Monday, February 16, 2015

Book #1. Check.

I did it! I have finished my first book of 2015 and we are only 6 weeks in! This was a page turner and good jumpstart into my resolution.  I had trouble putting it down and at points it was quite haunting.  I am not sure how I feel about the ending, it started to read more like a movie script (which I am sure it will be someday) but it had me questioning "who dunnit?" for most of the book.  I would definitely recommend for an easy read. It would be perfect sipping a cocktail poolside on a tropical vacation, but it was just as good in a walk-in closet early in the morning too. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Typical Day - Bo at 5 months, Jake at 27 months

I have been meaning to do this post for a while.  Its always fun to look back on the different seasons, the seasons of change in your days when you spend them with little kids.  In Jake's first two years there have been many seasons. There was the season of stroller naps, the season of waking up at 5 am at the latest, the season of playing inside only, the season of playing outside only, the seasons before Baby Bo and the seasons after.

There isn't a single thing I do in my life that doesn't revolve around the boys.  Not a single thing.  There is no point in the day when I am not considering them in some way and how my decisions (big and small) will affect them.  I actually think this is a quality unique to a stay-at-home Mom.  Not because working Moms have some kind of free time or anything like that, but when they are at work, they are making decisions throughout the day that affect their jobs…not their kids (for the most part).  Of course there are things like the 5pm meeting that just pops up and they have to consider daycare, or a presentation that runs over and they miss their time to pump…  Nobody has it easy, but when you are at home and your only job is the little people in your house your entire world revolves there.  I have seriously gone off on a tangent, but when I started to think about our days, it hit me.  For better or worse, this life is dedicated to Jake and Bo these days.  Lucky them and lucky me.

 I want to document what our days have looked like in these early months of two kids.  Someday I am sure I can look back and laugh and think - yikes, that was a little nutty.

5:00 am - I wake up to get showered, sometimes Bo beats the alarm and I nurse and then shower and get ready.

5:45 - 6:00 am - On a lucky day I will be done showering and the house will still be quiet…at least for about 10 minutes and I will sit in our walk-in closet while everyone else sleeps and just enjoy the quiet before the day goes.  Sometimes I will read or make a grocery list or just take my time getting dressed.

6:00am - It is rare that we hit 6am without someone awake.  So usually I am going to get them.  If it is Jake I will stall in his bedroom until 6:30 because his oh-so quiet arrival downstairs will undoubtedly wake up his brother.

6:15 am to 6:30 am - The other one is up.  Now its go time.

6:30 to 7:30 am - My Mom once told me that her biggest fear when she had my sister was that we would both be hungry at the same time and she would be nursing and I would want food.  Its funny that that was her biggest fear and she said somehow it worked out and it never really happened.  That is especially funny because it happens to me every. single. day.

So, sometimes I make Jake a quick smoothie and give him that because the negotiations to get him into his high chair can take a good 20 minutes.  I'll nurse Bo and then focus on some real food for Jake.

I get everyone out of their overnight diapers and pajamas and we get dressed.  I have never been a hang out in pajamas kind of person and I fear I am passing that onto my kids.

7:30 am - Bo is ready an hour after he wakes up for his first nap.  It can be anywhere from 30 minutes to over 90 minutes, but most often I would say about an hour.  I rock him to sleep at naps and discovered quickly that while Jake will play quietly for about 10 minutes, if it takes any longer than that to get Bo asleep he will charge right into his room and speak in his oh-so quiet (closer to a yelling) voice about what he needs…so, enter Curious George or Mickey Mouse.  These two guys save the day and make for a nice quiet and occupied time so I can get Bo down….and then I won't lie, probably another episode so I can have some breakfast and some sanity.

8:30 am  - Wow…its only 8:30, we have done a lot already.  Jake and I will play in the playroom until Bo wakes up.  Its fun to have this time just with him and its a good way to start the day.

9 ish - Bo wakes up and I feed him again so that we can head out on our "adventure" for the day.

9:30ish - 11:30ish - Adventure time, this could include a play date with friends, meeting up with Grandparents or having them come visit at our house, it could be Target or Fred Meyer or other errands, or maybe just another destination - kid-friendly or not - for us to check-out.

10:30 to 11:00 ish -  Bo is ready for another nap and this one almost always happens on the go, usually in the car and ending with him in his carseat in his room.

11:30 to 1:30 - This is by far the craziest and fastest time of the day.  Its about a 2 hour routine that ends in two kids sleeping if all goes as planned. Which right now happens more than you would think, but I can feel it changing as I type. When we get home I usually take Bo inside to continue his nap while Jake plays in the backyard (weather permitting, but this means, no hurricanes or monsoons, every other weather he will play in) I get some stuff done in the kitchen making lunches and wait for Bo to get up, usually by noon.  I will then nurse him on the kitchen floor by the back door so I can keep an eye on the little crazy.  Jake is super happy and independent during this time.  He likes to have his lunch at his picnic table in the garage and he busies himself with all kinds of things outside.  He particularly enjoys soaking himself and anything else he can find with the rain water that accumulates in one of my planters.  Gross, but he loves it.

My target is always to have us heading upstairs to Jake's room by 12:30.  All 3 of us pile in the chair for some books and then I lay Bo on the floor, pick up Jake, get him "tucked in" and do a few songs.  In a perfect world he would quietly head off to dreamland as I leave the room, but it is usually at least 30 minutes of partying before he nods off.  Meanwhile I take Bo directly down to his room (around 1:15 ish now) and rock him to sleep for a nap.

1:30 to 2:00 pm  - Usually all kids are contained for at least this 30 minutes where I run around the house, then make my lunch and usually enjoy it in front of a few minutes of Days of our Lives.  I know, sad but true.  I never have the TV on during the day, but this is my guilty pleasure.

2:00 ish to 4:00 ish - Bo gets up from his nap and I feed him again. We play in the living room for a while and then he plays on the kitchen floor while I do dinner prep or bake something.  I usually tell him everything I am doing and it feels like I am on a cooking show.  He will be ready for his last nap about 90 minutes after he gets up. Most days I will leave Bo's room just in time to see Jake waking up.

4:00ish to 6:00 ish - This is the home stretch.  If Bo takes his last nap (4th) then Jake and I will play in the playroom outside until he wakes up.  Some days I take them both on a run.  Once Bo is up he is fed again (storing up for the night) and I get Jake some dinner too.  Then we might go on one last walk for the day and if the weather permits we might even be outside when Brian gets home about 6.

5:30 ish to 7:30 ish - Depending if Brian is home for bedtime or not and when/if there were naps in the afternoon determines when the whole bedtime process starts and how it goes, but usually we take them up for a bath. Bo goes first and then I take him downstairs, nurse him and get him to bed while Brian gives Jake his bath and gets him in his PJs.  Then I head back upstairs and read books with Jake, sing songs, and get him to bed.

7:00 ish to 8:30 ish - Kids are usually all in bed at this point and hopefully asleep too.  If we haven't eaten as soon as Brian got home then we eat now, or maybe just clean up if we scarfed it down when he got home.  We usually watch some DVR, I might get something ready for us to do the next day, eat some cookies, drink some beer or wine, and head upstairs. I'm almost always asleep by 9 these days, Brian by 10ish.

Sometime between 10:30 and 2 Bo wakes up for a feeding, or just to hang out, I am trying to figure that out.

Sometime between 2 and 5 Bo wakes up again.

Sometime around 5 it starts all over again.

And that my friends, is what life is like these days.  It's a whole lotta fun and whole lotta work and I have a lot more wrinkles than I did 2 years ago.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Naptime Nonsense: Fudgie Brownies

We didn't have dessert in the house for about 24 hours.  That was about 24 hours too many.   So while I should have been folding laundry or cleaning something I decided to make a little batch of deliciousness.  I've made a bunch of brownie recipes in the past, there are links to about 6 million on Pinterest, but this old recipe from a family friend doesn't disappoint.  One glance at the recipe list can give you a clue why (ahem, butter, ahem)…yum.

1 one-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate 
(the whole package of the kind below)
1 cup of butter (butter only)
2 cups sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup walnut pieces (I am a nutless brownie kind of girl myself)

Get crazy with a sprinkle of Reeses mini pb cups or chocolate chips on top. Or both.

1. Pre-heat oven to 350
2. Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat in a heavy pan. 
3. Remove from heat and add sugar, egg, vanilla
4. Mix well
5. Add flour, salt…and if you must, nuts
6. Poor into 9x9 inch pan lined with parchment paper 
7. Sprinkle with chocolate chips/PB cup pieces if desired
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes

Don't worry, I won't be starting a food photography blog anytime soon.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Reach for the stars, then just hope to survive

Clearly this post is about my 2015 resolutions. Since my 2014 resolutions were such an absolute success (not at all) I thought I should do it again.  Maybe putting goals out there to the Internet will make them come true.  One thing I have learned with kids, set the bar REALLY low, at least as it relates to doing stuff for yourself.   Lets review my past failures before we talk about the amazing things I will achieve in 2015.

2014 Recap : So I figured I should probably make a few goals for myself this year. 

- Exercise more than I did last year (I can tell you already I will fail here)
- Create less garbage
- AT LEAST once a week do something fun with Brian
- Blog consistently
- Read 6 books

That's it!  That is completely attainable, don't you think?

Here is why I chose these -
Exercise - obvious, but it is the one thing that I have not made time for in this first year with a child. I have found it incredibly difficult to exercise regularly.  That's a huge adjustment for the person who worked out 7 days a week and started EVERY day that way.  I used to run 10 miles every Saturday.  I haven't run 10 miles since early 2012. Yikes.

I was already pregnant with Bo when I wrote this, so clearly the hormones got to me, this was the most unrealistic one…by far.

Garbage - we have trash pick-up every other week and recycling and compost every week.  We had to get a bigger can from the trash company because we always fill it and have overflow.  Granted, we had a lot of diapers this year, but we have a lot of other trash too.  I'll be honest, I am on garbage duty and on trash day I am embarrassed that we have the biggest (fullest) can on the block. What the hell is in there???  So I bought a countertop compost and am doing my best to be sure compost and recycle are used as much as possible.

When I am pregnant for the first 12 to 18 weeks I feel TERRIBLE. So the last thing I wanted to do a couple times a week was empty old food from a compost.  We failed here, miserably.  I will say our recycling bin is always full, but that could also have to do with our Amazon addiction.

Fun - Brian and I are both tired at the end of the day and most nights we end up eating dinner (with the TV on) and then watching mindless shows or sports all night until bed.  We both need some nights like that but we were getting sick of every night being like that.  So we created a new system…but honestly that is a post by itself…coming soon.

We had fun, but it was a sober fun and for the next 10 weeks after this post it wasn't much fun at all. I was in bed right after Jake most nights.  We did go out on more dates than the year before, but we still have lots of room for improvement on our evenings.  Our idea was to put a bunch of different things to do in a jar and we would draw one out on Sunday for the week.  Things like - cook dinner together, watch a movie, read (not together, just no TV), play a game, blah blah…we failed... 

Blog - I like this place, I like writing (mostly about my kid), but about me too and going back to read it later.  I don't care if only like 4 people read it, it isn't for them anyway.  It's for us, a place to document our adventures, a place to have a creative outlet, and a place to post my baby's face all over. 

You can just scroll over the dates of all my posts to know what happened here. Yikes. 2014 had 12 posts…while 2013 had 68. Fail.

Read - Yep, that would be 6 more books than I read last year. Embarrassing, but true. So one every 2 months, seems totally possible, although it is February 1st and I haven't started one yet….

I read 2 books in 2014.  That is 2 more than in 2013…if I keep that up, I will read 6 books in 2016.  Shoot for the stars.

Ok, so lets try again.  My goals are as follows, making them a little more measurable.  I'm sure thats the only reason I didn't succeed last year  -
- Run a half marathon
- Try at least 2 new recipes a month
- Have a no TV night once a week
- Blog once a week
- Read 4 books

I can do this. I can. I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Hopefully these two monkeys don't screw it up for me, they are dangerously cute.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Jake Says:

Jake provides a constant narration of our day and everyday there are adorable and entertaining things that come out of his mouth.  Here are some of my favorites from the past few weeks - 

Mama: "Jake, do you want to go to Target?"
Jake:  "No, just Fred Meyer"

He imitates everything exactly - 
Mama at the Indoor Park : "Jake, did you make some friends?"
Jake watching the kids (probably 5 to 10 years older than him) walk down the hallway: "Where did some friends went?"

Adding an "ie" to everything - Georgie (Curious George), glovesies (his mittens)

Jake looking at a Caldecott award winning book : "This book has money on it."

Things are always "For Jakey"…
Mama: "I'm making some enchiladas."
Jake: "Yeah, for Jakey"

Mama: "I'm folding Papa's laundry"
Jake: "Yeah, for Jakey..for Jake"

Mama: "Jake, are you tired?"
Jake: "No, I'm a brother."

Things are often - "silly" and "too hot"
Things he is probably not supposed to be doing, usually on furniture - "This is fun!"

Jake after Jake sneezes: "Bless you me"
Jake after Mimi sneezes:  "Bless you you"

Jake after getting all dressed in his construction vest, hat, and tools : "Lets go on a walk"
Mama: "Where do you want to go?"
Jake: "Starbucks"

Some his favorite phrases, usually used in the correct context include:
"Hmmmm, let's see…" (with finger to lips)
"real quick"
"in a few minutes"
"I should probably grab…" (example would be a tape measure to go to the grocery store)
Answer to any question lately: "Well…."

And my favorite that I didn't actually get to witness - 
Mimi putting Jake to bed and leaving the room: "I love you Jakey"
Jake: "Mama loves me too"

Love this little guy.