Father’s Day Adventures

Although we don’t have a lot of traditions, one of my favorite ones is the “no gift” policy for anniversaries and other special occasions like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Jon and I established this early on in our relationship, both confirming that we prefer to spend the day on an adventure than purchased gifts.  As a result we have the gift of memories that lasts a lifetime.

After a Saturday away with the boys to celebrate the soon-to-be brother, Jon asked for a low key, unscheduled day for Father’s day and we delivered.

After a little extra sleep in the morning, we showered and packed up for the day and headed out to a late breakfast at a local diner.

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We take up a full booth now.

The girls were awesome at entertaining themselves as we spent 20 minutes waiting for food (apparently Father’s Day is a popular day to go out to a late breakfast, go figure) and we made friends with the table next to us as the two parents looked at our girls and reminisced to their adult children about their younger years.

After breakfast we lathered up the sunblock in the car and met up with friends at a local strawberry patch for some berry eating picking.

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I was sure that we would get in trouble considering how many berries were consumed by our children prior to weighing the boxes.  (As a tip to the orchard, I would advise weighing the kids themselves before entering the strawberry patch and then again after.  I bet it’d really increase the profit margins.)

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While our friends, Jon and Peanut picked berries and I took photos, Taylor just pretty much sat in one spot eating strawberries.   Life’s tough when you’re 1.
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After filling our bellies, we headed to the grocery store to grab some non-berry foods and then the beach for some lounging.

The kids filled their clothes with sand, the boys flew a kite, and I…well….someone had to document.
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Nap time at the beach,
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and we headed home for some dinner and an early bedtime for everyone.

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.


A day in the life, April 11 2014

Today Taylor turns 11 months – the last month before she is officially one.  I took the 11 month pictures.  I even edited a handful.  But I just can’t get myself to process the rest.  Time seems to go by faster than I am capable of handling.

Instead, I decided to do a Day in the Life.  Peanut, 3 years old and 3 months.  Taylor, a couple of days short of 11 months.

It’s Thursday, my day home with the girls.  I wake up with Taylor’s crying just before 6 am.  Ever since she got really sick she’s been waking up earlier than usual.  I pull her into bed with us and we snuggle/sleep until around 6:30am.  Taylor has perfected her little wiggle worm and I end up giving in and feeding her.  Jon is in PA for work and I’m on my own. A little before 7 I hear a knock on Peanut’s door. She knocks when she wants to get out but can’t get the door open. I set her up on the couch and I pump.  We don’t have any plans so I don’t bother to hurry.  I change Taylor while I pump.

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Taylor is left to her own devices while I grab a cup of coffee.  For the record, a cup of coffee that I will rewarm 3 more times before I take my first sip, but it’s the effort that counts.

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We move to Peanut’s room and change out of our pajamas.

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Peanut was not amused.  And not participating.  Until I pulled the new “gem” trick and up she went.  Potty.  Change.  Teeth.  Face wash. And time for breakfast while mommy packs up for the day.  After a text message with some friends we decide to head out to Chatfield Hollow to meet up with a friend for a walk.

I jump in the shower while the kids entertain themselves.  Taylor is in the pack and play because she gets into too much trouble on her own.  After a quick shower, we make a quick breakfast (Peanut helps…she loves to help).

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We make some scrambled eggs and I cut up some fruit.  The girls devour the eggs – their favorite.

A mess.  I dump everything into the sink, throw a few snacks into my backpack, grab my big girl camera, and we are out the door.  This was NOT easy, in case you’re wondering.  But my girls and I do way better when we’re out of the house and with a beautiful day unfolding, it’s barely a choice.  I rush, I stress, but I know it’s for the best.  And out the door we go.

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Worth it.  So so so worth it.  Peanut was still a bit groggy (unlike her…betting she had a belly ache) but she cheered up once she had a snack and warmed up.

Taylor took her first nap…a very short one…in the car seat and the stroller but with the action around her, she was up early and ready to enjoy the scenery.  I nurse Taylor around 11am in the great outdoors.   Our friend Aimee and her daughter (Taylor’s age) joined us and we went for a walk, took some photos of her little one (can’t share since she’s using them for her birthday party invitations!), had a ton of snacks and headed for home.

We returned around noon and I made a quick lunch for the girls and myself.

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While Peanut heads to bed, Taylor and I still have a little while to hang out before her second nap so we head to my basement – the studio.

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11 month pictures completed and it’s Taylor’s nap time.  She heads to bed and I’m left with this.

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*sigh*  Clean. Clean. Clean.  Edit some photos and post them to Facebook.  Clean.  Laundry.  Clean. Clean.

It’s just before 4 and the girls are up.  Taylor first and Peanut very soon to follow.  Peanut gets some milk and chills out on the couch with a little post-nap tv while I nurse Taylor.  After nursing, Taylor moves on.

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And if you’re wondering if that’s the baby licking a toy, followed by the dog licking the toy, followed by the baby licking the toy, you’re correct.  I do try to avoid these things from happening but sometimes when you’re sitting behind the camera and realize that you’re about to tell everyone about your day it’s only fair to include the “real” with the “what I want them to see.”  For the record, Travis’ breath is incredibly stinky and I have no idea how she’s not grossed out by that.

Bored with the living room, we move on to Taylor’s room.

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Peanut gets bored of the TV ( doesn’t take her long) and decides to join us.  I set her up with some paint and hang back to watch the two of them.

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Taylor can’t help herself and wants to join her big sister.

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The girls color and paint and it’s time for dinner.

I move everyone and their toys to the kitchen area so that I can make dinner.  Jon won’t be home until late and I’m on my own with the girls. Funny how much worse it is when your husband is an equal contributor to the household.  I realize very quickly how reliant I am on his support and struggle to get through the night on my own.

And the girls?  Well…they’re super helpful….as helpful as a bull in a China shop.

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Yes, those are toys they dumped all over the floor.  And a basket they use as a walker.  Ya know……..I just kinda learn to let things go.  I get wicked anxiety over messes and piles and dirt but with 2 kids at these ages you just can’t help it.  So I let them make a mess.  And then I teach them how to clean it all up before we settle down for dinner.

Pizza and sweet potato “fries” (oven baked).

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And when Taylor is done…she signs “done” which looks more like “get me the heck out of here.”

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Since it’s a beautiful night (40-50 degrees), we head outside after dinner to burn off some energy.

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A rice table, some walkers, and a slide and these girls are loving it.

At 6:45pm we move to Peanut’s room to get our pajamas on and get ready for bed.

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At 7pm I move Peanut to the couch, turn on some TV), get her some milk and move to Taylor’s room to read her some books and nurse her.

At 7:25 Taylor is sleeping and I transfer her to the crib.  She wakes briefly as I move her and put the sleep sack on – something we actually do on purpose to help her learn to self sooth even though I want to nurse her to sleep.  Stirring a bit, she sucks on her pacifier, rolls to her belly and falls sound asleep.

I turn off the TV while Peanut and I move to the bathroom.  Teeth, potty, wash the face.  Peanut earns more gems for listening and helping and not whining (she earned more throughout the day I forgot to mention).

I read her some books and keep the door open for 5 minutes.  Jon comes in the door and Peanut is excited to see him.  He gives her a kiss and a hug and I close the door to help her fall asleep.  She’s sound asleep in seconds while Jon and I settle on the couch to hang out and watch some TV.

At 10 we head to bed.