Tuesday, December 16, 2014


This is the first year that the whole idea of Christmas and Santa are actually a thing in our house.  I'm not sure that Riesling fully understands what is going on but she at least is catching on to the concept and is really excited about the whole holiday season.  She is loving some of the Christmas movie classics like 'Charlie Brown Christmas' and 'Mickey's Christmas Carol' and adores signing Christmas carols (I am trying so hard to get her on video but of course she always clams up as soon as I started recording).  As for Santa, the verdict is still out.

We went to visit Santa last weekend and her reaction was classic.  She was so excited on the way there (after some disappointment when she realized we weren't going to the North Pole) but immediate panic set in when she actually saw him.  She REFUSED to go near him at first, so Winnie took a turn....

That went well.  

I really wanted to get the girls together on his lap.  I dressed them in matching fleece and everything.  Riesling basically glued herself to the floor and refused to even wiggle towards him. 
So we opted for the family photo approach. 

She was clinging to my neck so tightly I could barely breath.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Santa is actually our neighbor and it just makes the whole thing even funnier.  She did end up sitting on my lap next to Santa for a minute long enough to tell him (or let me tell him) that she wants a soft Elsa doll and books...and Sofee dog wants bones. 

She lingered for awhile in the building and watched some other brave kids sit with Santa but she was sure to keep her far distance.  When we got into the car to go home she suddenly got little tears in her eyes and said, "Wait.  Did I get the stuff I asked Santa for?  Is it in the car?"   Poor girl.  So confusing.  She thought it was Christmas.  Actually makes good sense.  She knew Santa was the one in charge of presents and we did just see him....why the heck didn't she get any presents?! 

A little later in the day she says...."He wasn't as jolly as I was thinking." 

What are you talking about sweet little 2 year old...."Santa.  He wasn't so jolly.  That's why I didn't want to talk to him.  I think he was tired."

Sounds about right.  It is a long trip down from the North Pole.

Riesling's past Santa encounters:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Kids say the darnest things


"Elsa texted me on my phone and said it was OK"

"Just scampering down the hall."  I think scamper is one of her favorite words.

 Immediately upon walking in the door from work:  " Hi Mommy. I had 2 little incidents with Sam tonight."Total tattle tale...on herself all the time

Dressed up with fairy wings looking in the hall mirror: "I am looking at my reflection and it says my wings are just a little too droopy."

"Just spending some extra time in the laundry room making sure the soap bubbles are just right."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Wish List

Just wishing for a few simple things this year:

*New Hoodie:  It's a staple in my wardrobe but I'm due for an update.  I'm not too picky. Right now I'm rotating between a decade old NYCC one and a plain gray one that I picked up at the thrift store for $1.00.  Just as long as it comfy.

*Yoga pants: Another big player in my day to day.  I'm thinking maybe the legging style for a change though, easy to tuck into my black furry boots for the winter too. 

*Protection filter for my Canon.  This is something I've been meaning to pick up for a long while.  It just makes sense to spend a little to save you from a major expense if your lens breaks.  Especially with 2 little one around. 

*A cute camera strap.  They have some really cute ones on Etsy
DSLR SLR Padded Camera Strap - Custom Order

*Digital picture frame.  I have sooooo many pictures on the computer but hardly any printed or displayed in the house.  My in-laws have the digital frame we got them a few years back in their living room and I love seeing all the pictures rotating through when we're over to visit. 

What's on your wish list?
Have you started/finished your shopping yet?  I'm soooo close to being done, just a few random things left.  I LOVE online shopping!

Monday, December 8, 2014

10 Months (and LOTS of pictures!)

Our little Winnie is 10 months old today!  I can not imagine where the time has gone.  She is such a content little gal and very laid back.

 Sweet lil Wyn, 10 months

But, don't let her fool you!  She is an ornery one.  She had been on the move for moves and gets into everything.  She is a climber, which Riesling never was, and gracefully and quietly gets into and onto bookshelves, tables, chairs, sofa, toys.  She always looks back over her shoulder with this little innocent grin just to see if anyone is really watching her.  What a lil stinker! We had to step up our babyproofing game and anchor some stuff to the walls that I had never really worried about with Riesling. 
 It's so funny on their individual personalities start surfaces so early.  I can't wait to watch this little one grow.

She had a big weekend with her first 2 teeth finally coming in and her first 2 unassisted steps!  Today she took another 3 or 4 but mostly seems to be sticking to pushing her wagon around or climbing all over anything and everything.  I know she is just going to take off running one of these days.  Lord help me!

Thinking about chasing Sofee dog

I can't believe we have gone from welcoming baby Winnie....

  1 Month...

 2 months...

3 months...

 4 months...

 5 months...

 6 months...
 7 months...

 8 months...

 9 months....

And here we are.  My two little gals having a tea party with Minnie Mouse.  Even looking through the pictures I'm not sure how they both managed to get so big.  It's like all the sudden...BAM...

Sunday, December 7, 2014


 We had a pretty low key but productive weekend here.  The tree is up, the house decorated and fairly clean.  Monday Monday is rolling around again.  Things I hope to get accomplished this week....

*Order Christmas cards.  I feel like I'm a little behind on it this year but hoping if I order them tonight I have a shot at getting them to recipients close to Christmas.

*Pick up random holiday decorations and craft supplies.  Definitely need to get a stocking for Wyn and a holder.

*Work on holiday craft projects. I have a few things planned for Riesling and I to do together...I'll let you know how it goes.  Very hit or miss with her these days!

*Shave my legs.  It is absolutely ridiculous that this is on my To-do list but it's been an embarrassing long time since I've shaved and at this point it will take a little time to get the job done.  I figure I'll pretend it's a spa treatment and even bust out the sugar scrub and fancy smelling lotions.

*Survive the DMV.  I need to renew my drivers license and have been avoiding it for months!  My 60 day extension with the online renewal is almost up so i have to get this done. BOOOO

*Clean the laundry room.  It is an explosion of random holiday decorations, sparkles, and irty socks.

What is on your list for the week?  Are the holidays taking over yet? How do you keep up with the day to day when the season gets hectic?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I Can Fly!

Riesling is OBSESSED with Peter Pan.  It's the funniest thing.  One day back in early September, she jumped up from the couch and started running up the stairs to her room.  "I need to find a green shirt and pants so I can be Peter Pan!"  At that moment I had no idea how she even knew who Peter Pan was, but it was obvious by the very serious gaze straight into my eyes when making the request that this was a real and immediate need for this 2 year old. No time for questions.  Get this girl a green outfit pronto! Somehow I was able to round up a pair of greenish leggings and a shirt and Peter Pan was born.

 watching YouTube clip of 'I can Fly'

It turns out that we have a Peter Pan record, which is how the whole thing started.  It still amazes me that a few pictures on a record album cover and listening to it maybe twice sprung such an intense passion.  We then discovered that we actually have a version of the book in our hand-me-down stash, which I have now read at least a million times, and she most certainly has it memorized.

Her interest quickly grew.  The family was assigned accompanying roles:  Wyn is Tinkerbell, Daddy is John Darling, Mommy is Wendy, and Sofee dog is Nana the St. Bernard.  Don't even try to request a change in character.  And don't break role.  When Peter Pan is in the house she will answer to nothing else and she will only address us as our Peter Pan characters (just tonight she was 98% asleep and started mumbling for some water and addressed me as Wendy).   Jim continues to request a switch to Captain Hook but Peter Pan won't allow it because "he's kinda like the bad guy."

Her obsession led nicely into Halloween so we decided to do family themed costumes again(2013, 2012). Over the month of October Riesling continue to be Peter Pan on a regular basis, close to daily.  I started hunting for more green clothes, green foods, green green green.  I also slowly added pieces in to improve her costume, saving the hat and dagger for the very end.  The look on her face was priceless when she saw us all actually dress the parts.

John & Wendy Darling with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell

 "Second star to the right and straight on til morning"


Halloween has come and gone but Peter Pan is here to stay.  It has branched off a bit into a love of the world of Tinkerbell and fairies, an appreciation for mermaids, and dabbling into Jack and the Neverland Pirates.  If it ties into Peter Pan she's interested.  The thing I love most about Riesling as Peter Pan is that it's truly something she loves for all of her own reasons.  

When she was about 10 months old someone gave her a Minnie Mouse doll, followed by several Minnie Mouse apparel items, accessories, cups, etc.  She liked Minnie Mouse but really because she didn't know much else.   She didn't watch cartoons or Tv and didn't have a lot of specific character toys, so Minnie (and puppy dogs) were her love.  But mostly because it was given to her.  Even now her runner up favorite thing is Elsa & Anna and all things Frozen.  I feel like that even stemmed from somewhere other than her own heart.  Her best friend next door had a ton of Frozen stuff that Riesling played with before she saw the movie and seeing the movie just seemed to place everything for her.  She does play Frozen, sing the songs, and dress up but not with the same consistency as she does with Peter Pan.  Elsa, along with all the other princesses, can be forgotten for extended periods, only to resurface when reminded by a trip next door to play with the neighbor girl, a girl at the library with a Cinderella shirt, or spotting Snow White on the book shelf.   

The best part is, she hasn't even seen the movie!  I'm not even sure she knows it exists.  I am desperately trying to find a decent priced copy of the DVD to give her for Christmas, which has been surprisingly difficulty.  I can just imagine her little face lighting up when she sees her Neverland world come to life on screen.  Or perhaps it will be a disappointment to the sweet little world she has created in her own mind.  Maybe I will just let it be. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


I really try to be grateful for this beautiful life every day.  A life filled with love, health, family, shelter. It's a good life.   In fact a pretty great life. Hardship and loss earlier in life always seem to remind me that the little things don't really matter.  All the petty things that can really absorb you, fill you with hate and negativity; most of it isn't worth the energy.  And, although I try to stay focused on the big picture today I thought I'd give thanks for a few of the smaller things (in no particular order)....

*Fresh garden ingredients even at the end of November.  The past few days we made juice with garden beets..greens and all (with apples, carrots, and ginger); stir fry with carrots, radishes, bok choy and cilantro; delicious lunch salads with kale, arugula, spinach, lettuce and tomatoes all from the garden! We also have a pantry stock of butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

*My amazingly husband, who brings us heaping bowls of garden goodies in late November.  The man is seriously dedicated.  He spends late nights and early mornings planning, researching,planting, harvesting, pulling weeds, and squashing bugs by hand so we can enjoy fresh organic fruits and vegetables. 
Kale harvest day back in early September

*A 2 year old that asks for more chia sprinkles, kale in her smoothie, and "totu."  Not only is it so darn cute to hear this little words it also gives me comfort knowing that she is fueling her little body with goodness and nutrients. 

*Coos and babble turning into Mama, Dada, and dog; crawls and cruising soon to be steps all on her own.  My sweet laid back lil babe is growing up and changing so fast. 

*Six years of wedded bliss. Our anniversary was just last weekend.  It is truly a honor to spend everyday with your best friend.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lil Ducky

Sometimes while nursing Wyndsor, especially late at night, I browse Zulily. I have found some great gifts and toy type stuff on there. I rarely buy clothes a) because I like to try stuff on b) it's typically nicer brands that I don't buy even on sale. The prices are good but sometimes not that good and you can't return anything.

A few weeks back I spotted these adorable shoes for Riesling. I ordered a pair of sandals for summer and sneakers in next size up. She is a dirty kid when playing outside but I still like to have a pair of "good shoes" for the library, birthdays parties, etc. Apparently I missed the part of the description nothing the special feature...
It wasn't until she had already tried them on and fell in love with them that I realized they squeaked! At first I thought it would drive me bonkers. But the girl was seriously thrilled out of her mind about her quacking shoes that I couldn't take them away, not to mention they were not returnable.  I must say they have grown on me over time. And I always know where she is. 


FINALLY! Spring is in the air. April 13, 2014

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My morning with Riesling

We're off to a bit of a rough start with some crying and screaming over wanting "Mommy's milk" and not wanting to go pee pee in the potty.  This results in her peeing all over my lap.  Thankfully Jim has not left for work yet and is able to help with the situation.  She calms down, gets panties on for the day but refuses a new pair of pants, and snuggles up for a little morning milk.  Winnie wakes up get a fresh diaper and starts her long nursing sessions while Riesling settles into a corner of her room with us and we read a dozen or more books including the new stack from our library visit yesterday.  There are several that she really likes and requests repeat readings of.  Jim was sweet enough to bring me a cup of coffee before he headed out for work so I catch a few sips between books.

With a little convincing we head down to the kitchen for breakfast.  Winnie takes a spot in the swing while I make breakfast: oatmeal with flax seed, raisins, & almond milk and some sliced strawberries.  Riesling is actually pretty content and sits at the island quietly while I clean up dishes from last night, eat my oatmeal and finish up my coffee while standing.  After she finishes eating she gets cleaned up and we take our vitamins together.  It is on the warmer side but VERY windy outside.  I commit to keeping the girls inside for the morning. Winnie has fallen back asleep in the swing so I decide its a good time to make some 'cookies' with Riesling.

She requests "Happy Birthday Easter cupcakes" (Uncle Tim's birthday was on Easter this year which I think has led to some confusion).  I convince her that cookies are a suitable replacement.  We mix oats, ground flax seed, chia seeds, raisins, peanut butter, and maple syrup then form into little balls.  These little energy bites are the cookies Riesling knows about in our house.  We make variations of them quite often.  She has a set of small plastic type bowls that she mixes and pours ingredients back and forth in.  She is very excited to help and is a very messy kitchen assistant.  When we finish the project we immediately ditch her shirt which is caked with peanut butter.  She quickly takes note of the spilled oats and flax seed on the floor and heads off to the closet for the broom.  I sweep and she uses the Swiffer.  She has a true passion for cleaning.

While sweeping we find a little bottle under the island.  It is typically used as 'soap' in her play kitchen.  As I am sweeping I notice that she has the bottle held up to her chest.  She informs me that she is pumping for some milk.  She heads off for the basement where all her dolls are.  I finish up sweeping the kitchen and foyer, check in on her, then throw in a load of laundry.  One baby is getting milk from the pump, another held straight up to her chest to nurse and another has a bottle.  She is quite skilled in caring for multiple babies.  She decides one baby needs a diaper change.  While searching for a diaper she spots the towel that was in the Easter basket from Grandma and decides on bath time for them instead.  She uses a laundry basket and cup and is sure to provide Baby with a few toys.

Looking for bath toys lead her to her ABC stacking blocks.  One has a picture of a gorilla on it.  We get out stuffed Gorilla because he "is like the same".  We work on ABC's and matching pictures on the blocks with actual items in the basement.  Winnie wakes up and joins us, sitting on my lap.  Riesling thoughtfully shows her the pictures and items we've collected.  "Her eyes are open!  Look at that Baby Winnie" (she can not pronounce W sound so it sounds like In-e and is so darn cute).   Gorilla is a keeper for an extended period of playtime.  They take a trip to the grocery store.  She informs me that they bought apples, bananas, and avocado.  Riesling shows him the "boo berrries" and robins outside the window, requests a cloth diaper (I have one with a hole in it set aside for just this reason) for him, then he joins Winnie on the playmate.

As a good big sister, Riesling fetches the orange bin with all the soft toys for Baby Winnie.  She show every single item to Gorilla and Winnie, using her baby voice and making sure that both have a chance to view the item.  After emptying sister's orange bin she decides she wants her orange bin. It contains a hand me down circus train set that is actually pretty cool.  She hasn't played with it in awhile so she becomes pretty absorbed in it.  I nurse Winnie and change her diaper.  I put Winnie back on the playmate and get about 50 crunches in while laying beside her before she poops and needs another diaper change.  Sometime during this time periods Riesling has lost her underwear.  If you are keeping track she is now only wearing socks. 

Riesling has invited all her Little People to the circus and museum.  She has lined them all up holding hands and decides they need a picture taken.  She finds her phone but quickly decides the battery is dead and it needs charged "like Daddy's".  She gets a little out of sorts with this activity because she wants to use the CD player cord and is trying to plug the wrong end into the wall.  I am refusing to let her execute her plan due to safety concerns.  She is not happy.  I help her come up with an alternate option and put on an audio book which grabs her attention and calms her down considerably.  We follow with a banana and almond butter snack. 

We color a picture for Aunt Becka and make some fairy art with the stickers she got for Easter.  We clean up most of the toys she has gotten out and have some general quiet time.  We head back to the kitchen for lunch.  She has a few gluten free crackers and hummus which she makes into "sam wiches" but quickly starts playing with them more than eating them.  She starts crushing the crackers into an empty spice bottle with her spoon and dripping water in from her sippy cup.  I let the activity go on for awhile.  She declares her creation is "like pop".  I inquire who drinks pop.  I already know the answer because pop is not a term used in this area, so it has come from the Ohio family and my sister was recently visiting.  She replies, "Aunt Jenn.....and Papa".  I wasn't expecting her to say Papa because he hasn't been to visit in a few months.  She proceeds to tell me that Papa gave her pop....oh really......what kind, wondering if she just confused.  "Green one."  BUSTED Dad!  (He drinks Mt. Dew like it's water).  She continues to offer me information without asking, something about the type of cup she drank from, although it wasn't clear whether she drank from the bottle or her own cup.  She continues talking about "Papa cheese" and making blankets for her rabbit snacks.  This is a true event that happened on his last trip in town, leading me to believe her recollection about drinking pop is true and not a dream or toddler mistake.  I will have to take this one up with Papa.

She decides she is not really hungry and request lunch after nap.  I am nursing Winnie so she sits at the piano and flips through a song book, singing wheels on the bus and her ABC's.  After Winnie is settled down we head upstairs. She is obviously tired and throws a fit about this, insisting that she wants to do yoga instead  (the yoga mats are next to the piano).  We put on a pull-up and head to the rocking chair with a few tears streaking down her face.  She nurses quietly and quickly closes her eyes.  Today she falls asleep without much resistance.  It has been a busy morning.

It is 12:10

Saturday, April 19, 2014


A few weeks ago we had the worst no sleep week EVER around here.  Riesling was cutting a molar and NOT sleeping.  Winnie had some kind nasal congestion going on (not to mention she was only 6 weeks old and still very much a newborn) and was NOT sleeping.  All of this meant that Mommy and Daddy was NOT sleeping.  Since Jim has to get up for work and I'm nursing the babes, I took the brunt of it.  I was seriously getting 2-3hrs a night in short little 30-45 minute segments for 4 straight nights.

Along with general grumpiness throughout the house, there was various amounts of crying, tantrums, coughing, gagging, and general fussiness all day long.  Jim and I were both tired and starting to take it out on one another, the kiddos were just miserable, and there was just way to much negative emotion all the way around.

Thursday night brought an improved nights sleep and lifted everyone's spirits slightly, but the weekend forecast was rain, rain, and more rain meaning everyone cooped up in the house.  Friday morning I decided we all needed a change of pace.  I booked a hotel room in the city, made arrangements for Sofee dog,  packed up overnight bags and loaded up the car.  Jim works in the city so I sent him a text and told him we were picking him up for a surprise.  He thought we were going out for dinner.  I knew if I consulted with him he wouldn't want to go.  He would worry about the money or the list of things he had to do at home, which is exactly what I didn't want.  I made an executive decision and just hoped he would be happy to come along for a little family adventure.
It ended up being just what the doctor order.  The hotel was super nice with a luxurious king size bed, fluffy bath robes (even for Riesling), a candy station in the lobby, and a nice swimming pool and hot tub.  It was very kid friendly and accommodating to any of our requests. It may have been the best 24 hours of Riesling's life.  After dinner Jim took her swimming until the pool closed down. She did not want to get out of the water.  She got to wear her little robe and slippers and stay up late watching Finding Nemo (her first movie ever!) and eating popcorn in bed.  She woke up to banana pancakes in bed (we ordered room service) then headed out to the Please Touch Museum for the rest of the morning.  She seriously talked about it for days and days.

 Heading to the pool with Daddy.  She hasn't stopped talking about swimming since!

In some ways I felt a little guilty about the whole thing.  How spoiled are we to be able to just run away from a week of minor little troubles? But I realized it really was a special adventure.  We spend a lot of family time at home, in the garden, at the library or walking the block or our local parks. We don't spend a lot of money on activities.  It has been such a long miserable winter and a big transition for everyone with Winnie's arrival.  Not to mention I had travel points for the hotel, a gift card that covered part of dinner, and 2 passes for the museum, so it actually wasn't that expensive.

We were only gone for one night it felt like we had been on a weeks vacation. It was just nice to step away from the mundane day to day household parenting stuff.  We still had to take care of both kids obviously but it was somehow refreshing non the less.  Take away the laundry, cooking, cleaning, and everyday worries for just 24 hours and it really can clear your head. Not to mention we all had a magnificent nights sleep.  I have been shopping for king bed every since!

Thursday, April 17, 2014