Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Her Second Birthday Was a Day of Firsts

We celebrated Mimi's second birthday with a day of firsts.

Her first trip to ECFE:

To be accurate, she actually accompanied Tyson and I to ECFE several times as an infant, but yesterday was her first trip outside of a Moby carrier. I took Tyson to ECFE on a regular basis when he was little. Unfortunately for Mimi, she's suffering from second child syndrome-I've been meaning to take her for at least the last 6 months and just managed to sneak it in yesterday.

She loved "school", sat well during circle time, participated in the songs and had fun in the motor room. Model student-except for the part when she screamed, "CAKE NOW!" after her class sang, "Happy Birthday" to her.

As a result of ECFE, we also hung her first ever art project on the fridge-a lovely paper plate fish.

Last night, we capped off her birthday with her first trip to Chucky Cheese. For the record, the first time Tyson attended Chucky Cheese was also on his second birthday. A fact that helped to pacify any Mommy guilt I felt over the ECFE delay. She was a little apprehensive at first, but quickly warmed up to the giant and apparently lovable mouse. The whole concept of Chucky Cheese is still a little confusing to me.....

A second birthday of firsts was rough on the Mommy heart, but good for my little girl who will always be my baby.

PS:- Tyson is also having a first today! His first play date without Mommy or Daddy. To say he is excited is a bit of an understatement. To say I am nervous is a HUGE understatement.

Monday, February 24, 2014


My little Mimi,

Today my baby will turn two. That's you, by the way-my baby. Despite your relentless efforts to convince me you are "actually five", today we will celebrate your second birthday. It feels entirely impossible that two years could have flown by this fast-in what seems like a blink of an eye-but, yet, the calendar says today is February 24th 2014, and so....

Two years ago today, this happened for the first time:

I remember it vividly-your long eyelashes and fingers, your sweet little lips, your bright eyes staring back at me. I knew then that you were beautiful. I knew that I was madly in love with you. I knew that you could capture your Daddy's attention by just glancing his way. I knew that your brother would adore you and keep you safe. I knew that you would bring so, so much joy to our lives.

But there was so much I DIDN'T know about you.....

I didn't know that you would have such spunk and character-that, after warming up, you would love to be the center of attention. That you would sing along to Katy Perry's, "Roar" at the top of your lungs. I didn't know that you would love to dance-especially if it involved a few rounds of "Ring Around the Rosie." I didn't know your party face or the way you tilt your head when you talk or the cute smirks that would accompany the way you say, "Nooooo!!"

I didn't know how independent you would be. That you would be the one to teach your older brother how to play alone. I didn't know that you would love blocks just as much as you love babies. I didn't know that you would have such an amazing imagination. I didn't know that you'd request eighteen different items/lovies/books in your bed before going to sleep each night or that you would love to cuddle after waking up more than you would before going to bed.

I didn't know just how smart you would be. That you would be able to sing your ABCs and count to "fifteen" by age two.  I didn't know that your vocabulary would continually amaze me. I didn't know that you would talk so darn much. That when you would say, "Silly Mommy!" and "Love you back!" my heart would skip.

When I held you for the first time, I didn't know that I could love you anymore than I did at that moment. But, I do, baby. All of these things I didn't know about you two years ago have only made me love you so, so much more.

Today we will celebrate you. All that you are at age two and everything I don't know about you today that will only make me love you that much more in the future.

Happy second (or fifth) birthday, Mimi!



Monday, February 17, 2014

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Like the rest of America with toddlers, I took Tyson to see Disney's "Frozen". Unlike the rest of America, we actually were frozen when we attended the movie. The outside temperature at the time of the showing was -19.

We were the only ones in the theater. No one else was stupid enough to see a movie called, "Frozen" when they were living it in real life.

Despite the potential frost bite we risked voyaging out, we both loved the movie, particularly the songs. "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" happened to be a favorite for both of us.

Until Tyson took the song literally-singing it everyday and really REALLY wanting us to build
his own personal Olaf.

Unfortunately for him, it's continued to be really REALLY cold and Mama has no desire to lose appendages to frostbite while building a snowman.

I attempted to pacify him (and stay warm!) by building indoor snowmen.

Our first project was a door snowman we found on Pinterest. I found him cute, but our door is painted green, so, without the black and white effect he kind of looks like he might be coming down with something, Also, as Tyson pointed out, door snowman can't give warm hugs like Olaf.

After a second quick search on Pinterest, we set out to make sock snowmen (see also; make a mess out of our kitchen).

I am still cleaning rice off of our floor, but the end result was perfect. Meet our cute huggable snowmen... our own personal Olafs.

I'm off to get some warm hugs.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Florida 2014

Oh, hi.

We just returned from a two week vacation to Florida where it was sunny and 80 most of the days. Nap time involved reading a book near a pool and I was always working on at least a 3:2 adult to kid ratio.  Needless to say, the vacation really helped to solidify how much I enjoy "staying home" with the kids.

Despite months of intense anxiety over the plane ride, we all arrived in Florida unharmed. Considering what I was up against- connecting flights, a near two year old who doesn't like to sit still and knows how to throw an mean temper tantrum, four hours of air time, potential weather delays, and overlap with nap time-I was floored that nobody lost their arm or their mind somewhere over the mid-west.



Our first full day was spent at the beach where Mila repeatedly said, "I not like sand!" and refused to move from her beach chair. I had no complaints with her tactics. Watching a near two year old who refuses to move from her chair at the beach is a complete picnic.

Tyson and Daddy spent their day playing Frisbee and building sand castles and going swimming and going to look at fish and going to look at birds and burying themselves in the sand and going body surfing and going swimming again. 4 is a magical age where Tyson only wants to do stuff with Daddy. At first this crushed me, but I quickly realized watching Tyson and Daddy do all of the above is also a complete picnic compared to actually doing all of the above.

Plus, this left me with the really difficult task of tending to Mila in her beach chair.

We spent two days in Lake Wales, FL with Grandpa Tom and Grandma LaNea. The kids adjusted to life in the 55+ community quite well taking over the shuffleboard courts and bowling alleys within minutes.

On our coldest day back in Fort Myers, we visited Manatee Park where we watched hundreds of manatees warm themselves in the river.

To be honest, I mainly documented this outing so I could post a picture showing that our coldest day there still allowed us to wear shorts. Suck it, winter.

We spent another day at the beach with Daddy before he headed home. Mila ventured out of her beach chair to help Tyson and I build a sandman. Unfortunately for me, this marked the end of her hatred of sand. Unfortunately for Nanny and Papa, no longer hating the sand meant carting half of the beach home in her swimsuit for them to sweep up later.

The kids and I stayed 4 extra nights after Dan headed home. 4. Extra. Nights. (in 80+ degree weather!) Did I mention that no longer working has it's perks?

We crammed quite a bit into the 4 extra days we had with Nanny and Papa-biking, water parks, dancing at happy hour, another trip to the beach, starfish, long walks outside, cartoons by the pool, breakfast outside, and swimming.


Lots and lots of swimming. It' possible I'm raising two fish and not two humans. On a side note, if you combine up the amount of sand and water they paraded into Nanny and Papa's house over the two weeks we were there it might be possible to build a man-made beach.

For the record, our return flight home wasn't quite as smooth. I nearly lost my mind somewhere near Atlanta.  The temperature when we landed was -9. The laundry pile was astronomical. And, just yesterday-when I sat down to write this blog- our dog walked through wet cement and then tracked said cement through most of the rest of the house.

Reality bites, but I still don't think I'm heading back to work any time soon.