Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

I have to say, without a camera, it's nowhere near as fun to blog. But here's what's been going on, text version...

* Thanksgiving was great. We had fabulous company and I learned preparing the meal is what you make of it. I did super simple, and it was super easy.
* We LOVED having Michael home. I have to say, the highlight of the holiday was having all four of our kids home together. Hearing them all in the nursery laughing  is about the best sound this house has ever heard. The little ones adore 'Mae-me' and 'Mikey.' 
* We emptied out Maxwell's room, minus the crib, and it's ready for paint. Operation toddler room in session.
* I am dying to Christmas shop. There is something I just have to get in every email promo and catalog I see. Some women hate shopping. I love it.
* Ella is really into jumping onto Maxwell's back, pretending he's a horse, and yelling 'neigh!' This happened in the bath today. I kind of felt like I should tell them to stop but they were both laughing and it was pretty funny. Creepy?
* We had family pictures taken and the little kids cried 98% of the shoot. That should make for a good Christmas card.
* Maxwell is being really silly. He is talking a ton and loves to show off when we have company. I love this age. The other day I found both of them in the dryer. Literally, they had climbed into the dryer. Don't think I wouldn't have taken that picture if I had my camera.
* Ella is going through separation anxiety of some sort. She cries for me often and just wants to be held. I love holding my girl but I hope it passes soon.
* Mike has hinted at a really fun birthday trip for me in January...it's funny how our ideas of fun change. I can't wait!

I think that's it. Wish I had a picture. Because I love to look at my kids. Vain, I know.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh Wait, I'M THE MOM.

Do you ever have those moments where you realize, oh shit, I'm grown up now? I had one this morning. This year our dear friends are visiting from Utah. We spent last Thanksgiving with them and we decided it's going to be our tradition to do Thanksgiving together every year. They are super easy, wonderful friends so I'm looking forward to it. Our plan was/is to take our RV and camp at the beach, 20 min. from home. But the weather is yucky so we may end up staying at home. Laying in bed this morning I thought about grocery shopping for the trip (or home) and all of the sudden realized that I AM HOSTING THANKSGIVING. I've known this for awhile, but I didn't give it much thought because we plan to camp and the guys will fry a turkey. And really, paper plates and easy side dishes are only appropriate at a campground. Right? This morning I thought about how much easier it would be with the kids if we just hung out here and then I thought about the meal and wondered how she was going to cook the turkey and, well the whole meal. And then my eyes popped wide open when I realized 'she' was me. It'll be fine. I just kind of forget that I'm the Mom now.

Just for fun, here's the kids last November. My camera is broken so I'll be without one for a bit :(

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mom's Bed

Growing up, we always loved my Mom's bed. Of course, it was Dad's bed too, but we always called it Mom's bed. Even at Nana's or Blano's, there was something comforting about climbing up on the big bed. There still is. So today I add lazy mornings to one of the billion reasons that I'm thankful to stay home right now. These days Max and Ella get up around 5:15 (early when you have nowhere to be), BUT it's also one of the sweetest times of the day. Mike is up getting ready for work and they call out from their cribs. With their eyes still closed they demand 'milk pees.' Mike gets them their milk and delivers them to our soft, cozy bed then heads out the door for a long day of work (Thank you! Thank you!) Warm inside the house, we pull up the covers and turn on Timmy Time. This is the good stuff.

Is it just me, or is Ella starting to look like Justin Bieber? Nice hair baby girl!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get It While It's Hot

I'm tempted to complain that it's too warm. I'm dreaming of tall boots, but still wearing flip flops. But while I think it would be fun for the weather to change, the kids don't mind one bit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Room Makeovers: Nursery to Toddler

When I found out I was finally pregnant I immediately became obsessive excited about decorating a nursery (along with choosing names). It was kind of like dress shopping after I got engaged, the tangible part I could search for and see while waiting months and months for the big day to come. I loved everything about Maxwell and Ella's nursery. It was easy finding neutral pieces because that's how I decorate the rest of my home. My stepdaughter, little Maegann, moved into a special room we built for her, and the babies took her old room right by ours. Once Maxwell and Ella were born, they both slept in our room for the first three months but they would nap in their nursery, sharing one crib. I had this really sweet idea that they would sleep together until they were ten because-oh my gosh they shared a womb and how could they be separated? But in actuality, Maxwell slept in between Mike and I for NINE MONTHS. Ella was always a great sleeper and she would snooze away, in her room, while Maxwell nursed through the night. Once I reclaimed my boobs and decided it was time for him to sleep on his own, he obviously still woke up at night as he was transitioning. I was so frustrated when he woke her up. The next day we put Maxwell's crib in our guest room, directly across the hall from their nursery (now called Ella's room). It has been working fine but other than his crib and a few toys hidden in one corner, it's not a kids room. So...we are going to take make it one. We plan to take out the queen bed and work to make it Maxwell's. I am so excited for the thought of having more space. I want a table for them to sit and color, a space to play blocks and trains, Max's own dresser, etc. With the extra room we can organize Ella's room and transition them into functional toddler rooms. (And  it's just really fun to decorate and make our home nicer). We are fortunate that they haven't started crawling out of their cribs yet but I anticipate needing toddler beds soon. But I'm actually terrified of that. I'm afraid they'll just get out of bed and never fall asleep. So they are in their cribs for now. Anyway, here's a look at the rooms so far...

(Before): The nursery as little Meg's old room
(After): Maxwell and Ella's Nursery
Cribs: Target, from Gma Judie
Bumpers and crib skirts: Pottery Barn
Crib Sheets: Baby Gap
Polka dot and stripped canvas storage: Pottery Barn
Personalized baby pillows: Restoration Hardware, from Aunt Julie
Sweet baby blankets: homemade by Aunt Tanya
Rocker: Kid Kraft from Nonni
Dresser: JC Penny catalog
Letter initials: Restoration Hardware
Frames: Aaron Brothers
Paint: Tree Branch by Sherwin Williams
How funny is it that I remember all of that off the top of my head? It was a fun project.



Note the overflow of pink on Ella's shelf...





Twenty months later, this is how it looks. Not too bad. On the downside, the carpets have stains, I need a storage system to organize toys, and it bugs me that I still haven't painted their rockers white.

This corner under the bay windows is such a pretty area. I'd love for it to not look so cluttered. Once we finish other projects around the house, Mike's promised to put in a seating bench under the three windows. Won't this look pretty and be such a good way to hide toys? Even as Ella grows I can see her using the window seat for lounging and reading...

A year and a half later and the closet is still Ella's. What? Girl clothes are cuter. Sorry, they just are. And we have darling girl handmedowns from cousin Charli. Do you like how I used wrapping paper to cover Pampers boxes to use as my laundry baskets?

Here is a dark picture of our guest room/Maxwell's crib.
It's funny because the bedspread is in the motor home and we have a curtain hanging as the closet doors. Honestly? I almost went out to find the comforter to make the room look prettier just because I wanted you all to think my guest room is nice. But that's not real life. This is really how it looks. And the green color? Looks atrocious in this picture. I actually don't mind it so much but now that I see it with new eyes I for sure want to paint in here to make it brighter.
With an ugly pile of toys tucked in the corner.
With Max's Woody and baby.

So that's that. If you're still reading, wow. A lot of words and pictures to say that we're going to update the kids' rooms. Hopefully in the next month I'll be just as excited to post 'after' pictures.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Training Day

Dads are just fun. We got the kids this train set at Costco. At the store I started to tell Mike how we should save it for Christmas and he got this look on his face and shook his head like I was crazy. So this is what they did this weekend. Maxwell loves the new train. Ella jumped in, when she wasn't busy eating or sleeping.

Baby Number Three?

Ah, gotcha. I'm not pregnant. Nor do I plan to be. But I have felt a change in me lately. Maxwell and Ella are twenty months now, and around 13-15 months, I was so discouraged, tired...spent. They both kept getting sick and giving it back and forth to each other. It felt like they were sick for three months straight. It made it hard to leave the house and I felt myself slipping into a bit of depression. It was hard spending three months fighting high fevers and clinging babies. During that time I remember being terrified of becoming pregnant. Mind you, after years of infertility and $25,000 of IFV, the chances were slight. But I became paralyzed at the thought of having three babies at once. In fact, I remember running into a woman who had a little girl the same age as my children and her sharing that she was six months pregnant. I became that horrible person that so insensitively said, 'Oh my gosh I would DIE!' Yuck. I was that person. Trying to recover I congratulated her and made quick escape so I couldn't put my foot further down my throat.
However, lately as I watch my two grow, I realize that I wouldn't die. In fact, I see babies and I feel warm inside. I picture my two being enamored with a little one. I picture how much easier it would be with just one infant. I could nurse on the go. I wouldn't obsess about schedules, poop, and feeding (OK, I still might, but not nearly as much). I think it would feel natural to do it again. But I am content with our family. I'm not about to revisit fertility treatments. Mike and I agreed on two and I am good with it. The point of this post is that it feels good to be in a place where children don't overwhelm me. It feels good to see a baby and not want to RUN the other way. It means that my two, crazy and they can be, are enjoyable. We are past the infant stage of nursing two at once, physically carrying two, and feeling absolutely exhausted all the time. It's good. And I'm rested. So when you have a baby, call me over to hold them. Because I want to snuggle. Yours.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talking. Kind Of.

The babies kids jabber a lot, mostly one word at a time, and it makes me laugh. Maxwell brought me my bra the other day and said, 'boobies.' What?! Whenever Ella asks for her Dad during the day, she says 'Da Da? Wik' (work). They are smart cookies, these two.

My friend Tara was singing Ring Around The Rosey to her boys and mine loved it. Now I sing it for them, and as with every good thing, they insist 'more, more.'

Note: Ignore my singing voice. Check out how Maxwell takes Ella out at the end. This happens every time. We're working it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Madsen Cycles

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

How cool is this bike? I first saw it here. Thought about how cute it was. Then saw it again. And decided even if it's just a 1 in 123,685,5985 of a chance, I'd still like to try to win it. Click on the picture above and maybe I will!!! Or link it on your site, and maybe you will :)

Edited to add: I just published this post and re read it. I had to laugh out loud because I can imagine Mike shaking his head when he reads that I was interested in a bike because it looked 'cute.' 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Team Beck

Last year the little monsters were too itty to understand what was going on for Halloween.

I wasn't sure if they would get it this year, but they kind of did! We couldn't decide what we were doing but finally we took them to a neighborhood nearby and they picked up the Trick Or Treat bit like that. Ella was a little shy but after the second house Maxwell was on it. And now I've got a stash of chocolate.
Of course they wanted nothing to do with the cute pig tails, pom poms and football helmet that were supposed to accessorize their outfits.

Yes, Ella is stealing candy from Maxwell's bucket. This continued through the night.