it soon. I wanted to wait until the teething situation improved and lately it has. At some point here we’re going to have to bite the bullet and just do it. It’s going to be H.A.R.D. Any of you have any success with this lately? I know there were a few of us talking about starting the process.

 

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ten lords a-leaping

Topic: Achievements of 2011
I think the biggest achievement is simply making it through the year considering Monkey’s terrible sleeping habits 🙂 I’m only half kidding! A personal top achievement is getting a new position at work. I was really unhappy and just done with the work I was doing in my old department, so getting the opportunity to do something new and exciting while also working from home 99% of the time is just huge. I’m also so thankful that I was able to keep my salary so DW could continue to be a SAHM. That was really important to us, so I’m just thrilled we are making it happen.
Other than that, I can’t think of anything out of the ordinary. We are all healthy and happy and together and for that, I’m grateful. Bring on 2012!

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