Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Knowing it's coming doesn't make it any easier.

Considering that June had an estimated three thousand ear infections her first year of life, Michael and I were waiting and waiting for Bennett to get his first one. We count ourselves so lucky that it took this long for it to come, but when it came it was like the Kool-Aid Man kicking through the wall. The poor guy got a bad ear infection (I think the other one was infected too) and got RSV (respiratory virus) AND had two teeth cutting through all at the same time.

The weekend before last was a tough one, with a baby who was in pain, not really eating, not really sleeping and was just generally irritable. (I couldn't blame him.) (I also couldn't envision a time when my baby wasn't making near-constant whining/moaning sounds, so shot were my nerves. Seriously, every moment he was awake he was moaning.)

We were told to give Bennett breathing treatments after the first trip into the doctor. Bennett did not go for the old trick that worked for June (turning the TV on) and instead screamed for the duration of the breathing treatments.

Not that there is ever a good time to get sick, but the timing was particularly sad for me. Michael and I had been planning on having a daytime date on MLK day since we both had off work but daycare was open. But we make plans and God laughs, so the Bennyman was home with us that day instead. He was housebound (except for a followup doctor's appointment), so our day was spent taking turns on who left the house to do very practical tasks and was not at all romantic or whimsical.

Oh, except for when I escaped to get a slice of chocolate cake at a nearby restaurant because I just could not with the moaning. Although I'd say it was less 'whimsical' and more 'self-preservational.'

But we got through it with a combination of antibiotics, infant pain relievers and near-constant daydreaming of our far-off vacation to Hawaii. And cake. Can't forget about the cake.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Midtown Market

Saturday mornings have their own little routine.

One of us usually gets up early with the kids to let the other one get a few extra winks. Usually Michael takes Saturday mornings and I take Sunday.

We also usually have decided who is taking June to gymnastics and who is staying home with Bennett. Every once in a while B will come to gymnastics too, but it's right during his nap time, which is actually kind of nice for whoever gets to stay home with him. He naps pretty well on the weekends, so it gives that person time to get stuff done. 

Still, I usually want to go to gymnastics with June. I just get a kick out of watching her do her thing. Plus it gives me some time to catch up with the two moms I know who also have kids in the class.

Afterward, whoever is with June takes her out to do something. Sometimes it's boring stuff like stopping for groceries or popping into Home Depot. Other times it's getting a snack or doing something fun. 

This past Saturday June and I went to the Midtown Farmer's Market, which I'd never been to. It was a little small, but definitely cute. It was really chilly outside! (I feel like I'd forgotten what it feels like outside during the daytime. Between working inside all day and spending all of last weekend indoors due to Bennett's illness, I haven't spent real time outside in a while. Which makes me sad.)

June and I got a chocolate covered waffle for a snack. The lovely gentleman really tried to sell me on it, explaining how it's this authentic Swedish type of waffle with firm dough that they import... I didn't want to interrupt him, but I wanted to tell him that he had us at 'chocolate,' the money's in the bag at this point and hey, let's not skimp on the whipped cream, okay?

Then, just because we'd made the full rounds' on the place, and because we wanted to warm up, we stopped in a LowBrau for a schnitzel sandwich and duck fat french fries. It is a 'bierhalle' but no adult beverages were had. (It was only like 10:30 AM at this point.)

Then it was home, naps and as many episodes of the West Wing as possible until the little ones were up again. (1.5 episodes, usually. Unfortunately. Can't get enough of President Bartlett! And Toby! Morose Toby!)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Girls Go-Karting

I had a Girl's Night Out with two friends the other day. I met Shannon and Sara at one of my favorite spots, Zocalo, in midtown. We had blackberry margaritas and fish tacos and time to chat and laugh and not be worried about kids the whole time. 

Afterward Sara had to get home, so Shannon and I walked to Ginger Elizabeth's Chocolates and each got a slice of chocolate cake. (They specialize in making actual chocolates, but at $2 for each tiny chocolate I was like, Girl No. I would need to spend about $20 to even come close to satisfying my sweet tooth.)

Then we got into that age-old conundrum of asking oneself, "Now what?" We didn't want to go home yet, but movie times weren't looking good. We weren't really interested in attempting the clubbing scene. I listed off a few of my date night ideas, which is how I ended up going Go-Kart racing not with my husband but with a girlfriend!

We were cracking up the whole time at the randomness of it all. Here's a shot of me not paying attention to the instructions of what each flag means. This would explain why I drove a couple laps with the guy waving the blue one and just sort of shrugging at him. (I figured out it was that someone was trying to pass me. Not that my understanding would have changed the outcome. If you want to pass me you have to EARN IT.)

These are the little sleeve things that you put over your face to protect it from the amoebas of others who have come before you. Obviously we took this picture and sent it to our husbands to leave them guessing what we were up to. 

Shannon is so petite that when she got her helmet on, I told her she looked like an orange on a toothpick. I hope she took it as the compliment it was meant to be.

We took it very seriously.

We figured the scoreboards announcing the actual best lap times of the group were off, so we awarded ourselves first place.

So there you have it. We girls get CRAZY on our nights out. Next time we might gather the energy to go to a dance club, but I doubt it. Getting back home in comfy pants by 11 is just too tempting. So it's more likely that Shan and I will end up on a segway tour.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The 2014 Photo Shoot: Christmas Jams Edition

Sometime in November we had a little family photo shoot. We end up doing this every year. Not only does it ensure that we have professional photos every year, it also helps us get a photo for our Christmas card.

We (read: I) opted to do a casual setup for the Christmas card shot. We were on our bed with a bunch of Christmas-y props: presents, bows, a paper chain, tinsel, that kind of thing. We each dressed up in our Christmas jams.

All photography credit goes to Sara Molina Photography!

The funny thing is that we used the line "We've been good but we can't last, hurry Christmas, hurry fast!" from the Chipmunks song. I really should have used this picture below since both kids were trying to steal the marshmallows out of our mugs of hot chocolate. (There wasn't actually any hot chocolate, for the obvious reasons.) (Less obvious reason: I don't have any in the house because I drink all of it as it enters the premises.)

But we ended up going with this picture, which I loved even more. 

Then we had a family-wide Quick Change and relocated to the back yard. As much as I loved the Christmas setup, I also wanted at least one shot of us in normal clothes.

We loved working with Sara Molina, who did our photos last year and Bennett's newborn pictures. She is so comfortable to be around, was such a good sport with our antics getting the kids to look/smile and is basically the sweetest person alive.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Bennett at 10 Months!

Bennett turned 10 months on the day we flew to Indy. We celebrated him by forcing him to stay in one small, confined spot on an airplane and getting his routine all messed up!

Bennett at 10 months....

Well, he loves eating solid food. He's kind of over purees and prefers little food he can pick up with his fingers. He is also still nursing. I love that he's still breastfeeding, but I am eagerly awaiting the day I no longer need to pump during my work day.

He started waving. A few days after that, he started saying "Ha" ('hi') while he waves when we do the same to him. Now it's one of his favorite things to do. I love it that we'll say 'bye' to someone and he will just start slowly waving at that person as we walk away. The other day Michael was going to drop him off at daycare and I said goodbye out the front door. He was all bundled up and wasn't particularly thrilled to be in his carseat, but he still raised one be-sweatered arm and waved sadly back at me.

He still pulls himself up on furniture and walks around it. He has also taken some daring dives toward us or furniture after letting go of his initial hold. I wouldn't count them as his first steps, but it's something!

He is also mischievous. He is obsessed with the toilets. He tries to make a break for it and scamper off into the bathrooms when no one is watching. When he realizes we're coming after him, he squeals and tries to crawl faster. 

The other day he gave me a kiss for the first time. He leans in and plants his gaping, wet mouth over whatever surface he manages to land on: my nose, my cheek, my chin, my lips. Now I ask him to give me a kiss all the time and half the time I get sloppy wet kisses and the other half the time I get poked with his teeth. But I love those kisses every time. 

Bennett's in that crazy, hilarious and exhausting stage where he gets in to mischief all the time. We can't leave him alone for a minute or he'll be pulling food out of the pantry, crawling into the little cupboard under the fireplace or changing the settings on our cable box.

I can't believe that he'll be a year old in a couple of months!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Year's Eve

We were already thrilled to be spending New Years with Michael's parents, so when we found out that my parents would joining the group it just added to the excitement. We went out to dinner at a restaurant called Stone Creek Dining Company. 

We had to take turns walking Bennett around the restaurant because he is so squirmy these days! But the food was so good!

Then we came home and enjoyed dessert, music and dancing.

June really loved this little coin bank, so she and Papaw Fred enjoyed some time discussing finances.

June got to stay up until midnight for the first time. To make me seem like slightly less of a terrible mother, it was really only an hour later than her normal bedtime if you consider the timezone difference. 

Judy had bought this great cracker pod things that you pull and they pop open, revealing a crown, joke and whistle. The whistles were numbered and they had some songs mapped out by number so we could attempt to play them. 

"Jingle Bells" was the easiest one, but it heavily featured whistle #3, which happened to be June's whistle. was not a roaring success. But we did have a good laugh and all were whistling for the rest of the night. 

We popped some champagne and watched the ball drop on TV and were in bed by 12:45. It was basically my perfect New Year's. I was telling my mom that I have absolutely no desire to go out and attempt to make New Year's the craziest night ever!!!  With crowds and groups of people I don't know and driving home... Seriously, my ideal New Year's is spending it at home with people I love and no one needing to drive home. And that's exactly what I got!

I hope you all had as great a New Year as I did!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Indianapolis Children's Museum

One very cold afternoon in Indy,  we decided to go to the Children's Museum. Poor Bennett got bundled up so much for the 1 minute we were actually outdoors. (Worth it though. Brrrr...)

We had high hopes for the stroller, but Bennett's continued weird nap/timezone issue meant he was in the Ergo most of the time. That, or being held by Michael or walking around while holding peoples' hands.

This place was just so awesome. I can't even begin to describe... It was five stories of exhibits and sections with different themes and things going on. I could have spent a week there. I could have spent a week just in the area about China.  

I present to you a sampling of photos from this place. These represent...I don't know, maybe one-fourteenth of the place?

The small kid zone, meant for kids under the age of five:

This part was an air tube with air pushed around the perimeter so you could send these scarves blowing around and around:

Here is June in 'China,' practicing her calligraphy:

And working at a panda hospital:

In the excavation site in the dino area:

The trains:

There was a large blown glass structure in the middle of the museum. You could go below the structure and look up at a blown glass ceiling:

They had a rotating lounge that you could sit on and look up:

And a plastic replica for kids to make their own:

And the winter wonderland, with an ice castle and pretend ice fishing:

I wandered through 

Sacramento does have a small children's museum, and tons of other wonderful activities to do. And yet...I find myself mapping out how I am going to construct an exact replica of this place back in my home town. I'll start collecting exhibit materials right away.