Saturday, January 25, 2014

project 52: 3

you are always responsible for how you act, regardless of how you feel.  remember that.

we were all sick this week.  and therefore there was a lot of couch time, a lot of iPad time, and a lot of tissues, and vitamin c, and chicken soup, and naps, and green tea.  luckily ellie seemed to have escaped the flu that charlie and i had and whatever avery ended up with.  we had really nice weather on saturday and took a long walk just to get out of the house for a bit.  here's hoping that we'll all be feeling well this week.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

dear dunkin

dunkin's ten, which in lab years is pretty old.  i think recently, maybe in the past year or so, we've started to notice him getting older.   it breaks my heart because really, i know everyone says this, but he's the best dog.  ever.  it's no secret that henry's been my baby.  and if i had to choose between the two i would have picked him.  but dunkin's a better dog.  he's loyal.  he's kind.  he's protective, in a way that doesn't make you nervous when people knock on the door.  he's my constant companion.  he follows me around the house throughout the day.  he waits upstairs outside the door when i'm putting the kids to sleep and won't come down until i do.  he's just a good, good dog.

he was charlie's before he was mine but i always thought of him as my dog long before charlie and i moved in together and he technically became my dog.  charlie has always joked that dunkin is the reason that we got together because i hung out with him just to be with his dog.  when we had kids i never gave a second thought to how dunkin would be with them.  i was a little worried about henry because he can be really grumpy.  and i actually think that he's been a bit depressed since we brought avery home.  at first he was mad, and then when she started crawling and walking and messing with him he started spending his days as far away from her as possible.  the only time he really acts happy is when we take him for a walk and let him chase the geese.  but dunkin didn't have a problem when we brought avery home.  he definitely gets annoyed with her and he'll look at charlie and i like "do i really have to put up with this?" but he does.  always.  and sometimes i think he secretly likes the attention.  

avery goes back and forth about how she feels about him.  sometimes she's all about him, giving him random hugs, telling him she loves him, playing silly games with him.  and other times she gets really annoyed with him.  he's definitely a "velcro dog" and she gets mad that he's always in her face, laying on her toys, or licking her fingers.  she'll get mad and try and push him out of the way sometimes, which is just comical because he's 90 pounds and she's probably 20 or so.  basically she doesn't stand a chance.  and he just looks at her like "yeah, right".  

anyway, as he's gotten older we've started to realize that he probably won't be around forever.  his hips bother him and he has arthritis in one of his front legs that causes him to limp pretty badly.  he can't play ball anymore and although he still loves walks, i've stopped taking him because of how badly he limps when we get back.  i'm so glad that our kids have had a chance to grow up with him because he's the sweetest.  charlie and i are definitely dog people.  i can't imagine our home without a dog, despite the messes and the piles of fur.  but i also think for us that we'll never have another dog like him.  hopefully he's got a few more years of playing ball with avery, barking at people who walk by, and chasing toby around the house because i know we'll miss that dog like crazy when he's no longer around to trip us when we get up from the dinner table.    

Saturday, January 18, 2014

project 52: 2

when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.  

thomas jefferson

fairly appropriate quote for this week.  :)  this was my first week alone since charlie was traveling and it was no joke with two littles.  the evenings are still a tough time for us as ellie's still in that stage where she wants to be held all the time and not a lot can make her happy in those evening hours.  i found myself washing dinner dishes at 9:30 pm. when both kids were finally, finally asleep.  on the plus side avery is sleeping and napping like a champ and that has saved us all.  ellie actually does really well at night once she's asleep but doesn't want to give up the fight and actually go to sleep.  so although the evenings are hard at least we're getting a bit more sleep at night.  we were all very happy to see charlie when he came home.  avery is pretty cute when he gets home from being gone from any length of time but especially when she hasn't seen him in 4 days.  she asked him to bring her snow back from his trip and he brought her a snow globe with a bear which she's been carrying around the house and roaring at.  and ellie; i can't believe how big she's getting.  i feel less sad about her growing up than i did with avery.  maybe because i know it just gets better and better?  but i can't believe that she's almost 2 months old.  i love that kid to pieces even when she's a screaming mess.    

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


when i was pregnant with ellie and was just finishing up work i was a little apprehensive about how i would fill my days without work.  my work from home gig was really more of a working remotely gig.  i had set hours, conference calls, etc., etc., and had to sort of parent and take care of avery around my work schedule.  it was definitely flexible but i didn't make my own schedule and i couldn't dictate when and how things happened.  all that being said work filled a lot of my days and gave them a purpose.  not that taking care of littles is purposeless but at the end of the day there's usually not concrete evidence that i've accomplished anything.  and i liked being able to look at my list of things to do and see that i had completed things and was further ahead than where i started the day.  i also liked using my brain in a way that being a stay at home mom doesn't provide for.  all of that to say that i was worried that once i was at home full-time i would feel like i hadn't accomplished anything at the end of the day and therefore would start to go a little crazy.  it's definitely taken some time but i can say that i've gotten used to the idea that taking care of these kids is what i do all day and simply ending the day with everyone fed and relatively happy is somewhat satisfying for me right now.  i definitely miss being a part of the working world, using my brain in a different way, and having people value my opinions on things other than how to wash diapers.  however, at the end of the day i feel satisfied.  i've sort of learned to accept the messes and hold those kids a little longer because before i know it they'll be too big for me to hold and i'll be wishing for these days back.

Monday, January 13, 2014

a bit of snow.

we haven't really had much snow this winter.  i keep telling charlie that i'm expecting this winter to be just like last winter where we didn't get much until march and april and then it snowed at least once a week.  i really hope i'm wrong about this but i'm mentally preparing for no spring again this year.  anyway we got a few inches the other week and avery finally agreed to go out and play in it.  she doesn't have real snow boots.  we really need to get her some, but we got this snowsuit at rei at the end of the season last year for something like 60% off and i love it!  she does, too i think.  we got some use out of it last year and it still fits her fine this year since we bought a size bigger so she could wear it this winter.  i took her out in the front yard and she ran around and crawled around and caught snowflakes on her tongue and ate it by the handful.  i finally had to drag her inside because i was freezing.  i'm on the hunt for some boots and hopefully we'll get a few more snowfalls for her to play in.  

a day in the life: 2 kiddos in the middle of winter

avery is 2 years and ellie is 6 weeks old.  

i figured i would record a day so that if ever i was asked why i don't get anything done i could just refer people to this post as an explanation.  :)  we normally try and get outside for a walk and a trip to the playground if the weather cooperates but it's been pretty cold lately.  i'm hoping for my sanity's sake that it warms up a bit as we're all going a bit stir crazy at the moment.  

5:30 am:  charlie's alarm goes off and he gets up and gets ready for the gym.  ellie wakes up, but she's already in our bed so i feed her and hope that we'll both fall back asleep before avery wakes up.  thankfully we do.

7:10 am:  avery is up and crying.  this is pretty late for her as most days she's up around 6:30.  i get up, get dressed and then head into her room to get her.  she greets me with "i have nice nap." and "mommy so pretty".  a pretty cute way to start the day.  i change her diaper and we head back into our room to get ellie.  i semi make our bed and open the curtains.  we take ellie into her room where we change her diaper and clean out her nose before heading downstairs.  

7:30 am.  we're downstairs.  i let the dogs out in the yard while avery plays.  i make myself oatmeal and get some yogurt for avery.  avery eats half the yogurt and spills half on herself.  typical.  i eat my oatmeal while holding ellie, sharing bites with avery, and wiping up spilled yogurt.  charlie comes home and makes coffee, which is probably the highlight of my morning.  

8:00.  breakfast is over.  thank goodness.  i always love this time of morning when the animals have been taken out, everyone has eaten and is relatively happy and i can enjoy my coffee.  today, i'm hanging out on the couch with ellie while avery plays with her play kitchen and baby in the other room.  avery quickly comes into the living room where ellie and i are.  i just got out the play gym for ellie to play on but instead avery insists on using it with her doll.  i try and convince avery to let ellie use her play mat but she's not giving in so ellie hangs out on my lap.

8:30.  ellie starts fussing so i feed her.  avery's all over the place, playing on the floor and the couch.  she falls off the couch at one point and starts crying.  these are the moments when having two kids is hard.  luckily she recovers quickly.

8:40.  ellie's done eating.  i put her in the moby wrap and head upstairs with avery to the playroom to color.

8:51.  after pacing around our bedroom for a bit ellie is finally asleep in the moby wrap.  i sit down with avery to draw, what else, santa and snowmen.  even though christmas is over avery isn't ready to let go of everything that it came with and i'm still drawing santa and snowmen by request.  in fact she gets mad if i draw anything else.  she finds a pom pom from an old hat and insists on bringing it with us when we're done coloring, adding this to the two birthday candles that she's already asking me to carry all over the house and my hands are getting pretty full.

9.  i need to do some laundry today, well every day.  today's is ellie's and avery's clothes.  there's a ton because i recently went through some of avery's old clothes to pull out some things that may be fitting ellie soon and am washing all of that along with the regular stuff.  i tell avery that i'm going to run downstairs to get the laundry basket and i'll be right back up but she insists on coming with me.  she also insists that bunny and tiger come with us as well.  i grab the laundry and then stuff it all in the washer.

her most favorite animal book.

one of the many messes waiting to get cleaned up.

9:15.  avery's getting whiny and since i haven't played much with her alone this morning i ask her if she wants to read books and have orange juice on the couch.  i grab a basket of books that we haven't read in awhile and she seems pretty happy with that.  her animal book is in this basket and she hasn't flipped through it in a while so we spend a lot of time reading this one.  she points to every animal asking "what is that" even when she actually knows what it is.

baking cookies

9:45.  she's over reading books and we get off the couch and move back into the kitchen.  charlie comes up for a mid-morning break and avery ropes him into cooking cookies with her.  i take advantage of the time by making some toast and cleaning up the kitchen.  i feel like i am constantly cleaning and picking things up and yet it never seems like the place is 'clean'.


10:10.  charlie's back to work and avery finds fox and asks for music.  i put on a country song which she immediately shoots down telling me "no like that one" and asks for "applause".  i cannot handle listening to applause again at this point or really at any point this year.  it was her favorite for so, so long and we've listened to it so many times that i want to smash my head into a wall whenever it comes on.  instead i put on "timber" and we listen to it three times while dancing with fox before avery says she's all done.

10:20.  the laundry finished at some point during our dancing and i switch the clothes from the washer to the drier.  i tell avery it's time for a diaper change but she refuses so we play with her animals on the play mat a bit.  she pretends to put her animals down for a nap, covering them with a blanket and singing the wheels on the bus to them.  it's pretty cute.

10:30.  ellie is awake so we all head upstairs to change everyone.  i change avery's diaper and get some clothes.  she puts some resistance up with her pants since they're not leggings, the only pants she wants to wear at this point, and tells me "no like that one" while kicking and screaming as i try and dress her.  i tell her they're cute and hope she'll get over it once she's dressed and distracted by bigger things.  thankfully she is and gets over the pants.  we move to ellie's room where i change her diaper.

10:45.  we head to the playroom.  i need to feed ellie and there's more toys in here for avery to play with.  avery doesn't want me to feed ellie but i sit on the futon and tell avery to play with her trains and she actually does for once.  ellie poops while she's eating and i keep feeding her with plans to change her when she's done eating.  avery tries to crawl into my lap telling me, "i want to hold you mommy".  i should start correcting her grammar but sometimes i find her mistakes pretty cute.

11:00.  i take ellie into her room to change her and avery starts crying again.  we all head downstairs and i give avery a pouch "cookie monster" while i try to finish feeding ellie.  avery finds the book "goodnight san francisco" and we read it 5 times.

11:20.  ellie's done eating and i put her down on the playmat and read more books with avery.  this doesn't last too long as ellie starts crying.  she's been up for a bit at this point so i figure she might be tired.  i put her in the moby again to see if she'll fall asleep.

11:30.  i'm trying to read to avery and walk around to get ellie to fall asleep.  neither are impressed with the lack of attention that they're getting.

11:40.  ellie's asleep in the moby.  charlie comes up for lunch and offers to make me a sandwich.  avery plays in the kitchen pretending that she's talking on the phone.  i hear her say, "mommy only has one hand".  charlie looks alarmed but i laugh because i say this to her all the time when she's asking me to carry her or a million of her stuffed animals up the stairs while i'm trying to carry ellie.  we eat lunch and avery steals some bites of both of our sandwiches while eating some apples and yogurt.  she will refuse a sandwich of her own 90% of the time so we've stopped trying.

12:00.  lunch is done.  i clean up and run the dishwasher.  avery's amusing herself at this point so i head into the living room to try and clean up some of the mess in there.  i get the clothes out of the drier and see that avery and charlie are playing animals and blocks.

12:30.  i take the laundry upstairs and start in ellie's room, folding clothes and trying to find a place to put all of the larger sized clothes that i pulled out the other day.

12:40.  ellie wakes up so i pull her out of the moby wrap and put her in her crib to see if she'll entertain herself for a bit.  this lasts about a minute before she is crying so i pull her out and feed her. avery's still downstairs so i actually get to feed ellie alone and it's really nice.

12:45.  still in ellie's room and i hear charlie bringing avery upstairs for her nap.  this is awesome as it's always hard putting her down for a nap with ellie.  he changes her diaper, talks about our morning, and sings her a few rounds of the wheels on the bus.  i change ellie and finish feeding her in her nursery.  she falls asleep and i just rock her for a bit.  again, i never get to do this and it's so nice.

1:20.  i take a sleeping ellie downstairs and put her on the couch.  she stays sleeping so i head to the computer to answer some emails.

2:00.  ellie is awake and happy.  we play for a bit.

2:10.  she's over it and ready to eat again.  i feed her and she falls into a state of semi sleeping while eating.

2:45.  avery is awake.  ellie and i head upstairs to get her.  i change avery's diaper and then we head back downstairs to hang out for a bit.  she's usually in a terrible mood after waking up from her nap and i never know exactly what to expect when i get her in the afternoons.

3:00.  we all head back upstairs to change ellie's diaper.  i feed her and then fold the rest of the laundry.  ellie's tired but not giving into sleep just yet.

3:40.  we all head back downstairs. i put ellie back in the moby wrap and she falls asleep.  i pull out the pot roast that i made last night and put it back on the stove.  i cut up more potatoes and carrots and throw it in the pot with some more beef broth.  this meal is a pain because it's so much chopping but i can make it last so long, which is a huge plus.

3:55.  i feed some hungry (and annoying) cats and then sit down to play blocks and animals with avery.  she's into this game right now where we build block towers for each of her animals and then she knocks them down and we start all over.  at some point she moves on to just building regular towers with her blocks.  i've actually been pretty impressed with her block building skills lately.  future civil engineer?  she picks up a red block and tells me "cherry nose like santa" and then a blue block and says "blue eyes like santa".  i'm pretty impressed so i take a picture and send it to my family.  my mom calls after she gets my message and we talk for a bit.

4:45.  we're done playing.  ellie is still sleeping.  i get a beer and ellie wake up.  i feed ellie on the couch and read avery her duck book.

5:20.  dinner time!  i make bowls and we all try and eat.  luckily this meal is a pretty big hit with avery and she eats well.  ellie isn't happy and she cries during most of it.  i'm holding her but apparently not well enough as i try and eat at the same time.  i give ellie to charlie and clean up from dinner.

6:00.  i feed a crying ellie in hopes that she'll calm down.  she falls asleep in my arms.

6:30.  i hand ellie over to charlie and head upstairs to shower.

avery's really into getting under the blankets during story time.

6:45.  i feed ellie again.  she wasn't happy with my shower.  while reading bedtime books to avery on our bed.

7:10.  i change ellie and hand her off to charlie. avery and i go into her room and we talk about her day and then put her in her crib.  so happy for a toddler that goes to bed easily.  i go back downstairs where charlie and ellie are.  ellie isn't happy again so i try and feed her to calm her down.  charlie makes us tea and attempts to clean up the messes around the house.  we put on the best of jimmy fallon to watch.  ellie's done eating and not happy.

7:45.  ellie's really not happy to i stand up and walk around for a bit.

8:00.  charlie and i switch.  she's always calmer with him at this point during the night.  and he stands with her for a bit.

8:30.  i feed ellie again and she falls asleep this time.

9:00.  upstairs for bed.  last night was pretty terrible for ellie so we're praying that she does better tonight.  i climb into bed and nurse her to sleep and then transfer her to the rock 'n play.

3:30 am.  ellie's awake.  a 6 hour stretch!! that's the best we've had yet and i'm so thankful for that chunk of sleep.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

project 52: 1

Oh normal day, let me be aware of the treasure that you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.  One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.  

 Mary Jean Tron

Monday, January 6, 2014


one of my new years goals was to 'master the frittata'.  charlie made fun of me but i've made them a few times before and always with mild success.  there's a million ways to make them but i hadn't quite found the best way for me yet.  i had always ether burned it in the broiler or not cooked the bottom enough.  on friday i attempted another one because my first plan for dinner got scrapped because ellie was too fussy to put down (i think we've entered the 6 week fussy period, which means from about 4:30 to 9:30 there is lots of crying and holding and pacing around the house).  i considered this frittata a success and wanted to actually write down what i did so that i would remember when i went to make it again.  probably next week when we're in need of a quick dinner again. 

i used diced tomatoes and onion because i had them on hand but my favorite combos usually involve mushrooms and zucchini.  

here's what i used:

8 eggs
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 onion chopped
mozzerella cheese

preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  melt the butter in the pan, add the onion and sauté.  mix the eggs, milk (i just dumped some in), tomatoes, pepper, basil, and oregano in a bowl.  add the mix to the pan once the onion is done sautéing.  let it cook for about 10 minutes. sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top and bake for 25 minutes.  eat.

it was good.  i'm crossing this off of my goal list.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

here's to twenty-fourteen.

it's that time of year again.  goal time.  i always love these last few days of the year when the holidays are over, chrsitmas decorations have been packed away and the house feels less cluttered, and the holiday 'to dos' are done.  ahhh.  i love, love, loved the holidays this year.  maybe it was the newborn baby but i felt like we really relaxed and focused on family and spending time together this year and that's what i really want to be the focus for our future holidays, too:  family, friends, people and things that matter.  we definitely did some fun holiday activities.  we baked cookies, crafted silly snowmen, took the kids to see the zoo lights, drove around our neighborhood to see holiday decorations, played christmas music nonstop, watched the grinch too many times, and drank hot cocoa after cold days at the playground.  i feel like we really enjoyed christmas this year, but since we put our decorations up pretty early i was ready to take them down on the 26th.  i was also savoring the time when my sister was in town and i could pack up decorations without worrying about holding a baby and entertaining a toddler.  anyway, on to the new years goals.  i wanted to keep these pretty simple this year because otherwise they'll get ignored.  so here they are.  and hopefully in 365 days i'll be able to say that i was successful.  not perfect but successful.

+ hike once a month.
starting with small hikes and hopefully working up to some more challenging ones.
even if it's flatirons vista and we only last 30 minutes before a meltdown.  we live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country (in my opinion) and we have so many wonderful hikes that are right in our backyard.  i really want our kids to grow up with an appreciation for the mountains, for being outside, for getting exercise that doesn't involve a gym, for the outdoors, and this amazing state that we  are privileged to live in. the rockies are pretty awesome.  

+ get outside.
with the kids, with the dogs, with charlie.
walks + playground time because everyone needs exercise and feels better with fresh air.  somedays this may be for 5 minutes but i need to remember that it's always worth the effort to get outside no matter how long it takes us to get ready and how long we last outside.

+  stop buying bread.
find a good (and quick) recipe for sandwich bread and make our own.
this may be hard.  but i will try.

+  set aside time with charlie.
at least twice a week, something purposeful.  

+  stop buying clothes for myself at target & old navy.
because they never last and i would actually save money if i bought slightly more expensive clothes less frequently.  i will definitely still be shopping here for the kids because they're perfect for kiddos who get dirty often and outgrow clothes in less than a season. 

+  master the frittata.
because it's quick, healthy, and easy.

+  project 52.
a picture of each kiddo (separate or together) + a quote for each week.

+ less iPhone more camera.
i always have my iPhone on me because i always want to have a camera.  however, i hate that 90% of our pictures are from the iPhone and i get pretty distracted by the internet.  unless charlie's out of town or i'm waiting for a call there's no need to have my iPhone with me at all times.
+  make family albums.  

but mostly, i want to enjoy this year,  savor these moments with two small kids, enjoy the time i have with my husband, and be thankful every day for what we have.  here's to 2014. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

happy twenty-fourteen.

happy 2014 from our family to yours.