The Kids Are Actually Cute

New Year, New You… Not Happening

Posted on Jan 6, 2018 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute, Travel Traumas

New Year, New You… Not Happening 0

Happy New Year, Friends! How is 2018 going for you so far? Getting fit? Eating healthy? Meditating daily?

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New Year New You, courtesy of Balboa Island

Good for you! I have spent the first days of 2018 stuffing my face with muffins and watching old episodes of Downton Abbey. Meanwhile there is a massive pile of boxes sitting in my family room, a not-so-subtle reminder that I still have to put away all the Christmas decorations. While most people seem to relish the New Year as an opportunity to reset and strive to be a better version of themselves, I just want it to be March already. You know, when nobody cares about that stuff anymore.

I rang in the New Year with my parents and a bottle of Nyquil. (I was in California for a quick trip with the kids while Damon stayed back East.) On New Year’s Day, instead of kickstarting a healthy diet, I munched on day-old donuts and In-N-Out. (So good, by the way.)

On the second day of the New Year, I endured a 15-hour travel day with my darling children. After a several hour delay in Dallas, including deplaning our first aircraft due to a mechanical problem, we landed home at 2:00am and waited an hour for luggage that – oops! – never actually made it on the plane. We got home at 3:30AM. Elisabeth talked at me for about 14.5 out of those 15 hours.

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PJs, iPads, and M&Ms at DFW

On the third day of the New Year I went to Trader Joe’s with the rest of Hampton Roads in preparation of BOMB CYCLONE 2018. Then I slept because, again, I traveled 15 hours the day before with both my kids. Oh, and I probably have an upper respiratory virus. Whatever.

On the fourth day of the New Year it SNOWED. Gosh, I love being a Virginia resident when it snows. People lose their damn minds. Every. Freaking. Year. For all you folks making vegetable soups from scratch and working out in your home gyms – New Year! New You! – you won’t shame me into being healthy! If I’m stuck in my house with my entire family for days on end, I’m going to consume massive quantities of cookies and wine (and Robitussin PM). I don’t care if it’s only the fourth day of January. I will embrace a better version of myself when temperatures reach above 25 degrees.

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On the fifth day of the New Year, I stayed in my pajamas till 3pm. Oh, I also put away two baskets of clean laundry that have been in my bedroom since before Christmas. I hesitate to add that because, well, I don’t want to seem like a braggart.

On the sixth day of the New Year – today – I plopped my kids in front of a movie at 9:00am. Ice Age. Appropriate, right? After all, it is 12 degrees outside. I started Season 4 of Downtown on Tuesday and as of now I’m seven episodes deep. As the New Year is a time for goal-setting, my goal is to finish the season by Monday. And to not leave my house. So far I am succeeding mightily. Don’t let anyone tell you I’m not a high achiever! Damon and I also started watching The Crown. I may have completely abandoned any health and wellness objectives, but when it comes to British television viewing, I am kicking butt.

2018: KILLING it.

In all seriousness, despite exhausting travel, sickness, and snow, I am very happy to welcome a new year. I was going to write a 2017 year-in-review post but in all honesty, 2017 was not my favorite year. (Two words: Adult. Braces.) We moved to a place that I just don’t love and have yet to fully adjust to, and much of last year was spent preparing for, and then recovering from, major surgery. Of course, 2017 wasn’t all bad (I finally saw Hamilton!) but I am ready to put it behind me and welcome a year that is certain to bring lots of excitement and change. (New jobs! Family weddings! Taylor Swift concert!) Resolutions or not, it’s going to be a good year. And now, some highlights from 2017:

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Damon and Elisabeth went on a father-daughter ski trip. As you can see, there wasn’t a ton of snow. But they had fun!

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Damon and I spent a week in Newport, RI. It was technically work, but it was a nice getaway nonetheless.

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Damon promoted to Commander.

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I took the kids to California for Easter, and this happened.

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A lovely Mother’s Day with my babies.

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A whirlwind trip to NYC to see Hamilton. It lives up to the hype, in case you’re wondering.

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James turned 3! (Photo Cred: Cara)

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My baby brother got engaged to this beautiful lady!

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Outer Banks Vacation

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Disneyland!

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Elisabeth started kindergarten. Full Day. Praise be.

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First day of preschool – 3s. He was THE MOST EXCITED.

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For my first big outing post-surgery, I traveled to Chicago for my 10-year college reunion. (Eek!) Reunited with good friends…

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…And saw Hamilton, again.

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Halloween

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First baby tooth, gone. Not gonna lie, this was a sad moment for me.

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Six!

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We got to spend Thanksgiving with lots of family, including the kids’ great-grandparents. Always special.

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Post-Thanksgiving visit with our Pennsylvania family.

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Awkward Santa Photos

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Quick trip to California to meet my best friend’s new baby. Totally in love with this sweet (and very tiny!) baby girl. Pretty good way to end 2017.

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Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston

Posted on Apr 3, 2016 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Battle of the Bad Guys: Hans vs. Gaston 0

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you know that Elisabeth was home sick a few weeks ago. During her quarantine we watched Frozen approximately 1,359 times. Eventually I convinced her to try a new film – one of my childhood favorites – Beauty and the Beast. A few hours after the viewing Elisabeth announced, “I think Hans is badder than Gaston.” “No way!” I immediately replied. “Gaston is way badder.” Then I paused. Was Gaston truly “badder” than Hans? With Gaston’s violent attack on the heartbroken Beast still fresh on my mind, he had seemed the obvious answer. Perhaps too obvious. I had to probe further. “Why do you think Hans is badder than Gaston?” I asked Elisabeth, opening up a deeply philosophical discussion on the nature of evil with my four-year-old. “BECAUSE THE DUNGEONS!” Ah, yes. The dungeons. That explained everything. Yet, the question still nagged me. Who is the viler of villains? Why did I automatically assume Gaston was worse? Clearly, I needed to dig into this. At the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is established as the antagonist. He’s a narcissistic brute; anyone who brags about his chest hair is a total bro, amiright? The arrogant clown assumes he will easily woo the bookwormish but beautiful Belle, whom he only wants because she’s the prettiest girl in town. He doesn’t even respect her! What a D-bag. So we get it. Gaston is a sleazy scumbag. Sleazy, but not evil. Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Meanwhile Hans enters Frozen as the clumsily charming Prince of the Southern Isles. Anna falls for him right away. He’s handsome, kind, funny… What’s not to like? (Also, she hasn’t had any other human contact besides the castle staff for most of her life, so it kind of makes sense she would fall for the first guy she meets.) That he proposed within hours of meeting Anna is kind of a red flag, but Hans just gets her, you know? Giphy / GIPHY – via Iframely Back to Gaston. Rejected by Belle, he plots to blackmail her...

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A Look Back at 2015

Posted on Jan 1, 2016 in Adulthood Stole My Cool, It's the Navy Life, My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute, Travel Traumas

A Look Back at 2015 1

Hello, Friends. This blog has not seen much action this year.  Mainly, because of this rascal: I’d love to write more, and hopefully will in the upcoming months. In the meantime, this post is my attempt to recap everything I would have blogged about this past year had I had the mental capacity to do so. Here it is, 2015 in one blog post: January: The stressful end of 2014 – unending remodel, constantly sick kids, overworked husband, extreme lack of sleep, etc. – continued on into January, but things slowly turned up. The remodel wrapped up, we sort-of sleep-trained James (though it didn’t quite take), we began to settle into a routine. Now that James is a walking, running, climbing little boy, it’s hard to imagine that just a year ago he was still a baby, but it’s true, and this month saw him teething and cruising (or, the beginning of the end for me.) February: Snow, snow, snow. School closures, school closures, school closures. I don’t know if Elisabeth saw the inside of her classroom that month. Instead, she watched a lot of Frozen. I’m a good parent.  I also had an unfortunate incident in a Trader Joe’s parking lot involving my Toyota Highlander, a pole, and a personal injury lawyer’s BMW. Can we talk for a second about how it’s like a requirement that every Trader Joe’s has the worst parking lot in the city? Seriously. Every. Single. One. Anyway, moral of the story is don’t go to a Trader Joe’s on a holiday the day before a massive snowstorm.     Oh, we did have an exceptionally beautifully warm and sunny day in the early month that happened to coincide with our wildly successful housewarming party. Win! March: March was a good month. Mainly because I stopped nursing James. If you read my blog last year, you may remember I basically ate birdseed for the majority of his infancy due to his allergic colitis. Well, that sucked, and he and I were both hungry all the time. So I began eating cheese again and he...

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Seek and Destroy: Everything My Toddler Son Would Rather Do Than Read

Posted on Aug 30, 2015 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Seek and Destroy: Everything My Toddler Son Would Rather Do Than Read 2

My daughter loves to read. She always has. As a baby, she would sit contentedly on my lap looking at board books. As a toddler, she would page through her stories for an hour at a time, if I let her. (Of course I let her. An uninterrupted hour to myself? Heck, yeah!) Even though she cruelly gave up naps weeks before my son was born, I could at least rely on her to read to herself during a mandatory quiet time. It was – and continues to be – my saving grace.   I thought James would inherit this love of books. As usual, I was wrong.  The kid has zero interest in reading. Like, none. I am partially to blame. I was far too tired to read to him as a baby like I did with Elisabeth. Perhaps I missed the opportunity to instill a love of literature in him. I’ve surely stunted his future academic achievement as there is no way he hears the recommended 30,000 words/day necessary to ensure literary and language success. Unless hearing, “Stop!” or, “No!”, or “That oven is hot!” over and over 30,000 times counts, in which case he’ll be fine. His future intelligence aside, I mainly wish he would read because reading usually involves sitting still.  Sitting still means not destroying my house or finding new ways to hurt or kill himself.  But, no. Books – boring. Electrical cords – fun! Reading – nerdy. Death defying stunts – exhilarating! So, what exactly does he like to do, if not read? Almost anything. Here you have it: A list of everything my toddler boy would rather do than read. 1) Sniff his lovey. It’s super weird but super cute, and notable because it’s the only time he is ever still. And while he absolutely loves sniffing his lovey, this unfortunately does not account for much time in his day. 2) Climb into bookshelves. (Which of course requires removing all the books from the shelves first.) 3) Climb up the bookshelves. 4) Eat crayons. Really, most of the greens in James’ diet...

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Sorry, Second Children)

Posted on Jun 11, 2015 in My Kid Stole My Cool, Pinterest Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That (Sorry, Second Children) 2

Sweet baby James turned one about two weeks ago.   I know. I can hardly believe it myself.  To say that his first year was one of my most challenging would be… entirely accurate.  Like, it was soul-crushing, haven’t-slept-through-the-night-in-a-year, crying-in-the-shower stressful and exhausting. Not that it’s his fault. But between a baby, a deployment, a cross-country move (international for my husband), a home purchase and a renovation, life got a little overwhelming. Not to mention my kids were sick ALL THE TIME.  We basically lived at our pediatrician’s office. And the gastroenterologist’s… the urologist’s…. the ENT’s… the ER. So while I hate to see James turning into a toddler (too fast! too fast!), I am looking forward to a calmer second year. And befriending someone other than my child’s doctor. One can hope. And maybe in this second year, James will finally start to get near the amount of attention his sister did at his age. I like to think the craziness of the last year contributed to the unequal attention Elisabeth and James received as babies. But let’s be honest – James is a second child. It was never going to be the same for him. Before James was born, I accepted that his baby stage would never exactly mimic Elisabeth’s. But I convinced myself James would not suffer second-child neglect. I believed I could cuddle/play with/read to/lie around doing nothing with James just as much as I had with Baby Elisabeth, without Toddler Elisabeth feeling totally abandoned. I also believed I could do so in a way that wouldn’t make me totally insane. This is called delusion.  I quickly learned that life with the second baby is completely different than life with the first baby.  Mainly because that precious resource you had as a first time parent – time – is now quite scarce. I finally understand why I am so much better adjusted than my two younger brothers. Sorry, Second Children. (I’d apologize to third children, but third children are too laid back to care.)   So here you have it. The most obvious signs of...

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The Problem Child’s Perspective

Posted on Sep 14, 2014 in My Kid Stole My Cool, The Kids Are Actually Cute

The Problem Child’s Perspective 1

Mom, I think we need to clear the air. A few days ago at the doctor’s office, you called me, “your problem child.”  You said it in that high-pitched baby-talk voice while smiling and tickling me, which makes me think you were kinda-sorta joking.  But I think you were maybe also kinda-sorta serious. Is it because of the ringworm? Look. I have no idea how I got ringworm.  You’re the adult. You figure it out.   I get it.  It’s weird.  I have been exposed to absolutely nothing that would give me ringworm.  After all, we never go anywhere on account of me screaming every time I get in the car. But looks what happens when you take me out in public! I GET NASTY FUNGAL INFECTIONS! Can you blame me for shrieking the entirety of every single car ride? It’s my only defense!  And besides, all the rest of the time I’m pretty much the smiliest, happiest baby ever, so I think you’ve got it pretty good.  But back to the ringworm – let’s just chalk this up to one of life’s great mysteries.  I have it, now move on. Could it be this allergic colitis thing? Is that why I’m the “problem child”? I hear you complaining about not eating dairy anymore.  Or egg.  Or soy, which according to you is in everything.  And I know all you want is to dig into a massive pizza with a side of ice cream.  (And real ice cream. Not that coconut milk crap.)  But seriously, Mom.  First. World. Problems.  I’m the one bleeding from my gut, remember? Is a little sympathy too much to ask? Besides, the vegan cookies you baked can’t be that bad.  I mean, you ate the entire batch in like, three days. Or maybe it’s because I don’t sleep?  I don’t really understand what the problem is.  I just love you so much I want to hang out with you all the time! That’s a good thing, right?  I know that since daddy is deployed and you’re on your own for now that the nights are...

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