Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lights in the Park

On the Friday before Christmas, we took the boys to Phalen Park to drive through the holiday lights display, it was on my list this year as I’ve been sort of on the look-out for easy, low-key, low-stress activities to do as a family over the holidays.  So nice to do something that doesn’t involve prepping or packing or planning.  We took baths and had dinner at home, even baked some cookies, then got the boys all loaded up in the car in their matching polar bear jammies and headed off. Before we left Gus asked me, incredulous, of we were really leaving in our PAJAMAS?! Coming from a kid who would stay in his pajamas all day if he could and often begs me to let him wear his Spider-man pajamas to daycare, this was an unexpected treat. 

We stopped on the way for some cinnamon spice tea (newest obsession), and then were our way across the city.  Once we had made it into the park I unbuckled the boys and told them they could come sit up on our laps, something that seemed to surprise and unsettle them both, despite the fact that they were prepped in advance that this was part of the deal.  It was like they didn’t think I was serious, and then when it was happening… they looked at me like FOR REALZ MOM?
They took turns on each of our laps and just oohed and ahhhed and exclaimed over each display we passed.  Louie was timid at first but very interested and discussed at length every single thing he saw.  Called one of the displays (a town scene) “The Lorax”, which made us giggle, and the whole experience was as magical and sparkly and cozy and delightful as I had hoped.  

It was really nice to have this quiet, special night, where it was just the four of us, with the wonderful craziness and over-stimulation of the actual Christmas holiday looming. I’d say it was practically a spiritual experience in that minivan on that very cold night.  Well... as close to spiritual in a minivan gets.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Since April

Seven months is a ridiculous amount of time to go without blogging. We'll get that right out of the way.

I feel like I owe some sort of apology to someone but who would that be exactly? If you know, let me know. Or if you feel like you need an apology. Let me know. I'd be happy to give it, I basically throw out unnecessary I'm sorry -s all the time in my day-to-day life. Been doing it since elementary school. It's sort of my thing. Drives many of my close friends absolutely NUTS.

I'm sorry.


Still, I feel better.

Dan and I were talking about my neglected blog one day as I was lamenting that I'd really like to get back on the horse, but it feels awkward now. Like I don't know where to start, or where I left off, seven months is a massive amount of time in iPhone pictures (truly THOUSANDS) and holidays (Memorial Day weekend, 4th of July, Summer Girl's Weekend 2013 (what? that's a holiday right?), Labor Day weekend, Halloween, Thanksgiving) and birthdays (I turned 30-something in July, Dan in August, Gus was 4 (FOUR!!) in September)...


Gus and Louie are very concerned about their Uncle Tim, off camera, who is wearing a terrifying evil monster costume. 

Gus Birthday

Backyard birthday party for our 4 year-old.  Dan made that cake, which I find pretty impressive. 

Yeah there have been some big time happenings, and then all the little stuff, the stuff I'm normally more interested in writing about. It just feels overwhelming and giant and messy. Like a big black hole. But in all honesty, I've never been consistent about regularly documenting things in this space, consistency in life, really, has never been my strong suit, so I'm projecting something by making a big thing of it now. I go through spurts of wanting to write, and doing it often and even well, and then I go through spurts of wanting to hole up in my own little world, content to just share little tidbits with the world via Instagram. And I've definitely noticed my Instagram activity getting heavier as of late (am I becoming an over IG-er? you can tell me, I can take the truth) and that's probably due to the fact that it's the only consistent space I have at this point to interact with this community and share my life and document it for future me to look back on and idealize. I think my oversharing there might be a symptom of my desire to get back here more, so hopefully I can do that.

I am totally just spewing at this point. I hate that I am blogging about Instagram, how lame is that? Blech. Bad taste in my mouth.

I was trying to get to a point, about Dan. He had the brilliant idea that a way to "get back on the horse" could be that I simply take another look at my last post, of my Spring Day-in-the-Life, and provide some little updates on some of the things that came up in that post. A Then and Now sort of thing. I liked that idea, it seemed doable, so that is what I will be attempting to do here, I'm sure with varying degrees of success.  This takes the pressure off of deciding what is important and what is not important to include here.  Basically a mish-mash.

Here we go.

* We RECLAIMED OUR BEDROOM and it was gloooorious.  Louie easily transitioned upstairs to his crib in his own room, and while he still wakes up in the night, it's not usually very often (when he's healthy) and even his most piercing screeches don't seem to wake up his brother directly across the hall. 


Sleeping like a baby, as they say.

Neither boy seems to care about having his door shut (something that I always worried would be an issue for Gus, and thus part of the reason why for 18 months we let him basically rule the kingdom that consists of the entire 2nd floor of our home). So yeah.  Our makeshift "bed" (sectional couch + the ottoman squeezed in the corner like a puzzle) has gone back to just being a damn couch.  


Now we sleep here. Again. Like I said, GLORIOUS. Found this picture on my phone amongst three-hundred-some-odd blurry pictures of the floor, set up action figures, and my grumpy self with bed head and a mascara-streaked face. Gus is really obsessed with "taking photos" these days, he runs around the house CLICK-CLICK-CLICK-CLICK, telling us to smile and look at the camera, exclaiming often, "Ooooh, that's a good photo!"

* Louie no longer sobs and screams on the floor of the bathroom while I shower, and is now quite easily distracted by TV, so there's reason #1 why 23 months is much easier than 16 months.

* The boys are (knock-on-wood) playing so much better together these days than they were 7 months ago. 

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When I read back on my day-in-the-life, and put myself THERE and THEN, well the difference is drastic.  Thank goodness for that.  They honestly seem to like each other, and enjoy being together.  And believe it or not Louie is now often the instigator of trouble between the two of them.  I find myself running into the room yelling "GUS!!! What did you do to your brother?!" much less often than I used to.  These days its a chorus of "Stop bickering! You two need to figure this out! If you can't play nicely together then leave each other alone and play by yourself!"  It's still exhausting, and I'm still pretty shrill and shrieky (working on my patience everyday), and I'm sure the whole sibling relationship thing will continue to be hard, but from what I'm seeing, I am full of hope that theirs will be truly lovely someday. I'm grateful already for the glimpses I have on a daily basis of the bond they clearly share.

* Woot!  We finally painted our dining room in August!  Or... we paid my sister-in-law to paint our dining room in August. Semantics. So long ugly patches of sample grays.  It's much brighter in there, which was my ultimate goal, so I am very happy.  I have moved on to somewhat hating the busy curtains I purchased (and fell in love with!) less than a year ago.  Meh.  Nothing I can do about it now because it might mean the end of my marriage.  ;)


You can see the dining room here (cameos by Iron Man and Spider-Man, lucky you!) which in the last year has been given a new paint color and curtains as well as a new-to-us dining room table and hutch cabinet.  Certainly an improvement.  I LOVE our new table. 

* We fired our Nanny.  Whoa.  Yeah that was a big change.  She just... wasn't working out.  Details are unnecessary, but we found ourselves scrambling to find childcare at the beginning of the summer and somehow the stars aligned and an inquiry I made with a friend of my aunt's who runs an in-home childcare led to someone she knew with almost immediate openings whom willingly takes on part-timers.  I still can't believe that it all came together as it did, and I am so thankful.  So grateful.  This woman, and her daycare, well it's amazing.  She's amazing.  And it has been so good for our family, definitely good for our kids. 

Dan &

* Along with the new daycare, Gus also started preschool this fall, a 2-day program at a church nearby that we truly just happened upon through our new child care situation and it ended up being a wonderful, loving and kind learning environment that I am so grateful Gus has as his first experience with real "school".  And after meeting with his teacher at conferences this fall, it is clear she "gets" him, which is just so important to me.  The daycare lady brings him and four other kids to preschool two mornings every week, and it works perfectly, though I do feel a bit disjointed from the process and wish I could be there for pickup to hear all about what they did each day. It would make getting information out of Gus later much easier if I was able to have a few more good "prompts".  It is like pulling teeth getting the details from him.  :)
* Louie is still a bit of a picky eater, but in COMPLETELY different ways than Gus. He BARELY eats fruits or vegetables, despite the fact that they are both offered at most meals.  Apples, bananas, sometimes mandarin oranges and pears.  And that is about it for the fruits he is willing to put anywhere near his mouth.  He'll eat vegetables only if I cut them up real tiny and mix them in some sort of rice or noodle dish.  (Oh and he eats raw carrots on occasion, but usually just chews them up and spits them out.)

It is quite annoying, especially since we're used to his brother who would prefer to eat fruits and vegetables and pretty much nothing else.  Their preferences could not be more different, and some nights I'm tempted to just give Louie all of Gus's meat and/or starch and give Gus all of Louie's fruits and vegetables.  Call it a win, and at least it all gets eaten and we avoid the inevitable battle.  Gus has turned into my brother, which truly was my worst nightmare when having kids. (Sorry Ben.) All of a sudden he has this huge aversion to anything "mixed".  Rice casseroles, spaghetti with meat sauce, fried rice, stir-fry, enchiladas.  These are staples in our house and they are all things he used to eat with gusto, and now he just pushes them around the plate and whines about how he can't eat that noodle because "it has meat on it" and he can't eat that chicken because it has "butter on it".  Trying so hard to be zen at dinnertime, and to not wage too many unnecessary battles, but we usually ask that he at least try things.  One bite, "you never know, you might like it."  And if he doesn't like it he can have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Or a yogurt or something.  But that ONE BITE can just be torture.

* Oooh! Oooh! Gus no longer begs us to cut his sandwiches into little bites!  That's a big change from 7 months ago! That's progress right? Deserving of its own bullet point? Probably not, but I need a win in the food department.      

* We haven't been to the MN Zoo since my last post.  We are definitely more of a Como Zoo crowd, I like that it is so much smaller and closer-spaced, and that we can go there for the morning, hang out a bit, and high-tail it home in time for naps without much problem. Also, Como Zoo is one of my all-time favorite kid hang-outs in the winter.  It's pretty quiet and the kids can blow off some steam a little while we all get a good dose of Vitamin D from the amazing sunlight that pours into the conservatory through those floor to ceiling windows. LOVE.

* Gus finally somewhat mastered the tricycle this summer, though he still is so lazy and often un-interested in riding a bike of any kind in general.  Hopefully he will move on to being interested in a 2-wheeler with training wheels next summer.  Oy. Grant me patience.

* Oh melon!  I forgot that Louie actually eats and loves most melons!  Can't wait for them to be back in season.  Glad to have that reminder... see it does pay to read your own blog!

* Okay now I am just depressed.  Those pictures of us at the park last April.  It has basically been below zero for the past week.  Does not compute. 

* I talked in my last post about Louie's communication, and how nice it was that he could tell me things like he's hungry, even if its just by bringing me a bowl.  Goodness, it's just amazing how much he can communicate with us now.  He doesn't stop communicating.  Like, ever.  His language explosion has been incredible, and has been one of my greatest joys over the last half a year.  I LOVE that we know what he is thinking because he is constantly telling us.  He is intensely stubborn, and has started to throw quite the epic tantrums, but they aren't as frustrating as they could be because we understand him, and he understands that we understand him.  He is comforted by our words, and our explanations. His tantrums usually have to do with us saying no, or Gus playing with something he wants, rarely are they a result of his frustration that we don't know what he wants.  That knowledge is such a blessing with raising a one-year-old. 


Some of my favorite Louie-isms... When he gets hurt or sad to the point of having a big crying fit, and we console him and hold him, talk to him about what's going on, he decides he's done being hurt or sad and tells us, "I'm done crying." and climbs off of our lap or out of our arms.  So freaking hilarious."I'm done crying mom."


The other day, out of the blue when he heard me talking about a haircut, he listed off the events of the day that HE got his first official haircut, "Louie haircut, Gus haircut too, I watch Lightening McQueen, I play dinosaurs with daddy".  Like truly, that is exactly what happened more than a month ago, at the salon where we got their haircuts.  

He was sick last week and the night of Thanksgiving, actually, he had a coughing fit after going to bed and he ended up gagging and puking all over himself, and then when I got him out of his bed the fit just kept going and he continued to throw up all over the floor of his room.  Poor thing.  He still talks about it.  "I throw up in my scrib (his word for crib), I need a bucket, daddy clean up, daddy wash my duck blanket, duck blanket dirty, I sleep with animal blanket."

He blows my mind.

* We are still nursing, Louie and I. I don't know when we'll stop, but I'm having a hard time thinking about the realities of weaning.  If I knew whether or not this was our last baby (which I don't), maybe it would be easier, or maybe not. It's working for us, and I love the bedtime and morning snuggles I get out of this relationship, so I don't see an end in sight.  Not yet.  Who is it hurting?  No one.  Still, I can't believe he'll be two at the end of the month and we're still nursing.  Certainly wasn't a part of some big master plan, just happened.  We've been lucky.


My view from the rocking chair we nurse in, in Louie's room. 

* Awww, my little nephew Graham, my brother's little boy was just 6 weeks old then, and now is over 8 months old, crawling and babbling and getting so big. And my boys love him so much. That is just crazy.  I mean, duh.  But life is weird, it just continues to truck along, even when you're not blogging about it. ;)   

me and ben

Pumpkin patch this fall, terrible pic of both Ben and I but it's pretty rare to have a picture of the two of us, with our kids (still crazy to me).  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day in the Life, Spring 2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

I'm awoken at 6:00 AM from my peaceful slumber to Gus's voice on the monitor.  He's yelling that he's awake and has peed in his bed.  Okay.  Awesome.  He's wearing a diaper, so hopefully he's just decided to yell that he's peed to get me to come up there quicker, and the diaper has not actually leaked and resulted in a urine-soaked bed.

So I stumble up the stairs from the basement, and find Dan in the kitchen, preparing to leave for work.  I grumpily kiss him goodbye and grab a cup of milk for Gus, hoping he'll go back to sleep for a little bit after some milk and some cuddles.  

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Oh, I should point out, this is where Dan and I have been sleeping for many months.

It's a makeshift bed put together each evening by shoving our ottoman in the corner of the sectional couch.  This was our temporary solution to the fact that Louie is still waking up at least once or twice a night and we're basically not ready (or too lazy) to attempt to transition him to sleeping in the nursery upstairs.  So he's still in our bedroom on the main level of the house, and we sleep here.

In this family we go to great lengths to avoid making big sleep-related transitions for our children.  Clearly this is an unhealthy and immature way of handling these situations, but it is our way.

I'm relieved to discover that his bed is not soaked in urine, so I help him remove the wet diaper and send him off to the bathroom.  He comes back and gets some underwear on, and I convince him to climb back in bed and snuggle with me.

I doze while he holds my ponytail and writhes around in bed for about 40 minutes.  It's annoying that he won't go back to sleep, but I'm not going to complain that he let me just lay there for so long.  He finally drags me out of bed and its just as well, because we have plans today to meet my friend and her two kids at the zoo, and I reeeeally could use a shower.

I take advantage of the fact that Louie is still sleeping and do so.  (It is very difficult to shower if Louie is awake, because he spends the entire time whining and screaming and sometimes sobbing, pulling at the shower curtain trying to get in, all of which is... not ideal.)  I let Gus watch a Transformers cartoon on Netflix (very educational) while I shower and go about getting ready for the day.  I make a conscious decision to shave below my knees in the anticipation of a warm weather weekend.  (Yay!)

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The belt to this robe is nowhere to be found.  Very annoying.  Also I do the daily "stripping" of our "bed" and throw the linens in another room where I don't have to look at them all day.

Louie being asleep in our bedroom makes my closet and dresser off-limits for the time being, thus I try to find some clothes to wear in the laundry baskets hidden away in our treadmill/junk room in the basement.  Despite the fact that they are heaping with my folded clean clothes that have been accumulating for weeks, I can't find anything that I feel would be appropriate for 70 degree weather.  (EEEK!  So exciting!  First REAL spring day in Minnesota.)

Eh.  Problem solved, Louie's awake and Gus is itching to go get him so we both head upstairs.  Gus races up the stairs, I am not so quick in my step.  Getting Louie up in the morning is one of his FAAAAVORITE things to do.

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So happy to see each other.  Both shaking the pack-n-play and jumping up and down like maniacs.  The whole crazy scene gets me to thinking about coffee.

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After changing Louie's diaper, the boys wrestle around on the bed and hype each other out some more while I hunt around for something to wear.  I remind Gus for the 429,467th time to calm down and stop kicking his brother.

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Whatever.  I will look like this today.

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Gus drags out the legos and the boys actually play for a bit together nicely, I am excited about this and think I might actually be able to get myself a cup of coffee and put together our lunches for the zoo outing without children at my feet.

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Messy dining room table.

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Note to our nanny from Dan, still on the refrigerator from yesterday.  Bella is our dog, we are paranoid about blackberries because after the last time she swiped one, she had an allergic reaction in which her face swelled up and we had to give her Benedryl.

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Having the kitchen to myself did not last long, and these two are quickly at my feet both demanding milk.

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I entice them to go drink their milk on my bed while reading books, and it actually works!  They sit there long enough for me to pack the lunches.  And there is no fighting or screaming, rather giggling and sweetness when I hear Gus reading Super Chicken to Louie.  Love the brother stuff so much when it does not involve fighting and crying!

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Louie's lunch is on the left.  Gus's is on the right.  Who knows whether or not Louie will have one of those days where he actually wants to eat real food, but I know he'll eat cereal and cheese and I'd rather him be happy and not hungry when we're out in public.  The pear is a bit of a long shot, but I'll eat what he doesn't.

PB&J for both Gus and me.

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The boys are back in the kitchen, and Louie starts dancing around yelling "Oooh-ooh, aah-aah", pulling up on his high chair.  Clearly he has got the routine down.  I turn on Curious George and put him up in his chair while I pull together breakfast for each of us.

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Louie refuses to eat even a bite of his waffle, and throws his blueberries on the floor to the dog.

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Coffee and Nutella on toast for me.  I know, I'm a little embarrassed to admit that.  You'd think I would have chosen to eat something healthier on a day that was being documented.  :)  

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Dancing to the Curious George theme song.  "Louie DANCE!  Mommy, Dance!!"

Also Gus is eating a pancake and a bowl of frozen blueberries.  (Hence the blue mouth.)

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I relent and just give Louie a bunch of cheerios since I know that's what he wants.  He goes to town on them, of course.  Can a baby grow to be a child, then grow to be an adult on milk and cheerios alone?  I hope so.  This kid.

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I leave a sink full of dishes to be dealt with later, we have about 40 minutes at this point to be out the door for the zoo, and getting these children dressed can take that long itself.  Need to get to hurrying.

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Trying to get him to smile for a picture, to document the cute blueberry lips he's got going on.

As I'm picking out clothes for the boys and getting Louie's diaper changed I am singing "We're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo..." and after just one verse Gus says to me, "Mommy, don't sing that anymore, the song is over."  Jeesh.  OKAY.

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As you can see... one of the children is dressed.  And now they are emptying the contents of the toiletry shelves in the bathroom.  Ugh.

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I make them put everything away, and try to get Gus to come get dressed, but he's too busy putting this puppy to sleep with a wipe for a blanket.  How dare I interrupt such an important task?!  Mentioning the zoo for a 10th time this morning finally lends to some cooperation, and we officially have three persons dressed to be seen in public.

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Back downstairs we continue with the encouraging and motivating talk about getting our shoes and sweatshirts on.  (Notice, no coats!)

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We are 100% ready and now they've found another excuse to dawdle.  Gus tells me that the farmer looks like grandpa, which I find amusing because I don't think he's ever seen either of his grandpas wear overalls.  I would kind of like to see that.

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On our way out the back door, I ask Gus to let the dog inside, and we bid her farewell.

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She's pissed that she's not coming with, per usual.  

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Still a little snow back there.  It will be gone soon!

We are backing out of the driveway at 9:14, a whole minute earlier than I had planned.  I give myself props.

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And reward myself with a Diet Coke from McDonalds.  As we drive through, Gus says, "Mom, are you getting a coffee or a Diet Coke?"

The zoo is about 40 minutes away from home.  We're meeting Suzi and her two kids Kellen and Mila at 10:00, but she's already texted to say she's running a bit late, so I decide to head in there anyway and hit up the bathroom first.  

I open up the hatchback and mutter expletives when I realize that I have the wrong stroller.  I have the cheapy crappy single stroller, rather than the sit-and-stand.  This does not bode well, because the MN Zoo is a freaking trek, almost "too much zoo" as my mother-in-law says, and now Gus has to walk the whole time.  That doesn't even seem possible.


I consider renting one of the double strollers they have here, but I'm wary of the storage situation, and they're just so dang big and bulky.  I go back and forth and then just decide to throw caution to the wind.  He can walk.  We can do this.  We will have to do this.

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Just inside the zoo Gus is already asking to ride on the stroller, and then he looks at it all confused, like, "WTF mom?  Where's the spot for me?"  So for a bit he stands on storage basket in back and holds on, but that doesn't last long.  Inside we go to the bathroom and then start walking through the Tropical area, looking at lemurs and some monkeys and some sort of warthog looking things.  Louie is beside himself with glee over all the animals, and Gus takes things in a little quieter but oohs and ahhs every time I point out something new.

Super fun.  This is why we do this stuff, right moms?

While looking at flamingos I notice that somehow I missed Suzi's call, and they're here somewhere.  She's outside by the closed splash pad, looking for somewhere to nurse Mila.  I say we'll head out there, and then quickly try to make the decision in my head whether we should turn around or keep going through the rest of the tropical exhibit.  Which way is shorter/faster?  Back the way we came, or through the rest of the loop?  I seriously haven't been here in more than a year, and before that it was like once.  I don't know this zoo.  I know Como.

I decide to continue on through the exhibit.  That is a bad decision.  I am carrying Louie and my bag because we had left the stroller back by the bathroom, and Gus is dawdling because he is 3 and 3-year-olds dawdle.  But OMG.  So exhausting.  And I felt bad rushing Gus because I knew he wouldn't even get to rest when we got to the stroller.

Just one of those decisions you wish you could go back in time and reverse.

Oh well.

I'm sweating and looking frazzled I'm sure.  Just painting the scene.

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We finally meet up with Suzi outside and head towards the Farm Babies, I've been talking up the baby goats with Gus the last few days.  It's quite a hike.

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Gus and Kellen walk together for quite a while, but it's clear he's tired and I'm starting to feel like we'll never make it.  I decide to lift him up and let him sit on the cup holder/sun canopy area of the stroller, legs dangling down by Louie's face.  It actually works, and he's happy to be sitting and I'm happy to be making progress towards actually getting to the goats.

The zoo is PACKED by the way.  It is the first gorgeous day of the year and the last weekend with the Farm Babies so of course it's packed, but I'm not a huge fan of crowds.  Lots and lots of tantruming children and frazzled looking moms, it's a little overstimulating.  We're all in this together ladies.

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We ditch the strollers and our layers once we get there, and Gus starts running towards the barns while I am unbuckling and de-jacketing Louie, and doesn't stop or even respond when I yell for him.  I have to chase after him and have a talk about wandering off and how easily he could get lost and how dangerous it is to go off on his own.  I know he understands all of that, as well as a 3 year old can, but he forgets and gets so easily distracted.

We see a lot of goats.  The boys are immensely amused.

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Having a heart-to-heart.

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Louie is ridiculous.

Suzi and I regroup, and decide to break for lunch.

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The children are ravenous and silly and clearly rejuvenated by the break.  Lunch itself is not without its hiccups, I spill an entire cup of milk, and Louie climbs all over my lap and the rail next to us, hanging down like a monkey while shoveling cheese down his throat.  But truly, it went better than I ever could have imagined.  No whining, no crying, just happy chaos, which I can do.  :)

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We got this.

Our time spent at the zoo after lunch is a bit of a blur.  The busy restroom offers its challenges, and Louie throws a number of arched back fits during which I come dangerously close to dropping him on his head (oy), all because he doesn't want to walk a certain way, or doesn't want to go back in the stroller.

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There's quite a bit more dawdling from these boys, they seem just as interested in walking on the curb and picking up leaves than any of the animals.  Though everyone, especially Louie, gets a kick out of seeing the tigers.  First he points and yells, "Meow!" and when I tell him those aren't just cats (he hasn't seen many actual cats in real life, so I get the confusion), and that those are tigers, he yells, "Rawwwrr!" and squeals with glee.  Love him.

After the tigers, I decide to get Gus a treat (juice in a dinosaur bottle) and let Louie run around a bit, since that is ALL he wants to do, he's so tired of being contained or held.  

Unfortunately at this point I don't really have my wits about me (or did I ever?) and without thinking I take him out of the stroller while Gus is still sitting up on the canopy/handle, trying to open his juice.  The whole thing crashes to the ground backwards, and thank God Gus lands on his butt rather than his head, but whoa.  It was a long way down and though it barely seems to phase him, I'm shook up and can barely make eye contact with Suzi, I'm so ashamed of my gaffe.  I am just so freaking accident prone, it is ridiculous.

It really is time to go home, especially if there's any way I'm getting there without Louie falling asleep.

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Suzi takes a picture of us on our way out, so I have photographic evidence of this stroller situation we've got going on.  Really, why must I make my life more difficult by making these kinds of mistakes?

We say goodbye to our friends in the parking lot and head on home.  Gus is going on and on telling me how much fun he had at the zoo, and it is adorable.  I try to keep Louie awake by singing songs and passing him snacks, but my efforts are for naught, he falls asleep about 6 minutes in.

Oh well.  At least now I can just relax for the remainder of the drive.  Such a whirlwind morning.

Upon arriving home at 1:35, I keep the car on and get Gus unloaded, he has had to go to the bathroom for the last 5 minutes of our drive, so we quickly run to the backyard and he does his business there.  I run inside to the bedroom, turn off the lights and turn on the fan (white noise), and grab Louie's blanket, ready to attempt the car nap transfer.

He wakes up when I take him out of his seat, but I am not to be deterred, I rush into the house, give him a kiss, tell him night night, and book it out of the room.  He is PISSED, but only for about 30 seconds, at which point he lays down and passes out.  I declare that the first car nap transfer victory we have EVER had with Louie.

Even though I know Gus is just exhausted, and would probably nap, instead I let him rest in the basement and watch a movie.  No nap means he'll go to bed at 7:00 and the alternative usually ends up with a bedtime around 9:00-9:30, and Dan and I could really use a good night off from parenting.

So he watches Cars while I eat a cookie, play on my phone a bit, and clean up the breakfast mess.

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Little dude comes up and asks for a snack, and I oblige with a banana.

Then I get to thinking about dinner.  Gus's early bedtime means the schedule will be tight, and I'd like to fit in a walk to the park, so getting it started now, and shooting for a 4:45 ish mealtime seems like a good plan (however ridiculous it would have likely sounded to pre-kid me).


Seems like a perfect night to grill, but I sort of get shot down when I bring it up to Dan.  He hates when I plan a bunch of crap for him to do on Friday nights after work, so I back off immediately.  I get it.  Our Friday night interests almost always clash, I would almost always choose to do something social and he prefers to veg and hibernate after the long week.

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Since I've already taken out chicken, I decide on enchiladas, and start chopping vegetables and prepping the sauce.  

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Gus comes up a number of times and I try to shoo him to the basement to finish his movie, mostly I just want him to stay out of the living room to avoid waking up Louie, but I also am needing my own "quiet" time.  One of the times he brings this book, and there has to be a reeeally good reason to say no to reading to him when he's asking me to.  Being tired from the zoo and wanting alone time to cook dinner is not a good enough reason today, so we sit down right there on the kitchen floor and it is a lovely, grateful to be this kid's mom moment.

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Dan comes home and he brings Gus outside while I finish prepping the enchiladas and get them in the oven.

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Dan and I have a small spat when I get all bossy and pushy with him about Gus learning to ride his tricycle.  I have to admit that I find it somewhat annoying that he still hasn't fully mastered the simultaneous peddling and steering thing.  Mostly I just get so frustrated when he gives up after a few minutes, and I want to push him harder, make him practice because how is he ever going to learn if he doesn't DO IT?! Dan thinks I'm being obnoxious, and I probably am.  I let it go because they are out there playing together and why do I feel the need to come out and butt in?

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I need to just walk away, so I go back inside and cut up a honey dew melon to go with dinner, realizing  it's almost 4:30 and dinner is nearly ready and Louie is still napping.  Nevermind, he's awake.

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I take Louie outside to play with the boys and he is just SO HAPPY.  So so so so happy to be outside in the sun, he tears around the yard like a maniac.  Yay spring!

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Knowing that there is sure to be a tantrum shortly when we make him go in for dinner...

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My plate.

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Gus's plate.  Yes, a modified dinner for sure, but I know he won't eat the damn enchiladas, so I'm not even going to try.  Kid has worn me down quite a bit when it comes to dinnertime.

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Louie's plate.  Prediction: he will eat nothing.

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Louie sobs and writhes around when we make him go inside and wash his hands for dinner.

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Crabby, angry about coming inside.  Thinking about how he's definitely not going to eat this crap, nope, not one bite.

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Dad breaks out a "special surprise" after dinner and Gus is eccstatic.

We clean up (somewhat) after finishing dinner around 5:15 and quick get out of the house for our walk.  Cannot waist one second of this beautiful day, you know?  That's how I'm feeling.

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The park was a good decision.

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My parents live literally next door to the park, so I give them a call and let them know we're there.  They are out of their house and at the park snuggling and chasing my kids within minutes.

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Sort of awesome to document our first day at the park for the summer with this day in the life.

As we're leaving the park, I get a text from my brother asking what we're up to tonight, and we make plans for him and Michelle to come over after the kids are in bed to watch a movie and hang out.  Baby Graham is just 6 weeks old, and they are looking for ways to get out of the house I think, and I love that we can do this sort of thing on a whim.

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Home and stalling before bedtime, telling me a big story about these magnetic trains that we have had on the dishwasher FOREVER.

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Fitting bedtime book.  Though there were no spells of badness today at all.  Wow.  That's an amazing realization.

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Gus is asleep by 7:15 and while Dan gets a work out in, Louie and I finish cleaning up the kitchen.  He's suuuuper helpful, and at one point is bringing out clean bowls from the basket and getting angry when I'm not understanding something he's trying to tell me.  Then I remember that he didn't eat anything at dinner, and ask him if he wants some honey dew?  I go to the refrigerator and take it out and he is ecstatic that I have figured out what he wants.  Love that he can kinda-sorta communicate his needs these days.

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He eats his bowl of melon off the floor, and only when I take this picture do I feel a little bad about that.

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Ben and Michelle want to borrow some of our baby clothes so before Gus went to bed we fished these monsters out of storage.

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Tidying up the living room while Louie continues to take out messes.

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A few books before bed.

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My view during "nigh-nigh".  (His words for nursing.)

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Saying goodnight to my sweet boy.

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Dan is outside throwing the frisbee for Bella when I get out.  I think he's feeling the same way I am about this weather, not wanting to waste a second of it.

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It's 8:40 now, we've made the popcorn, cracked open the beers, and are awaiting our guests who are running about 40 minutes later than they had originally planned.  I text Ben and give him crap about how he used to say people with kids shouldn't have an excuse to be late, that it is as simple as planning extra time for the unknowns.  Haaaaaa!  Karma.

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Be still my heart.

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They've brought over the new Bourne movie that does not have Matt Damon in it, and it is... okay.

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But the guy who is not Matt Damon does wrestle a wolf and somehow force it to swallow a tracking device.  So... he's pretty bad ass.  (Yes, that is him wrestling a wolf, hard to make out, but it had to be documented.)

Movie is over and our guests leave, in bed around 11:00.

A GREAT day.  Perfect almost.