Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months where if you didn’t have photos of it you almost wouldn’t believe you actually got to experience it first hand? That’s how I felt about these past five days…they were that good! Greg took Friday-Tuesday off to get in some family time and to celebrate our 8 year wedding Anniversary. This time together was the best gift he could have ever given to me.
We spent the majority of Friday at the beach. We blew bubbles, fed seagulls, built sand castles, had treasure hunts, chased waves, and smiled as we listened to our boys laughing louder than the sound of the waves crashing. Greg and I always say we really aren’t big beach people but I’m starting to think we may be lying when we say that. We came home, washed the coconut lotion scent and sand off ourselves and settled in for family naps and quiet time. Heavenly.
Saturday morning I woke up early to try to get in a long run with friends before the sweltering heat kicked in. I don’t think we went early enough because I was about 1 more mile away from having a heat stroke. We made it to just over 9 miles, but I’m not going to lie when I say it was torture. I didn’t feel too great after so we took it easy the rest of the day. After getting some energy back we headed over to our friend’s house for a BBQ. We were all friends before having kids and even before they got married, and now to see us all with 2 kids each all the same age it’s so awesome to see the next generation of best buds growing up together. School starts for half the crew next week so it was fun to have this end of the Summer BBQ with everyone.
Sunday morning we packed up the family and headed out for a little overnight Staycation to celebrate our wedding Anniversary. Greg got us a room at the Ritz Carlton 15 minutes away, so we decided to take advantage of it as much as we could and get there as early as they would let us (even though we couldn’t even check-in yet…you bet we were getting our money’s worth haha). I know you’re all thinking why were the boys with you on your romantic getaway but haven’t you seen the theme by now….we do EVERYTHING with them, they are our little shadows! In all honesty I would miss not having them with us, and they added so much to our day by the pool. The hotel even gave them their own sand buckets with lollipops, sunglasses and a treasure hunt they could go on. They got to splash around, enjoy a delicious lunch by the pool, took naps on the cozy pool chairs and the best part…got to see an elephant right under our room’s balcony!!! The most elaborate Indian wedding was taking place just as we checked into our room, it was incredibly cool to feel like we were part of it. We were all dancing on our balcony with them…such an awesome experience!
Ok so our little shadows did go home after a long day at the pool. Auntie came over for a slumber party so we could get back to the hotel and enjoy some wine, ocean views, the sunset and of course each other’s company. Not going to lie though we called our friend who lives close by and he hooked us up with a wine delivery and some good conversation until it was time for our dinner reservation. Thanks Matty for photographing our romantic evening for us haha.
Dinner was insanely good and they went over the top and surprised us with two beautiful desserts for our Anniversary. When we got back to our room we were again surprised by a bottle of champagne, robes laid out, chocolate covered strawberries, toffee covered almonds, and a sweet card congratulating on us 28 years of marriage lol.
We slept in the next day until 7:00am (this really was a treat) and then headed to breakfast before checking out and getting back to our boys. Nathan thought we ate too much dinner and was mad that we didn’t come home from the restaurant until the morning. My sister said he was in our bedroom staring out the window waiting for us. He’s obsessed lol. It’s ok, the feeling is mutual kiddo. Our neighborhood was throwing a big Labor Day bash so we headed there for a bit and closed down the evening with drinks in our friends’ yard.
Tuesday was our actual Anniversary but we were pretty tired from all the activities of the long weekend that we wanted to just do something mellow with the kids. Our plan was to take them on a train ride down the coast about 30 minutes but we totally misread the schedule! It turns out just sitting and watching the trains would prove to be all the entertainment they needed. We walked around, went to a cute coffee shop with them, and then ate lunch outside right next to the train tracks.
I look back on these past 8 years of marriage and can’t believe how far we have come, yet how quickly the years have passed. We have grown as individuals, as a couple and most importantly as a FAMILY. Greg does so incredibly much for us and is the most selfless person I have ever met. We are his entire world and he lets us know this everyday through his words and his actions. Life sure has changed for us since the boys joined our world, but we are more of a team now than we have ever been. This past weekend was a celebration of us and of them and will definitely go down in the books as one of the most memorable anniversaries to date. I look forward to going back to The Ritz 20 years from now and seeing that “Happy 28th Anniversary” card….for the second time.
While looking through Pinterest last night I came across this behavior chart. It really stood out to me as something that I thought could work well with Nathan. Lately I have been trying to come up with a solution for his constant request for things….Mommy, after school can we go to the mall and get a Lego Police Station? Mommy, after we go to your store we can go to my store and I’ll get ice cream ok? Mommy, can we go to Toys R Us today and get a giant Nerf blaster? So and So has a Nerf gun, I want one too.
I understand this is pretty typical behavior for a 3.5 year old, but it drives me nuts how obsessive he is about. It is literally what he talks about ALL.DAY.LONG. Since he doesn’t really understand the concept of time (Nathan, when it’s your birthday we can put this on your wishlist), I have really been struggling with explaining to him that he can’t have everything he wants. Or if it is something that I think he deserves, I want him to know we are proud of him and that eventually he can be rewarded for his good behavior.
Then the desperation kicks in…and I lose sight of the difference between rewarding good behavior and bribing him. He starts acting up, he fights me to get in his car seat, he won’t listen to me at the grocery store and I feel myself getting flustered….and then I blurt it out “Nathan, if you listen to Mommy we will go get you a Lego Police Station!!!!”….Nooooooooooooo, why in the world did I just say that? Talk about being inconsistent and sending the wrong message to him. I completely panic and say the first thing that I know will get his attention. I don’t even realize I’m doing it, but then I will hear Greg do the same thing and THEN I realize just how wrong it sounds.
That is why this chart stood out to me. In addition to the fun of the chart itself, you also earn “pom-pom points” along the way. Once he has enough pom-poms to fill his jar THEN we can go get a special reward. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a toy or a treat either if you aren’t into that, it could be a trip to the zoo, a movie date with Mommy, a baseball game with Daddy….whatever you think is great incentive that will keep your child interested.
Also, the “5 Minutes” and “10 Minutes” can be changed to other words if time-outs aren’t your thing or don’t work for your child. We call them “taking breaks”. They aren’t forceful or meant to make him upset, he just gets to spend some quiet time in his room to catch his breath and calm down.
I’m pretty optimistic that this chart is going to be very helpful in our household. It will keep me and Greg on the same page, it should hopefully keep Nathan interested, and I love the visual nature of SEEING the cause and effect of your actions. The pom-poms in the jar also give him a sense of time which really helps us avoid saying “someday”, “when you get bigger”, “maybe for your birthday” etc etc.
He was AWESOME with it today. Asking if he could help me make dinner, if there was anything Shane needed, if I wanted to see him eat all his food….and the real kicker, he went right upstairs and asked to take a nap so “the lizard could climb up the chart”. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing! I will keep you posted on the progress we make with it.
If you wanted detailed instructions on how to make one you can find them here.
I made ours on foam core board instead of poster board like the above blogger used. I also didn’t make ours hanging, I liked having the firmer board so I can move it around to different rooms if I needed to. We will probably adjust the “rules” a little bit to cater to our household, but the ones in the link are great and you can just print those out and keep with your chart.
I found the large clothespin at the $1 checkout line at Michael’s, and glued on the little wooden lizard that I also found at Michael’s. You could use anything on your clip. And if you have more than one child they can each get their own unique clip and use the same board. So far the lizard worked out great because Nathan loves thinking that it’s climbing up and down the wall for him.
There seem to be a million and one ideas and opinions on how to raise a well-behaved child. What works for one may or may not work for another. I know my sister and I came from completely different molds, so I’m sure my parents just had to adjust what they did along the way and roll with the punches. I know consistency is key, but I also think trial and error comes into play quite often too. So….we are going to give this one a try. It’s in line with what we have been doing but it’s a much more organized version of it. I’m actually hoping it helps keep my behavior in check just as much as it does Nathan’s. I’ll make sure to update how it goes! Wish us luck!
I don’t know about you guys but I am totally dragging this Monday! We had such a fun weekend that I think I am just feeling bummed that’s it over. Or maybe it’s because we were on the constant go go go, and my exhaustion is finally catching up with me. Either way, my eyelids are feeling heavy while I type this.
Friday was in the 80s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. There was a nice breeze too…it really was an incredibly beautiful day outside. It was the first morning Shane woke up fever free since his stomach bug, so I wanted them to do something fun but still didn’t want him around all our little friends just in case. We went to Toys R Us as soon as they opened and picked up a water table and a giant water gun so the boys could splash around in the backyard all day. Once we got home that’s exactly what we did! I lost track of how long we played for, but my face hurt from laughing all day with them. The best part is that they both took long naps after all that play time, and I may have done the same.
Greg got home from work and we continued playing outside, but moved it to the front of the house where the warm weather was bringing out all the neighbors. A few drinks ended up turning into a firepit in the driveway kind of night! I love where we live so much…any random night can turn into a gathering of friends, drinks, music in an instant. And our houses are within baby monitor distance so once the kids go to bed the fun doesn’t have to end.
Since we all had a late night, the boys slept in (this means anything past 7:00am in our house), and I snuck out to Turbo kick class. When I got home we decided to all go to Nathan’s swim lesson and cheer him on. He is doing so great! I haven’t been in awhile, since it’s his special time with Greg, so I was so impressed to see how much progress he has made.
After class we went to the grocery store and stocked up on food since we decided to throw an impromptu BBQ at our house that afternoon. We had 3 couples over and their corresponding kiddos and had a great time firing up the grill for this first time this Spring/Summer! Of course, just like the night before, the front of our house was swarming with neighbors and their kids so we merged our group and had another night gathered around the firepit.
After two nights of making some bad food and drink choices I was nervous going into our Sunday morning group run. My stomach was in shambles, I was so tired, and I knew we were going to take on our most challenging run to date. I wasn’t looking forward to it. Our mud run team agreed to a 5 mile loop where the 2nd mile was a long and steep uphill climb. Once we got out there a lot of things came into my thoughts…my friend Stasha running a marathon in London at the very moment we were running, my friend Liz busting through her second 10-mile race of the month, and of course the events of the Boston Marathon. I felt INSPIRED and I felt good. Good enough to charge straight up that hill without stopping, good enough to continue the rest of the run at a 9:00 min/mile pace and good enough to run right by the road that leads to our house and continue on, adding an extra mile than I had expected to do that day. I accidentally stopped my Map My Run app early but kept going to what I would think was exactly 6 miles!
I think this is why running is so addicting and so gratifying at the same time. You can continue setting small goals for yourself, and sit back and feel proud each time you hit one of them. There definitely seem to be setbacks along the way….a bad run….an injury….losing the motivation. But for every setback there is day you get out there and feel awesome, have one of your best days of running, and want to get back out there and reach the next goal you have set for yourself. Honestly, the day I hit double digits in continuous miles ran I think I am going to pass out…from pure exhaustion but mainly from the overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
Following our Sunday run, we got ready and walked down the street to a birthday party for one of Nathan’s buddies named Tyson. I can’t believe all these kiddos are turning 4 now, it’s totally mind boggling to think about where the time is going. It was a sports themed party which was so fun because it totally ran the boys ragged….we came home and they completely crashed in exhaustion.
Since they napped late, and at the same time, we thought we would take advantage of their well-rested moods, so we headed down to Dana Point harbor for dinner. The boys love to look at all the boats and birds, and Greg and I get to enjoy the sunset and the ocean view. While a romantic beach side dinner was once a regular weekend occurrence for us, this picture shows how times have changed since having kids. We wouldn’t change it for anything! Hope you all had a thumbs up weekend too!
I’m pretty sure most people recap their weekends right after the weekend happens, but we do things late around here. I think Sunday nights would probably be a good time to catch up on what we did over the weekend, upload some photos and write a new post…however, I was in bed asleep by 9:30 Sunday night from a full day of fun (and too many mojitos!). At least that is evidence of a good weekend right? And then of course I could always try and write a quick post on a Monday, but the boys were in rare form yesterday. I’m almost positive Shane is transitioning to only one nap a day. That would be fine if this one nap lasted more than 45 minutes. Needless to say I chose eating my lunch instead of getting on the computer during my “break”.
Anyway…I personally like to think the weekends start on Friday, especially when Daddy was traveling all week for work and was flying in during the early afternoon. Before he got in, we met our friends at the mall to try and get a photo of our kids with the Easter Bunny. To say Shane was scared of the Easter Bunny would be the understatement of the year…he was petrified! Shaking, screaming, inconsolable and wouldn’t even look at him (it was a pretty creepy looking bunny so I’ll give him that). I thought his phobia of Santa was bad!! At least with Santa I could get the funny photo of the baby crying on a strange man’s lap….but this time I couldn’t even get within 5 feet of the bunny. My friend’s oldest daughter Ella also isn’t a Santa or Easter Bunny fan so she sat this one out too. Oh well, Nathan got to take his photo with Ella’s new baby sister Lilah.
Saturday I made it to Turbo Kickboxing in the morning. I’ve been doing TKB for over 8 years now and still love it as much as I have from the very beginning. I actually get excited to go, which I really can’t say for any other workout I have ever done. After I got home Nathan went to his swim lesson, and hurried home so we could walk down to the neighborhood Spring Celebration. We ended up meeting several of our friends there and had an awesome time. Here are some photos from the day.
Yes, that is Nathan pictured with his best bud Carson instead of his own brother with the Easter Bunny. Despite there being a less scary looking bunny Shane was definitely not interested! After the festivities the boys went down for naps, and I ran out to The Home Depot with Nana again. I am now obsessed with our tiny little garden and just had to get out for more supplies. We bought some hanging flower pots, got a large pot for my tomato plant, and added a kumquat tree! I really hope I can keep everything alive!
Sunday we woke up early and met our neighbors for our weekly run. Our neighborhood has a facebook running page and we reluctantly joined it a few months ago. I would always see them meet for a run on Sunday mornings and never thought I would actually join them let alone, ENJOY going. After the run we went out for brunch, and then got ready to head to our neighbors house for another fun-filled Easter afternoon. The parents indulged in yummy drinks, March Madness and a BBQ while all the kids dyed eggs, decorated cookies, and tossed around water balloons. We actually ended the evening with a huge water balloon fight in our driveway….adults included. It was such a fun way to end an awesome weekend! Already looking forward to the next!
It’s officially Spring! Winter was not our friend this year, so we were more than happy to say goodbye to the colder (and sicker) days, and say hello to a new season. Although the changing of the seasons may not be as distinct as they were growing up on the east coast, and we don’t have to sit back and wait for the snow to melt, we still welcome the gradual changes with open arms.
Nana flew in to town last week, and has been here helping me with the boys while Greg has been gone for business. They have been having so much fun with her…riding bikes, playing ball in the back yard, going for walks and just enjoying time together. My grandparents were such a huge part of my childhood, and it’s crazy to sit back and watch my own children doing things I remember doing when I was their age.
My Grandma Mary and Grandpa Pete loved gardening. I remember my Grandpa outside watering their garden, while my sister and I would help our Grandma pick vegetables. We would love collecting cucumbers because our Grandma would slice them up and pickle them in mason jars for us. We were so impatient we would only let them soak a few hours and open up a jar and eat them all that same day (drinking her homemade pickling juice too of course).
When Nana suggested earlier in the week that we plant some flowers, herbs and vegetables in our backyard it sounded like the perfect way to kick off the Spring, and I knew the boys would love helping her. We don’t have that much space in our yard, so we had to get a little creative on what kind of items we could plant and where we could put them. We ended up getting a large terracotta strawberry pot to plant herbs in. We planted basil, cilantro, spearmint, parsley and topped off the pot with three strawberry plants. We also bought a tomato plant that we need to still find a spot for, and Id love to find space for a citrus or avocado tree too. This house has a built-in sprinkler system and great sunlight throughout the day, so I’m thinking our new plants stand a chance despite my lack of a green thumb.
The boys loved helping their Nana…Nathan enjoyed digging with his shovel, putting in the plants and using “his” new watering can. Shane liked getting his hands messy and eating the dirt as you can see from the first photo. It said it’s organic soil, that means it’s good for him right?
Daddy comes home today and we can’t wait to show him our little project from yesterday. He’s going to love the homemade salsa we can make from our tomatoes and cilantro, and you know where that mint is going….mojitos! It sounds like Summer is right around the corner, but for now we love the way our Spring has started! Happy weekend everyone!
Can we please get a moment of silence in honor of….a moment of silence. A rare, fleeting, millisecond of the day that you can finally hear yourself think for the first time. When you can sit down, close your eyes and take your first deep breath and let your brain catch up with your body and your body catch up with your brain.
I don’t know if it’s the time change, teething, nap schedule changes, or just this age in general, but right now I’m finding myself in the middle of a battle. Where the worlds of the 3.5 year old and the 15 month old clash head on and I just spend my entire day deflecting, protecting and reacting to their every move. By the time Greg gets home I am at a complete loss of words, energy and patience. He usually takes one look at us and the condition of our house, rolls up his sleeves and jumps right in. He has my back and I know I am so fortunate to have a husband that lets me tap out as soon as he walks in the door. For this, I am grateful.
Today was no exception to the chaos. I thought it would be a nice treat for me and the boys to eat lunch together in the warm Spring sunshine. What this looked like in my head, and how it actually came together are two completely different scenarios. Shane was clawing at my leg, begging and crying for me to cut his food up faster. Nathan was barking orders…”No, MOM I don’t want the skin on my apples. I don’t want WATER I need JUICE. This is NOT Juice! Stop making Shane’s food, I need MY food!” I’m not sure how 3 plates, 3 drinks, 1 highchair and 2 overtired kids made it out the sliding door but we finally got there. And once we did….there it was…that moment I described above. The birds were chirping, the boys were quietly eating, I got to actually chew my food sitting down, and all was right in the world again. I’m not sure when the simplest of things became so complicated, but I do know that I find these simple things to be what it’s all about.
Please don’t let these pictures fool you though. I got about five bites in before Nathan jumped up from his picnic table, knocked over his food and shouted out to the whole neighborhood that he “needed to go poop!!” Thanks kids it was fun while
all 2 minutes of it lasted.