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.


Lisa said...

LOVE it. Your day did sound like it was just perfect! I so love reading about your days and the bits and pieces that I don't see or hear about.

- Who gets stuck sleeping on the ottoman? Clearly not Dan? Btw, Jon still did not realize that you were actually sleeping on it at night after that conversation...just canoodling I guess? How did he miss that?

- You looked adorable that day. Truly. Isn't it awesome wearing short sleeves now?

- You should never feel guilty about coffee and nutella. Anyone would be crazy NOT to have that for breakfast.

- Photo with Gus at the zoo leaning against the wall = ADORABLE. Zoo pics in general are super cute. I heart iPhone 5 camera.

- Enchiladas? Yum!!

- Love your boys in stripes. Clearly you do too. :)

- I thought the new Bourne movie was "meh" too. The wolf part was disturbing, though I guess you could call it badass too. LOL.

- Gah, Graham's hair is amazing.

- Love your little family to pieces!

Deb Pysno said...

Hi Alicia,

It's exhausting just READING about your day. Thank you for sharing. It will make me better at what I do, and oh, so grateful, that my kids are now in their mid- and late-20s. Keep up the awesome work. Your love and understanding shine through the rest.

Erin said...

Many comments on this post:

-The damn zoo. Seems to me to always be a better idea in theory than in practice, but Annie has never enjoyed seeing animals, so that's probably my reason for that :) Horrible to forget the double stroller!! Not sure what I would do... ugh. Love your improvisation - reminds me of when I put Annie in Luke's baby carseat in a similar situation :)

-The damn TRICYLCE!!! YES. Seriously SO FRUSTRATING to watch them struggle with something that seems SO EASY! JUST FIGURE IT OUT KIDS. Annie has a strider bike and I'm glad because at least we don't have to watch her not figure it out, BUT that means that she has literally no clue how to handle herself on bikes with pedals. She gets the concept but can't make it work. Whatever.

-I love Louie's little curls and LOLed at your sleeping situation. Seriously, the lengths we go to make these creatures sleep. Am I reading this right that you guys actually are getting to sleep all night now?? I still get chills remembering your DiTL from awhile ago where you were up like 10x at night.

-Can relate so much to the writhing around of the young toddlers when you try to put them places they do not want to be, and the tantrums about walking in places they don't want to go. Just starting that stage with Luke, oh the joys!!!!! Annie was never like that so this is new. There were MANY MANY plusses to a largely immobile child ;)

-The not eating at all, so frustrating. Luke randomly does that sometimes and it straight up enrages me.

Julia Goolia said...

I'm glad you did this!!! Loved it.

I want that train book asap!

We love Nutella over here, too--no shame in the game.

Love the honesty about sleeping situations. Freaking sleep. It's the best/worst.

val said...

It does sound like a pretty great Friday. xo, Val

Berbs33 said...

Love reading your day in the life post! You have the cutest little guys and hearing all their stories makes me think back to when Colton was going through the exact same things... he struggled forever with peddles, he serisouly didnt full get it until he was almost 5. Thanks for sharing... and looking at the pics from the beautiful weather that day is making me even more angry that is snowing today!!

Erin said...

Yay for a near-perfect day! The spring weather will do wonders for everyone's moods and souls, seriously.

So you guys have your own bed that lies empty night after night because Louie is in there in the pack n play?! That's crazy talk, girl.

Our dining room table looks like yours. And I like your kitchen floor.

We sing the zoo zoo zoo song every time we go to the zoo, too. ;)

My children eat on the floor often. In J's words, ain't no shame in that game. And Henry struggles with the tricycle, too, and it puzzles me. It does seem like a pretty simple thing! But they'll get it eventually. ;)

Navigating the Mothership said...

We are the kind of people who end up (and did end up last year) with ridiculous bed situations for fear of risking less sleep/night drama. Ha.

Oh, the zoo. I have also had a handful of wrong-stroller moments and I have had similar kicking-myself moments. Arg.

This was fun to read and I'm glad that you had such a nice sunny day (minus the occasional kid snafus).

Caits said...

What a great day! Mn weather is such a pain this year!

Meta Herrick Carlson said...

Hahhaha. This is awesome. You are awesome.

My favorite line is about the honeydew on the kitchen floor. I used to put the high chair tray on the floor for Jasper while I did dishes - Cheerios and bananas. I never thought it was weird until a non-mom friend came over and saw him grazing down there. Then I felt a little genius/trashy. :)

Angela said...

Loved reading about your day. The guy whose not Matt Damon? We need to see more movies together if you don't know Jeremy Renner.