Monday, April 14, 2014


My boy is obsessed with birthdays. Can I blame him? Games, candy, cake for dinner, kids running around, and the main event...the piñata! What's not to like?

It's hard to describe the level of obsession: from the day we receive an invitation until party day, he talks about it every day, especially about how there's going to be a piñata with candy inside. One of his favorite imaginary games is hitting the piñata and then fake collecting candy. Then the day of a party he tells us numerous times that *he* is going to break the piñata, no matter that he is almost always the smallest one at the party.

Since Little Boy started preschool, we've been going to lots of parties and boy do they go all out here: ponies (check), spa (check), crafting/painting something ceramic (every.single.time), bouncy house (of course), playground (check), carnival style ride (check), characters and clown shows (yup, yup, yup). In our foreign eyes, sometimes these get a little excessive because where do you go from here if you've already had many of the above attractions by your third birthday? But from my parenting point of view the only thing that is often lacking is food: usually it's a plethora of candy and fried snacks, cake, and jello, not exactly a nutritious meal. But the kids love it, a lot! Happy kids, happy parents!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Monkey see, Monkey do

Baby Brother is our imitator extraordinaire. He is not an observer, he is a do-er. This week he decided to walk up the stairs, walk not crawl. Of course his short and chubby little toddler legs can't really reach. So he stops and stands mid-stair and waits for us to help him, and of course we do because otherwise his erect little body would fall straight back.

Exposition number two: Little Boy is allowed to jump on the small crib size mattress. He's also a little monkey so we figured it was safer to give him a designated spot than having him try to jump on the rest of our beds or couches where he is much higher off the ground. So now the little one gets on the bed, stands up and tries to jump! He obviously didn't get the memo that that is a two year milestone.

And for the grand finale, the other day Little Boy was stacking pillows on the ground as part of his imaginary play. Then he decided to jump off his stack. We immediately put a stop to that since our tile floors are not conducive to that. Well low and behold Mr. Daredevil was watching and has now decided it is a great idea to try and pull pillows off the couch to stack, climb on, and attempt to slide off. Boys.

Mr. I do what I want to do

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Ten years ago I left a (very) high stress job and knew that I would never again choose to be in a position where I had so little say regarding my overall well being. 

It was a moment of change in my life, of pushing boundaries, of prioritizing my desires. I didn't know where it would lead, but I made a rough plan and started moving forward, figuring out the details as I went along. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect that within a few months I would meet my future husband,  start changing the course of my life based on shared interests, and prioritize goals that were not my own. I never for a moment regret that leap of faith, but throughout this entire period I also stayed true to that decision I made so long ago; no more stress. 

Recently, however, the stress has found its way back into my life. For a few weeks now I've been walking around with an intermittent pit in my stomach. I'm finding it difficult to deal with having no control over the course of our future. Of course, I will be involved in the details, but that big picture, over arching trajectory: it's not in my hands and it is SO hard. I can make contingency plans, although they end up feeling mostly like a mental exercise without much substance. I can focus on the day to day, but sadly, I don't find that quite enough to be truly fulfilled. I can think about myself instead of "us" but seeing as it's difficult to separate the two that does not feel very fruitful either. 

In the meantime, I'm trying to distract myself enough to not think about it until there is a concrete plan. I'm trying to inspire myself with new recipes, house organization projects, and enjoying the little moments with our awesome little boys. I'm finding that being proactive helps a little, but ignoring the problem helps more. That's something I didn't expect...hmmm. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Mickey and Pluto Costumes

We recently dressed up for Purim and I asked Little N what he wanted to be. He answered with the only character he knows: Mickey. Seeing as I am all about procrastination, and I wasn't about to go buy a costume for a few hours of dress up, I got crafty and made the kids costumes. 

Mickey's ears were made out of a paper party hat I had leftover. I cut the triangle off and left just a strip at the bottom with the elastic. Then I cut some black foam and stapled it onto the party had. The white circles were just card stock attached to the shorts with a paper clip. For his shoes I just cut a piece of yellow foam that we slipped on like an anklet and they rested on top of his shoes.

I couldn't resist making Baby Brother into something matching, and after looking at my materials and some Disney pictures I decided to tackle a Pluto costume. I again used the party hat trick. I staples two pieces of yellow foam and then a couple pieces of black foam for the ears on top. The nose is a pom pom I just glued on top, and the eyes white card stock that I stapled. For his green collar I just took a little piece of green foam and paper clipped it onto his onesie.  Ta da!

The whole project took only about an hour, using scraps I had around the house and the kiddos loved them!

It was so sunny!

 Here you can see the party hat, paper clips, "anklets" etc.

Friday, April 4, 2014

13 Months!

Let's keep it short and sweet: this month was all about walking! You learned to stand up without holding on, took your first steps and then a few days later took off. You are constantly on the move, constantly communicating and telling us what you want, "ze" (this), or showing us. You still love all of the same things: balls, instruments/music, wrestling with your brother, playing in the ball pit, exploring outdoors (especially inspecting the water meters), running away from us and climbing up the stairs, and you like to know exactly what is going on. You expect to be kept on the schedule that suits you (whining at 6:04 p.m. for dinner), to be explained/shown the world, and to be treated like a big boy, like your brother, namely in the form of equal snacks. You consistently light up the room with your endless smiles, and we couldn't possibly love you any more!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I've been trying to take mental snapshots of our life right now. I want to remember the moments that are just plain, every day snippets of our life here before everything gets turned upside down. I suppose that's what happens when you have children, suddenly every day comes with the thought that they will never be this exact age again.

 read to head to preschool (junk we need to sell in the background)

 weekend walk on the trail 

 checking out the fountain

playing in the common area (hiding behind the shed)

checking out exercise equipment