Thursday, August 18, 2011

Girls' Night

Last night, Jason had dinner with friends and I had a girls' night.

With my daughters.

It was actually a lot of fun. As of late, things have become a lot less logistical (like, how am I going to make it through any sort of store without a stroller, or a cart, or an extra person or a Xanax) and more more easy and less stressful (like, I can go into Braums for a gallon of milk and my daughters can actually walk, and I don't need a stroller, or a cart, or an extra person, but maybe still a Xanax.) This may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Having a bit more freedom to do the little things without planning every single minute step is really nice.

So for our girls' night, we spent our time out in the backyard.

Chloe swam in her clothes. I'm still not really sure why I let her do this. It just seemed like the right thing at the time.

And Stella walked around the backyard in one shoe. Again, it just seemed okay at the time.

And I grilled by myself, for the first time in my life. I made teriyaki chicken.

And some sort of carrot/brussel sprout situation that was delicious.

All while cooking and playing and swimming, I did my most favorite thing of all.

I perused the pages of Vogue.

And I fell in love with these shoes. And I'm ever so hopeful that Forever21 will come out with a $20 knock-off.

And I fell even more in love with Diane Kruger's sense of style.

And look at this cape. Isn't it gorgeous?

And I was inspired by Stella McCartney's sense of casual style. So effortless, right?

And again, Diane Kruger. My hat is off to you. And those shoes. Forever21, please make a knock-off of these too?

But the best moment of the night was watching Stella peruse the pages of Vogue. Saying "shoes, dress, beautiful." Ah...a girl after my own heart.
What a great night.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

And I thought we'd be home potty training.

I guessed wrong.

Instead we've been home puking, changing bedding, changing shirts, changing diapers, doing 8 loads of laundry, spraying down the house with Lysol, boiling toothbrushes, boiling sippy cups, boiling everything imaginable...

And then we ventured out of the house to run to the store for chicken soup and sprite. I thought the girls were finished puking and on the way up.


As I was wheeling the cart through Crest with cheetah-like speed, Chloe looked at me and I knew.

She puked all over the floor.

And I couldn't help but puke on the way home, hanging out the car door.

But the girls are napping. And it's been 3 hours without any sort of puke in sight.

I'm ready for the girls to stop looking like this.
And to look like this again.

Potty training will be saved for another day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I Have No Words.

Except I do have a few. I'm sure you're shocked.

This is me when I was three.

But the most notable fact of this picture is my awesome dork face.

Very reminiscent of this child.

And this child. And here again.

Aren't they lucky to have my genetics?
Thanks Mom for reminding me that even I have a dork face.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Little Stelly Belly

My sweet, little Stella is 18 months old today. 18 months old. I absolutely cannot believe it! When I told Stella this morning during a mad rush that it's her half birthday, I asked her if she wanted to do a little photo shoot. She looked me square in the eye and said, ever -so-matter-of -factly,


So she made her way down off the chandelier she was climbing on (which was probably not in fact not a chandelier, but more of a standing-on-the-coffee-table sort of the thing. Which might be worse than swinging from a chandelier. I don't know.) and headed to this particular chair, by this particular window and started posing away.

Here is 18-month old Stella as thoughtful and maybe a tad bit shy.

And here is her serious 18-month pose.

And here is her "look at me, I'm so much fun at 18-months pose".
Then she immediately climbed down and back onto the coffee table and began contemplating how to get enough air to get jump to the couch. She is crazy and a daredevil, and will most likely give me a heart attack by the time I'm 31.

But she is my precious girl. The light of my life. My heart and soul. And I love my Stelly Belly with every ounce of my being.

Happy 18 months!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Last Year

(Title should be sung to the tune of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas")

Apparently the thought of celebrating my sister's birthday at an awesome burger joint sent me into a particular frame of mind--the exact frame of mind that I was in last year, celebrating my sister's birthday at an awesome burger joint.

Here is Chloe, August 5, 2010.

And here's Stella, August 5, 2011.

(It's her party and she'll cry if she wants to, okay?)
Notice the similarity? Same dress. And this was not planned. The whole time we were eating, I kept thinking, "something is funny. I know it is. And it's not the fact that Stella is a wild woman and is playing under the table while eating french fries off the floor. No that's not it."

So we just kept celebrating my sister's birthday with my mom and Sonny.

And I kept having that strange feeling.
And I went home and immediately figured it out. I'm a freak. But you probably already knew that anyway. And I don't know who's going to wear that striped dress next year. It won't be my baby, I can promise you that.

And I hope that next year I don't wear workout clothes to a burger joint. (I have an excuse, I was training a client right before lunch.) It's just strange wearing workout clothes while inhaling a burger and fries. And I'm just not that ironic.

And I also hope that I never again run 6.5 miles after eating a burger. Not pretty, not pretty at all, my friends.

But there is one thing you can probably guarantee about MaKenna's next birthday.

Stella will probably be wearing a pink dress that looks a lot like this one. And it will be an accident. And around August 8, 2012, you will find another post on this pathetic blog titled "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Last Year, Part Two".
Happy Birthday, MaKenna! Another year older means that you're almost as old as me.

Wait, that's not right.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It was a valley.

It all started when Chloe wouldn't fall asleep until 4 AM. No, take that back. It all started with a cupcake. Yes, it must've been the cupcake. Or the toddler bed. Or the weening of the pacis. At this point, it's hard to remember the chain of events, because all I know is that it's all been a blur. A long, hellacious, life-teaching, lesson-learning blur.

It was a valley.

Weening the girls from their pacis was not that bad. Not that bad at all. It took about a week for them to realize that they weren't coming back, but they survived. With a lot of tears and weeping and wailing, they finally understood...pacis are for babies. But like any good addict Stella has stolen a couple of sucks off a helpless baby's paci here and there. Chloe has been a champ. No looking back for her.

And then we switched Chloe to her toddler bed. And she totally rocked it. No problem at all.

Until the cupcake. That stupid, stupid cupcake.

Chloe loves a cupcake. She has maybe had a total of three or four in her life, but she sees a cupcake and immediately starts singing "Happy Birthday" and goes into an ultra-concentrated inhalation of the cupcake. If you want to see a 2-year old focus for more than 30-seconds, give Chloe a cupcake.

On this particular day, Chloe was treated to a cupcake at lunch. And then we went home for naptime. (Consequently, this was also the day that Stella brought me my empty cup of coffee asking so sweetly for, "more coffee. more coffee." I could've died. She drank an entire cup of [cold, don't worry] unflavored, black coffee.)

I went to put the girls down for their naptime and Chloe freaked. The sugar surge was too much for her to lie in a bed, and close her eyes, and take her normal 3-hour nap. She made the bold choice to not nap and she made it very clear to me that she was going to win the battle. And I made it very clear to her that I was more stubborn than she, and that a nap was in her future. By 4 PM, after 3 hours of putting her back in her bed 1,876 (I counted) times, I gave up. She won. And her nap didn't happen.

And it didn't happen the next day.

Or the next day.

Or the next day.

And I thought I was going to die. Chloe won. I lost. And I felt like the worst mom on planet Earth.

And here's a little warning for you. Don't post queries about other children's nap habits on facebook unless you want to crawl into a cave and not merge until your children are in college. The question went something like this..."Fellow moms, when did your kids drop their afternoon naps?" And the responses went something like, "My kids are perfect and they nap 8-hours a day, and sleep 12-hours at night-We've never had a problem with our little angel-Perfection is my kid's middle name." Don't get me wrong. Some comments were funny and some were really helpful and encouraging, but I still felt mortified that my child was THE ONLY child not taking their afternoon nap. Again, I was searching for that cave and I felt really, really down.

I decided I needed to toughen up. The next two weeks were rough. It was a period of trial and error. Of stubborn-ness on my end that the Supernanny would be proud of. I deserved gold stars for the sleepless nights, the bedtime battles, the laughter, the tears. The strange events--A night where Chloe stayed up until 4 AM, 3 puke episodes not induced by sickness but 1.)a chip 2.)motion sickness in the car 3.)crying. A nearly 18-month old that has decided to do everything her older sister does, which means that I now have two daughters in their terrible two's. A horrible scratch on my eye (hence, the glasses in the pics). Of almost being late to work to work a couple of times. A morning of showing up for work, realizing that I had my husband's keys and not my keys to open up the gym. A portion of that morning was also spent with my daughters coloring behind the front desk in their pjs, because of scheduling confusion. And all in all, amongst other random events that I probably can't remember, it was a blur.

But the good news is, I survived. And more importantly, my eye is much better. Joke. My daughters made it through. And I believe that we are the better for it. We are back on track and things are slowly but surely returning back to normal. Naps are back. Good night's of sleep are back. I have learned that I'm not perfect. And my children aren't perfect. And while I always try to do my best, even my best efforts at times will not do. Kids go through stages. And it's the stages that are so trying, but ultimately so precious. And I know that I will look back and laugh, heck, I'm laughing now, but I know that I will miss this time. And I know this because through the whole experience I would tell my mom, "I'm not going to survive. They are going to kill me." And she would just laugh. She laughed because she has been there and knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I've never been one to sugar-coat parenthood, but I've learned that lending a little bit of honesty about the trials and rewards of being a parent is important.

If someone is in the valley, tell them that you've been there; tell them that you are there.

And laugh with them.

Because in the end, we all need a little encouragement and a lot of humor.

So if you are in the valley, my advice is this. Just go with it, do your best, be stubborn, follow your own instincts in spite of anyone else's opinion, steer clear of facebook, know that things will get better...and ultimately, take a picture of yourself while you're in the valley, with your hair a mess, sans makeup, sans shower, your eye scratched, in your dorky glasses with your daughter behind you, naked no less.

Because it's the times that aren't perfect that mean the most.

And keep walking through the valley. You'll eventually make it to the other side.

I promise.