Wednesday, April 9, 2014

2 Kids In the City! NYC #BSinBK

** I never finished writing this weeks ago but am publishing anyway **






We took both kids to New York City last weekend to see one of my best girls from college get married! It was a crazy experience and oh so fun!

The trip started with our flight being delayed by 11 hours. ELEVEN HOURS in the airport with a 3 year old and a baby. Awesomesauce.  But we made it.  And you know, God totally has a sense of humor, because while I was sitting next to the airport play area watching Fenn thinking about how crazy that all was, a family comes up with over 8 kids! ( I stopped counting once I got to 8 because they were all moving around so much ) but dude!!  That really put things into perspective.  The upside was that both kids were exhausted by the time we got on the plane and were so calm and good. Some nice person commented on how our kids were the most well behaved kids they have ever flown with! ( don't worry, they made up for that on the return flight)

We TOTALLY learned from our mistakes when we flew to Orlando last month. 

  • Airport parking. This time, we parked in one of those paid lots that shuttles you to the airport and that was SO MUCH BETTER than us parking our selves. We all stay together the whole time, and we don't have to lug 18 suitcase and a stroller through the weather. This was really HUGE in terms of keeping the morale up.
  • Pack less. Also kind of hilarious that this time I totally stripped down my flight bag, and we got stuck for 11 hours so I ran out of baby food and what not. Just FYI, the airlines have that stuff behind the scenes so they gave me a huge pack of wipes.  But still, packing one backpack with my stuff, and the kids stuff all in one place was nice. 
  • I packed a huge duffel bag that we checked ( we checked all luggage) with a pack n play, travel high chair, go pod. It was nice having baby gear when needed because we rented an apartment there. We gate check stroller and car seat ( which snaps onto stroller ) 
  • We practiced really good and strict discipline before and during trip. Every kid is different, but for Fenn, he is not the kid that does well with getting a break or bending the rules because we are out of town or having fun. I always wanna break out and let him eat sweets all day or whatever because it is fun, but I know I will regret that later so we kept it real, even if that meant letting him scream to high heaven in  the museum because I put him in the corner for being disrespectful. and let me tell you , this was no small scene. He was loud as HADES in that corner and it saws totally embarrassing but I have learned that once he realized he no longer holds that power (to act awful in public because I am too embarrassed to publicly discipline or I am trying to avoid a scene) he rarely acts awful in public anymore. 


I was really shocked at how much we all enjoyed the trip and just traveling in general. If you are thinking about doing something like this with your kid/s i really want to encourage you because it rocks their world! Especially a busy body like Fenn. He was so much better behaved on this trip ( only 2 meltdowns), because he stays busy and interested. All mundane things are fun all of a sudden because you are experiencing them through your child. 




Fenn loved the subways, buses and taxis. LOVED! He liked watching people, seeing those random musicians play on the platforms, seeing those nasty rats run the tracks, the noise, the moving trains... SO much stuff he would just sit there very quietly and awe struck. So that serious face he is making in the pictures is a look of amazement! 


He loved that apartment and being up so high looking out the windows. He was eye to eye with a huge tree, and could see lots of ambulances, and taxis drive by and just watch all the movement. He told me the morning we were leaving, " I don't wanna weave the city" HA He also called it " New Pork City"

We did not pack any toys and that did not matter because he created his own! Like this drum set he made from kitchen dishes HA




China town blew his mind and we let him purchase his own souvenir , which if you follow me on instagram you know was a black leather fedora that he wore EVERYWHERE. He got lots of compliments on it too which was very exciting for him. So many people give sister all the attention and that hat helped even it up. He rarely ever asks to buy anything no matter where we go ( he def gets that from Erik and NOT from his momma, who wants all.the.things.) but he asked for a Bubble Guppies water color book in the airport, a view finder from the top of the rock, and that hat, all of which he LOVED and is still playing with.

Even sister had a great time. She love strangers just like her brother and would stare people down and force her way into their conversations so that when they finally acknowledged her she would give a big gummy smile and win them over and then they talked and played with her till they left. This happened over and over.  It was pretty funny and cute. Glad she was practicing her social skills. All that visiting would wear her out. We took her around in her stroller mostly , which I really debated thinking the Ergo might make more sense. At the end of the day, she is 21lbs and that was a TON of walking basically a 12 hour day of sight seeing so it was really nice to have somewhere for her to nap and give my back a break. It was not always easy navigating a stroller, especially in crowded places like china town and on the bus, but we made it. 

The people of NYC were shockingly polite,considerate and helpful toward our whole family thing. So many times people would give us their seat on the subway or bus or help us move the stroller around etc. Men and women of all ages. Then we got home to the sweet, polite south where FIVE employees for Southwest airlines stood there chatting next to the plane and watched me holding a baby with one arm, a 2 bags and 3 year old with my free hand and trying to unfold a stroller. They never offered to assist with anything. HA 

I say all of that to say we had a real good time! I wish I had finished writing this back when we had just gotten home, cause now over a month later.. the details are already fuzzy HA ! 

My girl had a very unique and cool wedding, and it was my first time ever to go to a jewish wedding and I loved that song ( don't know the name) but the bride and groom were in the air in chairs and everyone was dancing and singing beneath them. That  was super cool, AND... the groom , WROTE .. and SANG her a song at the alter!! That was mind blowing to me because I can barely speak in front of a crowd, much less sing an intimate love song! We were all really impressed and moved by that. They are such a perfect match and it was fun to be a part of that celebration for sure. Even if I was wearing boots with my dress ( because when I got my new dress and shoes out to put on 5 minutes before walking out the door, BOTH of my new shoes were for the left foot!!!) HA


PS.. After coming home we got a " Little Critter" Book about Mommy and me and it was all about a trip to New York. Great book to get if you plan on taking a little one to NYC.


Natural History Museum
( I have never been before and we loved it! It is HUGE. I wish we had done it in the morning and not afternoon because Fenn and sister were both reaching their limit as this point)




Cupakes from Magnolia Bakery  ( we were not impressed. They didn't come close to Ivy Cakes here in Nashville)





Huge thanks to CoCo who joined us on this trip to help with the kids when we were at the wedding! Fenn had a great time with her and clung to her lots and always worried about where she was.. 




Saturday, March 8, 2014

The History of Our Dining Room and Picture OVERLOAD!

I have been working on our dining room for years! Below is a series of pictures over the years! 

 It started in our old house back in 2008 with this antique furniture we bought at various flea markets and Goodwill. I love love love that the chairs are not all the same. :

Then I Painted all of them like this and they look great together! ( Tabu by Porter Paints):
Then I recovered the seats like this:

 Then in 2009  We Painted the room ( Porter Paints Oyster Shell) I bought a different table at Goodwill and painted it and added a Chandelier ( from West Elm) :

 Then in 2012 we moved!   I bought this sideboard off cousin Marshall ( he had already primed). I  was pregnant with Sister so Mom and Bubs painted ( Annie Sloan Chalk Paint ( Duck Egg Blue).

 Which called for recovering the Chairs ( i think this was my 3rd time to recover them )


And some new lamps from Homegoods :

In 2013 We finally bought the Dining room Table I had lusted after for years! 


and a China Cabinet off Craigslist. I sold the one we had in there and bought a different styled one with that money.  

The 2014 Plan is to Paint the china cabinet, the room, change the art and light fixture (depending on the budget! ) Choosing a paint color was HARD! @jessidesign gave me lots of great counsel and 4 colors ranging from brave to boring. I put all of them up on the wall to think about and see how it felt. ( and take instagram votes)



 This was Sherwin Williams " Spare White"  and Benjamin Moore "Wedgewood Gray"


 And Sherwin Williams " Blushing" and " White Dogwood"


I wanted something really light and clean looking to brighten the too, but it had to go with the blue sideboard and the painted chairs and china cabinet! I loved the peach and thought that would be super cool and different, but thought the grey might flow better with the rest of my rooms all connected to this one So I chose # 3 on the list (not pictured above) " Repose Grey" from Sherwin Williams :


and the paint color actually made this light fixture tolerable ( where as before I hated it). You can also see the painted China Cabinet which looks SO MUCH BETTER!! I get lots of questions about painting furniture, but I would not say that I am an expert on that so please google for the 4-1-1 but basics are : 
1. Sanding
2. Priming
3. Painting with Oil based paint

There are so many variations of that and rules change if you use chalk paint etc but for me, I think Oil based paint works so much better for furniture because it is a more finished look that doesn't flake or chip etc.


So that brings us to where we are now! Looking good but still not done. I was too lazy to style this or worry over the smaller details. This post has already taken me 2 days to write so I am ready to be done! 



Mirrors from Ballards as discussed via Instagram: 


A local artist did some work for the wall. I think it might have been more fun had I not blended it so I will likely let him have another round. Just thinking it over.



The light fixture I intended to order sold out while it was in my cart!! How does that even happen? grrr so that is still in limbo.

 I would love for any people with suggestions on things to leave links in the comments! I had so much fun hearing everyone give feedback on instagram! 

If you are not following me on instagram and you wanna join the party look me up  @lg2006


........ To Be Continued...........








Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sister is 8 Months Old!



This precious Angle is 8 months old! Such a fun age! She is sweeter than sweet y'all!  I don't know if an easier baby exists, which means I am doomed for her toddler years. 

She is such a big girl , but still feels so skinny compared to peebs when he was her age. She consistently weighs 2 lbs less than he did at each Dr. Visit.  Her feet are so tiny I don't know how they will ever hold her up when it is time to walk!




She still has hair ( yay) and the pedi gave me a prescription for her cradle cap recently. I do not know why he has been holding out on me as Peebs STILL has some left. Must be some genetic deal but it drives me crazy! The prescription has dramatically improved the situation.

She is also getting dry skin bumps on her knees and forearms which he said are excema related and to slather it in aquaphor and only bathe her every few days to avoid drying out her skin.



STATS:

Weight: 21 lbs 9 oz.
Length: 28"
Head: 44.2cm
Clothes: 12 months is a good but tight fit so 18months any day now. 
Sleep: 6:30 pm- 6:30 am. 
Naps: Sporadic! sometimes 3 shorts naps and sometimes 2 long ones. 


Teeth: She finally has her 2 bottom teeth breaking through. you can only see the tops of the teeth so they are barely through the skin.

Food: I am really nervous about transitioning to solids with her. I feel like Fenn's eating issues are our fault, because we fed him baby food too long, were so worried about him choking and just didn't know what we were doing in general. I never knew how complicated feeding could be and that all those texture and development issues were at play, but BOY have I learned a lot from him! 
With Sister our goal is not just hat she eat healthy, but also eat WHAT we EAT.  I don't want to fix 47 different meals for everyone! Everywhere we go, I always have to keep in mind that Fenn likely won't eat anything there and I have to always carry food for him and endure the silent judgment of others ( or not so silent advice and suggestions) about what I should do or give him. It's maddening. Traveling and going anywhere would be easier if everyone could and would just eat anything. 
So ... I say all of that to say, This time around we are going with Baby led weaning, which is a really confusing term in my opinion, but basically means, you offer them regular food at 6 months or so and let them choose what they eat and feed themselves. Sister is in no way interested in feeding herself, I don't even know if she can, but she is happy to eat food off our plate. I also read somewhere that since she does not have any teeth, just make sure that I can mash the food between my thumb and fore finger and that means it is OK for her to chew with her gum.  I still give her purees, but also offer her food from my plate with every meal, even with spices etc. She really enjoyed sweet potato fries that I made that were sprinkled with chili powder, lime juice and salt. When she has more teeth, it will be all table food and no purees. I don't worry so much bout how MUCH she eats since she is still nursing.
Another thing we started as a NY resolution is actually sitting at the dining room table for supper every  night. We never did that in the past because Erik and I didn't want to eat supper so early , but after lots of life experience and reading we decided it was best and it has been great. We all have supper together at 5pm at the table. This will get the kids used to sitting at a table for meals without getting restless and acting terrible ( practicing for eating in restaurants together, something that causes me great anxiety). Since we started this we have seen a real improvement with Fenn in his table manners and how much he eats.  No one is required to EAT anything, but they must sit at the table and visit, which generally turns into eating. HA

I also learned recently about how prolonged sippy cup usage can cause problems with speech. I had no idea. Also straw cups are great for speech. I mean obvi Fenn is too old for a sippy cup, but I love the idea of letting him have a drink in the car without the anxiety of him spilling it everywhere and just had not thought too much about the whole thing till I read this blog of an SLP. She is full of good info, and does baby led weaning . Click here to read.


Milestones:
  • Clapping. She loves to clap and does it all day.
  • Trying to Wave. She has learned a lot from our most recent trip because all of that riding public transportation , people always waved and talked to her so makes this crazy face of concentration and tries to wave back.
  • She has been rolling over for a while but just started rolling over in her bed. Fenn never did that. like ever. so it scares me!
  • Sitting up pretty steady these days. I still put pillows behind her but she for the most part is good!

She loves her brother, and is always smiling at him and watching him. She also loves the dogs! She keeps trying to pull Ralphie's furs, but he is a good chap and lets me teach her how to pet without getting upset. Floss stays out of the way! ha 

She has had another ear infection, so that now makes 2. She picked up a germ 2 weeks ago , the doctor said it was similar to RSV. Lots of snot, a nasty sounding cough every now and then, weak eyes, fussy, Fever, and then an ear infection. She has been on antibiotic for 10 days. She does NOT like any types of medicine. Fenn would gobble up whatever we gave him and she cries through out he entire process :(

Challenges of having 2 kids:

Everything is still going well. Maybe the hardest part os when they are both popping off at the same time, while the dogs are barking and the TV is blaring.. that makes me crazy! ha and I am much busier. Eating in restaurants is harder with both of them, because generally someone needs me for something and I can't get to my own food. Over all though, it's all good and really fun, and funny. Lots of funny these days.



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fenn is 3.5 Years Old!





STATS:

Weight: 42lbs
Height: 40.5"
Clothes Size: 5T
Shoe Size: 12
Bedtime: 7pm SHARP till 6:30am
Naps: NO more naps :( so we have " quiet time" in his room and I give him the iPad so that he doesn't fall asleep. If he naps he will be up till midnight
Eating:
He is doing much better with eating these days but it still requires lots of work. He still loves noodles and buffalo pretzels. He will now eat some deli meat, cheese, apple sauce, Sweet potato mash packs, crackers. He will try various veggies nuts etc but won't voluntarily eat more than one piece a meal.



Being 31/2 is no joke! Fenn is really blowing my mind lately. ( and making me laugh, and for the 1st time really ever, making me raise my voice more than I care to). 

He is so smart these days, with his shapes and letters and writing, and memorizing things. He can count to about 46 last I checked. He knows how to count and recognize some money. He knows his right from left, the months of the year, some days of the week, LOTS of songs and random information. Lately he has been telling me random things in spanish, like sentences, and if I answer he will answer me back , in spanish! So weird. It was especially funny when he got in trouble for being sassy in English and so he decided to be sassy in spanish like that would be OK.  I think he learned this stuff at school in the enrichment class. 

He is keenly aware of all of our habits and ways. As my Nonie says " He keeps this house going" If the oven beeps he is telling you food is ready, if sister makes a noise he is telling me what she needs and why. If the fridge is beeping he is hollering to me that the fridge door is open. If I am not drinking coffee right when I wake up, he is asking me where is my coffee. 
Tonight I told him " Thanks for throwing that stuff away buddy" 
he said " just doing my job mom mom, just doing my job " Hilarious!

He recently had a " Donuts with Dad" breakfast at school and the paper he made for Erik was hilarious. He listed Erik's age as 2, favorite food as " salad" and favorite TV show as " football".  He gave him this framed picture below and we put it on Erik's night stand. Later we noticed that Fenn had relocated it to the built ins in the Living room next to other framed pictures.



I think this is his season for mimicking. Generally I think that is supposed to start at 3 but seems to be really hitting home for him now. He has been mimicking all sorts of interesting behavior like some of Erik's expressions and saying " WHAT THE HECK" with the same inflections. 

We just spent a week with my brother ,and for the last few days of the trip and several days after I noticed fenn spitting everywhere, CONSTANTLY. I wondered what was going on and why in the world he was suddenly obsessed with spitting. He was even spitting into a cup n the plane ride home.  THEN I caught him shoving tiny bits of balled up paper in his mouth and it hit me, he was mimicking my brother dipping!  gross! But also funny. He had really been paying attention to him I guess, because he has mad skills now! ha



We had a couple of good months but He is back to getting into trouble at school randomly. I can't quite crack the code for what brings that out, other than to just guess maybe it is related to too much sugar, or lack of sleep or both. Post Disney World he has been on a rampage!


His current interest are :
- anything to do with letters & numbers. He loves counting, trying to read and write. 
- The Radio City Rockettes and all Christmas Music
- Still really into Frosty the Snowman. He prays for him at night and sings about him during the day.
- Henry Hugglemonster on Disney Junior., Lady & The Tramp Movie & The Discovery Channel.
- dress up clothes
- his play cash register , playing grocery store and playing postman where he delivers packages to me repeatedly
- still likes art projects 
- Helping me cook , or in general helping Erik or I do any kind of job. He likes to stay busy! 


Funny things he says : 

-  Lately any time you ask him why he did or said something , he will say " Because it's Wednesday!" or he will say " Nuffing" ( nothing) He pretty much will answer any question with " Because it's wednesday" and he gets IRATE if Erik tries to tell him it is not Wednesday but Monday or whatever day.
-  He asked me this morning if " he could have some water from my booty" ( he was referring to sister nursing) I told him that was a boobie not a booty and that only people with no teeth got to do that. He seemed satisfied with that answer.
- He has picked up some new phrases from school " It's not my fault" and " but its not fair" he says in the right context although I am not convinced he really knows what he is saying. 
He has learned some serious pouting/sassy body language lately and will stomp his feet, fold his arms up and poke out his lips and if he is really mad he will shout out " Hiiiiiiiiii-YA" ( like a karate saying) which KILLS me. I can't stop laughing about it. He is not allowed to sass back to us when we have reprimanded him and this morning after a chat with me he whimpered " i really want to say hi-ya"  HA so I let him yell it out. 



Discipline:

He has picked up a really sassy mouth lately. He will cover his ears or try and cover my mouth when he doesn't want to hear something, and sometimes will also say " Mom mom no more talking to me OKAY?!" 
Very annoying and disrespectful!
He also says " I NOT" to things when we tell him what to do when he doesn't want to do it.
He had been really fighting bedtime but lately is doing better. I found a printable nighttime routine online and told him it was a map for bedtime with instructions ( he likes maps and instructions( recipes) ) and that got him really excited. 
Now I let him put a check mark next to each item on the sheet as he completes it, and he is so happy to go along with it all. 



Big Brother:
still loving his sister but def having some jealousy issues. He does lots of baby type behavior ( noises, back to eating those baby food pouches, asking me to hold him, wanting to be rocked, laying on her mat batting at the toys LOL). 
I love watching him try to teach her things and explain things to her. Too cute and sweet. Trying to soak that in before she is messing with his toys and he is swatting her.

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