i would like to get back to blogging soon, mostly because i enjoy the creative output of writing.plus, i need a break from telling the kids to stop fucking with each other. if i have to stop one more argument over nothing i am going to start pulling my hair out.

our house has bee full of the plague for the last week - actually, since the beginning of 2013. so far this year i have suffered a miscarriage, the husband has suffered large amounts of stress at work, and the kids and i have been sick on and off every other week.

on the plus side ge man has been enjoying his gymnastics class, chunk has been a little more reasonable even though the has ramped up the drama, my husband has a job to support us, and i have a great amount of support and love surrounding me from family and friends.

the miscarriage was hard. we have been trying for over a year to get pregnant and were so excited to get the positive line 2 days before christmas. to be honest i felt something was amiss from the word go, but i wanted to believe that we would finally be getting the baby we have dreamed about so i pushed forward with hope. my pregnancy signals started and i thought this was going to be it, but at the six week mark i miscarried and was crushed. a lot of my girlfriends around me are either a.) newly pregnant b.) ready to give birth or c.) just gave birth this week and it has been an emotional struggle. i am super happy for everyone, but the quiet moments are hard and often full of tears. we are trying to be hopeful, but it's hard after the emotional struggle from the last year to keep my head up. i was amazed by the female support i have received through all of it, though, and am grateful to be surrounded by some amazing female friends.

chunk is doing really well and is talking up a storm. i tell everyone she lives life like she is writing a story and it is so true. there is always a scenario to play out, a mystery to solve, or a song to sing. she brings high energy and high drama to absolutely everything she does and is hard to keep up with some days. we are working on teaching her colors, but she simply cannot connect the words to the colors themselves. her recognition of animals is beyond anything i have ever seen, and she enjoys telling you what they say as loudly as she possibly can. she still loves reading books, is starting to enjoy crafting (although it never goes off without a lot of stress), and potty trained herself in two days (TWO DAYS!) her current favorite toys are her baby dolls and her doll house (filled with a variety of small plastic toys to create drama and happiness with). she prefers spicy food, loves her big brother more than life itself, and gives some damn fine hugs when she wants to be nice.

ge man has come light years from where he was when we first moved here. his playgroup has been super good for him and he has forged friendships that i didn't know he was capable of. our little ladies man has quite a few girls with crushes on him and he always enjoys making sure they are happy in the sweetest of ways. he is the most considerate little guy i have ever met and has a brain unlike any i have ever known. still a lover of all things rules, he is starting to be able to build a bit more structure for himself and is thriving under his new status as a 5 year old. he loves his legos, anything scientific, and creating art. his phineas and ferb birthday party was a huge success and i was amazed to see how many people showed up to celebrate him. i may or may not have cried many a time because i honestly don't know how he got this old so quickly. ge man is loving his gym class at the community center - so much so that i signed him up again through the spring. we also enrolled him in tball for the first time and i know the hubs is looking forward to taking him and watching his big guy do the sports thing. ge is insistent he will be an artist when he grows up, but is letting us push him a little in the activities direction. he is reading, wonderful at math, and loves to learn. he loves his little sister and tries not to be too annoyed that her favorite activity is pushing his buttons. i could write paragraphs on how far he has come, and how proud i am of him. he continues to amaze me daily.

we are grateful to be here, even on the hard days. the husband and i's anniversary is coming up soon and i am continuously grateful to be married to him and to have him in my corner. he works incredibly hard for this family and rarely complains. we are a lucky bunch.


And that is that

Today was hard. Nablopomo is impossible. I am just waiting for my husband to come home from the ER so I can know he is okay. Gobama.


car rides

today i am thankful that i live so close to my sister and am able to drive over and visit her for the day to give my niece a squish. that's also the reason for no length to this blog.



saturday morning cartoons. bundled up family walk to the park. hot apple cider. movie and martini night now that the kids are down.

not much to complain about here today, but also no time to really take a break to write anything meaningful. i honestly don't know how i am going to make it through this month writing every day, but i will try.


girl's night

tonight my husband is giving me the awesome opportunity to leave him alone with the kids while i have a designated driver take myself and my bottle of wine to a friend's house so i may sit and enjoy a glass of wine and a conversation where no one screams at me or punches their brother. the husband is obviously trying to win man of the year award because i never get to do anything like that. i haven't done anything like that since chunk was born. ladies night / book club / wine club - call it what you want, i will just call me excited.

that leads me to what i am thankful for today and that is the awesome group of ladies that i have met here since we moved. i haven't always been the social type, but these ladies have made it easy to call them friends. i was worried when i took up the group that i would find myself trapped in the land of catty, judgy, bitchy like women and i would come home from my first playdate and declare women to be impossible to get along with and continue my life of days spent with just chunk and ge and try not to pull my hair out. but that didn't happen. and for that, i am grateful. because now i can send my kids to the park to watch them play while i have a conversation with someone who not only understands why i am frustrated that i can't get chunk to stop taking toys away from her brother, they also don't mind hearing about it. that's the best damn therapy a stay at home mom could ever get.


well hello there

i'm not sure how we got here, but it turns out that it's november again. that seems to be happening a lot faster lately. november brings around nablopomo and for 30 days i make the commitment to say useless bullshit for an entire month that not many people will read. HOORAH! i can make words. i do find that nablopomo helps me feel more inspired for the month of november, which is why i come back each time and pretend that i have time to blog every single day for 30 days. go me.

i can make 2 promises about this month of blogging right now - 1.) i will really try to do it. not for anyone else, but for me. i have really slacked on keeping track of everything in words as of late and i want to be better. 2.) if mitt romney wins the election on tuesday and you are offended by works like fuck, you probably want to not check on my blog for at least a week. and then probably not anymore after january. these are just the facts.

i will try and not talk about my children every post, but they are kind of my world so it tends to happen. i will try not to mention politics every moment, but my vagina and i are a little stressed right now due to the fact that some people in our country think that men know what is best for us. also, because mitt romney is so not what this country needs. not at all. because the thought of mitt romney running our country makes my stomach churn.

this week my family and friends on the east coast experienced hurricane sandy. luckily for my family we did not get hit too hard, and avoided having any of our (many) trees in our yard falling down, but people all around us were devastated. today as i heard more about the awful aftermath from some friends of ours up in jersey, i couldn't help but feel thankful for our lucky outcome and for all that we have right now. work and life can be incredibly stressful, but we have a warm bed to come home to after a long day and we have our health. some days i am guilty of letting my many first world problems overwhelm me, and some days i need to remind myself to stop whining and be nothing less than grateful.


also, proud.

when halloween costumes starting coming to a target near us two things became certain (i know they were certain because my kids told me so) - ge man was going to be spiderman for halloween and chunk was going to be "bat guy". ge man chose to be muscled up spiderman, but i couldn't find a single reasonable batman costume for the chunk. why is it that little girls have to be princesses, cupcakes, bees, and kitty cats when little boys get to be super heroes, fire fighters, and monsters? why is it that when we dress females up like fire fighters, cops, and super heroes they suddenly have to show their bellies or wear a mini skirt? and, on somewhat of the same note, why can't little girls underwear have toy story or trains on them? why do we have to tell our little girls that they are only good enough for frilly dresses and sensitivity, but our little boys get to run around and save people with their brains and their brawn? i want my little girl to dream of being anything she can dream of, and i am tired of society and the idiot toy / clothing industry trying to tell her anything different.

but i digress. on my hunt to find chunk an acceptable bat guy costume i was completely let down. the ones for little boys were very disappointing, and the ones for little girls contained copious amounts of cheesy looking fake leather. plus, the symbol was often in pink, which i am pretty sure isn't very bat guy. my little chunk knows what bat guy looks like - she often makes him breakfast just before the snake kills him - so there would be no pink substitutes. i gave up entirely because i wasn't about to spend 30 + dollars on some ugly costume that neither chunk or i would be happy with. and that's when i had my ah-ha moment.

i would make it myself.

i am a little less than a year in my quest to become a more craftier version of myself. i have learned a lot about my sewing machine this year, but not enough to sew an entire costume. surely there could be an easier way. there was. first i needed to secure myself a plain black long sleeved tshirt size 3t. did you know that this is hard to do? you can find many a plain short sleeved black tshirt, but not long. also, they do not have them in the girl's section. i found mine in the little boy section in target after a lovely lady from jo-anne's sent me in that direction echoing my same irritation.

bingo. business time. after that the rest was easy - 4$ tshirt from target, 3$ pair of black tights, 3 yards of black tulle and 1 yard of yellow tulle from jo-anne's 6$, black and yellow satin ribbon from jo-anne's 2$, bedazzling heat tool and yellow bedazzle beads from micheal's for 15$. we already owned the batman ring i used for the bow from ge's bday party last year - so win on that.

side note - if you frequent jo-anne's or michels and have a smart phone - there's an app for that! i save wonderful amounts of money each trip with their coupons. craft win.

i used this tutorial to help me make chunk's tutu. i printed out the bat symbol and traced it onto chunk's shirt with a white fabric pen, laid out my beads, and heat glued them on (wow those things get hot!) i glued satin ribbon bows onto and alligator clip and added the ring to the top to finish off the outfit. it was all so easy. and totally not cheesy. and super adorable. plus, chunk is happy.

been a long time.

well hello there, internets. i keep telling myself i am going to be better at blogging, a lot because i want the records of life for the kids down the road, but wow is that a commitment i suck at keeping. honestly we are living so much life that i am exhausted by the end of the day. between playdates, preschool time, laundry, yard time, foods, sleeping, cleaning, fighting, saying no a billion times, laughter, hugs, and kisses for boo boos - there is no time for blogging. none. right now i can sit down because chunk is quietly making "breakfast" for her astronauts. you would think sweet, but that is actually a bad sign for her toys. breakfast turns into a bath and by the time you know it the snake has arrived and is eating your face off. who said two year olds can't be sociopaths?

we have met a wonderful group of friends here in nova and the kids are currently attending at least 2 play dates a week. both kids will squeal with excitement when it is time to go see their friends and both have blossomed beautifully in the last 6 months. ge man is actually opening up for the first time ever and is talking and playing with little kids his age. this all makes my heart beat happy sounds. we often worried about him socially, but he has progressed amazingly here. luckily we have met some wonderful people and the kids of our group all get along swimmingly.

chunk is a full time talker with new phrases entering into our conversations with each passing day. her favorite thing to do right now is give commands to her parents, and pretend that her toys are in serious danger and in need of rescue. her current favorite shows are still (sort of) - mouse, captain hook, and little einsteins. she is starting to sing songs, count to 10, learn her abc's, and is getting better at focusing during crafting time. she is a little ball of energy, but prefers to play by herself rather than others. little miss independent. little miss drama. full time job.

ge man is doing exceptionally well. i am so happy that we kept him out of preschool this year because he simply needed one more year to find his confidence and his voice. he is loving our preschool time and is starting to show a lot more interest in science and math. he can read over 60 words and is writing his vocabulary out with ease. we are currently working on days of the week, seasons, and calendars. he loves to get answers right and i love praising him for it. his favorite show is phineas and ferb and he is really starting to pick up on jokes and humor. we have already started having conversations about bullies and how to stand up for our friends - getting him ready for kindergarten is my primary focus over the next 10 months. i can't believe that happens in 10 months. mom sigh.

the astronauts are down and it is time for real life strawberries. off to the glamour.


ge man answers questions about himself

What makes you happy?

"playing with daddy"

What makes you sad?

"when daddy has to go to work"

What makes you laugh?

"doing silly things, like this"

What is your favorite thing to do?

"maker water balls and doing crafts with mom"

What are you really good at?

"cutting, sight words, and i am pretty good at everything else"

What are you not very good at?

"reading books, but i know some books, but i don't know reading books"

What is your favorite food and drink?

"fizzy juice is my favorite drink because it has bubbles and i love bubbles. i like crunchy fish sticks and the crunchy part of waffles"

What’s your favorite color?


Where is your favorite place to go?

"red robin"

Who are your best friends?


What are your favorite movies or TV shows?

"superhero squad, batman, spiderman"

What are your favorite books?

"the alphabet room (sara pinto)"

If you were a cartoon character, who would you be? 


What does Mommy do when you're not around?

"play with charli"

What do you do when Mommy isn't around?

"play with the kitchen stuff and when daddy is home i play with him"

What is something Mommy always says to you?

"when i say i love you, you say i love you too"

What do you and Mommy do together?

"make crafts"

Who are your favorite people?

"frankie, aunt brook, nana, papa, mommy, daddy, charli"

What is your favorite toy?

"legos, because i can make stuff with them"

ge man answers questions about me

saw this over here and loved the idea. ge man is giving the answers today because chunk's answers would be, "mouse, captain hook, cheese, you help me, ge ge, park, cookie mon, and noooooo" can't wait to revisit this in a year. :) 

What is something Mommy always says to you?

"I make you happy"

What makes Mommy happy?


What makes Mommy sad?

"when I am not with you"

How does Mommy make you laugh?

"Doing silly stuff"

What was Mommy like as a child?

"Gummy worms or gummy bears" 

How old is Mommy?

"uhm, I don't know, it's been a long time since you have had a birthday and I don't know how old you are."

How tall is Mommy?

"like 15 feet tall"

What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?

"make crafts with me"

What does Mommy do when you're not around?

"just look on your computer"

If Mommy becomes famous, what will it be for?

"probably because you were wearing something that is really fancy"

What is Mommy really good at?

"driving the car"

What is Mommy not very good at?

"i don't know"

What does Mommy do for her job?

"help me and charli"

What is Mommy's favorite food?


What makes you proud of Mommy?

"making new towels on your sewing machine"

If Mommy were a cartoon character, who would she be?


What do you and Mommy do together?

"make crafts and make water balls that are awesome to play with"

How are you and Mommy the same?

"we both like running around, i think"

How are you and Mommy different?

"you have long hair and i have short hair"

How do you know Mommy loves you?

"because you read books really good to me"

Where is Mommy's favorite place to go?

"aunt brook's home"


little big man

a week and a half ago i had to have my wisdom teeth taken out. all four of my wisdom teeth were impacted, but my bottom ones had the awesome bonus of being dangerously close to a nerve - the surgery was less then awesome. i had the surgery on a monday and went back to full time mom duties on tuesday, but was given the added bonus of having the most responsible and amazing four year old on the planet. since my surgery the little man has been an absolute doll. he has been happy, helpful, sweet, compassionate, and thoughtful. i was having a particularly rough day 3 days after surgery and he rounded up all the pillows and soft blankets from the house and made me a giant place to rest. he read books to his little sister, reminded me often that i needed to only eat soft foods, and played with his little sister as much as she would let him. plus, he is pretty much the most helpful person ever to play lego batman 2 with because he always points out the little things i miss. the kid is an electronics genius.

the husband and i have made the decision to put ge man into speech therapy. i had a hard time admitting that he needed the help because i always felt that saying that meant i was saying there was something wrong with him, but then i remembered i was being ridiculous and he deserves all the help we can give him when he goes to kindergarten in a year. there aren't many therapy places around here that accept insurance so we are on a waiting list, but i am hopeful we will be able to get him in a little sooner then projected. the lovely lady at the therapists off gave me some advice to call every month or so to see if we can sneak in on someone's cancellation. i told ge that i couldn't say my r's when i was a little girl and that my evil brother, sister, and neighborhood friends teased me something fierce and we wanted to help him avoid that, and he responded well. he seems happy about it. as of right now he cannot pronounce his sh, th, l, j, r, p, z, and has a lisp with his s's. the therapist i spoke to thinks it might take him a year, and we are willing to give it everything we have to help him. oi.

the husband built the kiddos a big ol sand box this last weekend and ge is loving it. he has loved his giant back yard this summer and has really let his little boy shine through so amazingly. sometimes he can be so shy and up in his own head, but outside in our backyard he is a brave explorer that loves breaking down plants with sticks and swimming in his little pool as if it were a giant ocean. he really has started opening up and i absolutely love watching him. when i finished putting the sand in his sand box he stood in it for a minute playing with his trucks, then he looked at me and said, "is it okay if i sit in it!?" heh. coming from a little kid that used to hate getting dirty - that's a pretty big step. love it.

ge man and i are working on spelling and addition and subtraction as much as possible lately. i started a white board list of spelling words for the week and every other hour or so we go over how they are spelled and how the sounds work together to form a word. he has been very responsive to this approach and i am hoping that it helps in teaching him how to read. we are turning every day things into addition and subtraction lessons and he loves that, but he has always loved math so that one seemed easy. i love how much he enjoys being educated; it makes my job as a stay at home mommy so much easier. he makes everything in life so much freaking easier.

long story short - little man is doing 20 shades of awesome and then some. he has been loving his leap pad lately and is enjoying the new disney brave game that teaches him science like things. yesterday we learned about recycling and today i think i am going to find some craft to hammer the lesson home. he is at such a fun age right now and we are both clicking completely in our roles with each other. we like to laugh at his crazy sister, read books that teach us new and excited things, and sing songs about farts. he constantly makes me laugh and always makes me want to scoop him up and keep him this age forever. love doesn't even begin to describe how i feel about my little man. i am so proud of who he is and so happy to be his mama.


crazy chunk

for my records -

  • chunk is counting to three just for the fun of it, but is counting to 2 for actual number purposes
  • she recognizes and names stars, hearts, and circles
  • she is just full on talking now
  • the can pronounce a handful of 3 syllable words
  • she knows all of her body parts and can identify them by name and touch
  • her knowledge of animals and their sounds is out of control
  • she is still obsessed with mickey mouse
  • her jelly cats are the loves of her life
  • she likes to kick me in the face at night when she says goodnight
  • she is really freaking strong
  • she loves water and doesn't care if it gets in her eyes
  • she will eat anything you give her and prefers spicy foods to sweet
  • seriously, she ate jalapeno slices off her dad's hamburger
  • she loves to give hugs and has to hug all of us once she gets started
  • she hates shoes
  • she never leaves the house without moo moo or monkey
  • she hates slides, but loves to climb on playground equipment
  • she does pretty well in the car for the most part
  • the kid can throw a wicked tantrum
  • often
  • her favorite game is hide and seek 
  • she knows the difference between push / pull and over / under
  • she says please and thank you
  • she hates cold milk, but loves it warm and in a bottle
  • carrying her around feels a lot like carrying a portable heater that's turned on
  • a heavy portable heater
  • she won't nap in her crib anymore, but she will put herself down for a nap on her kitty couch
  • she is pretty consistent on her bed time routine, but won't sleep without gage in the room
  • everything gage says or does is the most amazing and brilliant thing ever
  • she loves playing outside with her water table and pool
  • she doesn't really care that other kids exist and does her own thing on play dates
  • she is hilarious and loves to have videos taken of her
  • she may be mean as shit, but she can also be the sweetest little girl in the world
  • i feel lucky every day to be her mommy :)


On the tee vee

Disney jr reached deep into their bucket o' shitty straight to DVD movies for our Saturday night flick - Brother Bear 2. My Husband added his opinion on the situation -

"I don't know. Even if you're a human turned into a bear I think it would be weird to have sex with bears."


well hello there

this week was a big week for us. like, huge. gage not only went to a place called wee play knowing full well the excursion was to get him to meet and play with new kids, but he had his first play date. i had a hard time not bursting into tears of joy when we got in the car after both outings and gage beamed with pride saying, "mom, i have friends!"

we have always let gage be gage. he has always been very quiet and reserved and has never been interested in meeting other kids or really putting himself out there. about a year ago the husband and i started injecting little bits about getting out there and making friends to him, but we did it carefully so the seed was planted, but not over watered. every time we passed a school his daddy and i would tell him how much we loved school and how much we enjoyed making friends there. at first the answer was simply, "no", but a month ago he sighed heavily when i asked him about it and said, "fine, but you're going to have to buy me a lunch box."

about 3 months ago gage started to stay by kids when they would enter his space (about 6 feet around him). at old navy he would let another kid come and play in the little light thing they had. the first time i saw him do this i was floored, and stood silently watching him trying not to disrupt the new balance of the universe. last month he finally expressed interest in seeing what other kids do, perhaps to figure what they are all about. last week he was finally there and told me, "mom, i am ready to make some friends."

sweet validation.

i told him i would set up a play date with some other mommies and their kids and he said, "okay, but i am not going to meet the moms or know their names." okay. we met up with a group of ladies i found on meet-up and it was a very successful moment for him. he still doesn't completely know how to get in there and play with kids, especially the more aggressive ones, but he accepts that they are children and that he wants to be one, too. he made a little friend named frankie and they ran around together. what surprised me most was that he also went and played on his own after frankie left. usually gage wouldn't make it about 5 feet away from me, but this week he went on slides and climbed all over things all on his own. i was so proud. so, so, proud.

chunk is still a bit too young to care about interaction, and doesn't really care about other kids. she is becoming increasingly independent lately and actually prefers to play on her own a lot of the day. there is a mat by our sliding glass door and she loves to sit on it with random toys and have her own imagination time. she has so many scenarios that play out in her little brain that i have a hard time keeping up. at 21 months old she acts so much older and speaks so much that i often forget she is still so young.

current most used favorites by chunk include, "i don't like it" "i like it (insert object her)" "i don't know" "where'd it go?" "i see it (insert object here" "car-e (what she calls herself when she says her name, but usually she simply says 'i') go park" "here go, mama" "i bringing moo moo (her lovie cow)" "mama give kitty cat (that's when she decides i should be able to make our neighbors cat magically appear on our driveway. brilliant.)

she talks so much. gage will say something and she will repeat it verbatim, and then she will put it in rotation. that's how we got "i bringing _" - gage said, "i'm bringing minnie mouse" and chunk exclaimed, "i'm bringing moo moo!" and there it was. gage loves counting everything and chunk will imitate him and point to things going, "one, one, one, one". she got mad that he dad was working from home the other day, slammed on the closed door and screamed, "i don't like it closed!!!!" i don't know if i am impressed by her language development or terrified, but i am a lot happy she enjoys the act of speaking and learning so much.

chunk is still obsessed with mouse, but she is allowing a bit of branching out in the tv rotation. she is getting better at throwing tantrums, but she is also starting to understand they don't always work. she loves dancing and playing outside with the water table and is almost always up for an adventure. we have been going to the local concert series every friday night here and she loves running around through the crowds and dancing along to the various bands. she is still a total mama's girl, but expects her dad to be on call 24/7 if she so desires anything from him. she has a very strong personality and i am excited to see how it grows with her.

the husband bought me a new mazda 5 this last weekend during the worst father's day weekend ever. yes, we got a new car, but he also got an e.r. trip on father's day and none of us were able to enjoy the beautiful weekend outside. and now it's like 80 bajillion degrees outside because the universe is taunting us for starting to get a bit comfortable here in nova. but we are getting comfortable, so the universe is going to have to back off for a bit. we have goals for ourselves and for our kids and we are going to make them. because that's how we have decided to roll. if gage can do it, so can we.


The grind

Chunk - looks at me and throws her cookie crumbs all over the floor.

Me - "did you really have to do that?"

Her - "yep!" laughs and claps her hands.


the honest comedian

gage has taken to telling jokes. he is revolutionizing the comedy industry by delivering honest observations about daily life. i love the hall monitor.

"mom i know a joke"

"alright buddy, lay it on me"

"why are the kitchen counters dirty?"


"because they aren't clean"

"that's hilarious buddy, you're so funny"

"mom i know another joke"

"why does no one turn off stuff that runs on batteries?"


"because it just charges itself why it's charging"

"that's awesome kiddo"

"mom i know another joke"

"of course buddy, what is it?"

"why could no one reach the cowboy hat?"


"because they didn't want to stand up to get it"

gage has taken to narrating everything that happens outside of our home - "mom, the trucks backing up", "mom, the trees are now blowing" "mom, the neighbor is getting into their car". and my new favorite thing is that he follows behind me rearranging everything i put out of charli's reach so i have to stay on my toes double time because i don't realize that he has undone my work. he takes it upon himself to discipline charli resulting in the line, "gage, you are not the parent" to be used at least 3 times a day. he is so incredibly serious and wonderfully intelligent - i know he means well in everything he does, but sometimes i just want to beg him to be 4 and not 40. he does not play like other children and doesn't understand why they would want to pretend to be a pirate when they could wash the walls of the boat. he is so incredibly special and different from other children and i look forward to watching him grow into himself. i know with his mind and ability he could be and do anything. he is beyond impressive.

right now we are working on annunciation because he is struggling a bit with pronouncing words in a way that allows people outside of myself to understand him. i try to stay on him a bit to help him work on certain sounds - sQuirrel  instead of sWirl, comPUTer instead of cuter, and so on - he is responding really well and not shutting down which is nice. gage isn't to fond of being corrected. for some reason he has stopped wanting to draw actual pictures even though he was progressing forward really well. i assume it is the same part of his brain that stalled his speech until he knew he could speak well, he doesn't seem to want to do anything unless he feels he has perfected it prior to being analyzed. i don't even know what that says about him.

i don't think there is a letter he can't write, but he does occasionally get his lowercase b's and d's confused. i am trying to work with him on reading, but see above. one of these days i expect him to just climb up on my lap and read me a book because he taught himself when i wasn't looking. that's how he rolls. he is great at simple addition and can respond quickly to addition problems when he is presented with them. he is fascinated by how things work and the meanings behind new words that he hears. he craves knowledge and understanding and i love to be able to teach him.

lately we have been in the middle of an epic food battle. i have decided to take sweets away from him unless he tries a new food to get one. his diet is less than stellar and his stubbornness makes it impossible to get him to try anything new and branch out beyond peanut butter sandwiches. the first day he decided to test me to see if i really would allow charli to have a delicious new popsicle and not him, but learned quickly that i was serious and had an epic meltdown watching chunk prance happily about with her popsicle.  "moooooom, i want a popsicle!!!" "how do you get one?" "i have to try something new" "are you going to try something new?" "no" insert screaming and round about lawyer gage talk here. yesterday he saw the prospect of chunk eating a popsicle without him and tried yellow peppers (and loved them) to get one. last night after an epic battle over the necessity of protein in his diet, and the possibility of his sister being faster and strong if he doesn't learn to eat well, he finally broke down and tried (and loved) eggs. simple scrambled eggs. the kid won't eat meat and i would be fine with that, but he doesn't want the meat substitutes either. i will give him this, though - he does love his broccoli and mandarin oranges. veggies and fruits for days, chicken and beef for never. 

he acts a lot more 5 than 4, gets bored often, doesn't really like to follow through with much, and takes amazing care of his little sister. his favorite game, which his father and i affectionately call the ram dass game because it is the only one there is, is running away from someone chasing after him and jumping up on a couch or bed rending him "safe" and unable to be gotten. this is the only game he wants to play, ever. this game is exhausting for the pursuer, but hilarious to watch in action. charli will get in on the action with him when daddy hides from him and he uses her as his pawn to seek his dad out to eliminate the element of surprise for him so he can get to the couch more quickly. brilliant, brilliant child. he is hilarious and a lot of fun and i really couldn't ask for anything more. love the ge man.


First thing

Gage picked up one of his dinosaurs this morning and sweetly sang it the Doc McStuffins song - I am pretty sure my heart melted at the adorableness right on the spot. Watching him let loose when he doesn't know I am watching fills my heart with all kinds of happy.

And yes, his favorite show right now is Doc McStuffins. And no, it's not on skinamax.


greetings from nova.

i am writing this here new post from my couch in my wonderful new living room in northern virginia. we couldn't be more happy with our shiny new digs, which is incredibly lucky because we hadn't seen this place in person until we stepped foot on it at 10 pm after a very long 2 days of moving. people said we were crazy for agreeing to a home that we found on the trusty old intertubes, but we really didn't have much of an option and that is kind of how the husband and i operate. we trust our guts. our guts are rarely wrong.

our new house is a three bedroom single floor house with a giant kitchen and pretty hardwood floors. our backyard is nothing short of gigantic and looks like a scene from cinderella could be filmed on site. we have robins and squirrels playing out back constantly and the kids adore the giant, fenced, new play land. it took the minis a few days to feel comfortable, but they are beyond thrilled with our new house now. their transition was made much easier by the fact that our amazing parents flew in from california to help us move and unpack for 4 straight days. nana and papa were a safe place for the kids to land in a week of serious chaos.

our move filled every square inch of a 26 foot uhaul and we learned that everything we own can fit into 75 sizeable boxes courtesy of my husband's work. our extra new bedroom is a little on the small side, but it is nice to have a room for the kids' toys and television. we are transitioning chunk over to sharing a room with gage this week, something that gage is very excited for. chunk has been in our room since she was born (our old master was big enough to fit her crib in) and gage feels like it is his turn to have a roommate. i look forward to being able to watch tv in bed at night or simply read a book with the lights on. chunk hasn't been a bad roomy, but mom and dad will be happy to fly solo for a while.

the kids are doing great lately. we started brushing chunk's teeth at night and she has really been taken with the new activity. she is talking up a storm - forming sentences of 2 - 3 words and following instructions really well. chunk loves her mouse still and is starting to laugh at all the appropriate times during the episodes. she doesn't care for any other tv than mouse, and can be very unreasonable when it isn't on - she totally gets that from her dad's side of the family. tv junkies, all of them. her favorite quiet time activity is compartmentalizing random toys and finding a new place where they all belong. her favorite toys are still anything play food and cooking related, followed closely by the bajillion toy cars that we have. this week she was finally able to enjoy their new water table during our 89 degree day and she loved the freedom of having a new yard to play in.

gage is still finding new ways to surprise me daily. he loves sweeping and cleaning right now, something he has definitely picked up from my daily habits. every time he takes a bath he spends a large portion of it "cleaning" the walls of the tub with his wash cloth. he has been very hands on in organizing our new house and finding places for everything to go. his current catch phrase is, "you know. right?" which means, "i am correct in whatever i say and you will agree with me." he is absolutely enamored with our giant back yard and loves that he now has a new place to use his toy lawn mower, play t-ball, blay basketball, and enjoy the gloriousness that is his new water table. watching his run outside and explore his new stomping grounds makes me so happy that we worked so hard to get this place for him specifically. after watching him be confined to an apartment life for the last 2 years, we are so happy to give him the gift of space and freedom. he isn't even afraid of our new collection of outside crawlies, yet.

my birthday this year was the best one i have ever had. i was filled with messages of love and happiness from friends and family. the husband gave me a pretty blue box and we went as a family to explore washington dc on foot for the day. i couldn't be happier with our new big city and am really excited to take the kids to the smithsonians and to show them the history that surrounds them. today i was able to watch as the discovery made its finally journey right over our homes to dulles airport and was happy knowing i couldn't have seen anything like that anywhere else. there is a lot to be excited about and take in and we are trying to slow down and remember to breathe.



i am a horrible blogger keeper upper. i am an even worse blogger keeper upper in the midst of stress and moving and all of the other things that come along with that. i also feel like a horrible mother because i am letting my kids watch way more teevee than they should be right now because they let me actually pack boxes and go through the house when they do. damn, honesty.

but this is not about me. this is about my amazing little gage man.

having a crazy 18 month old is difficult right now. she doesn't understand why i keep putting everything in boxes and she is mad at me and the world because of it. with her personality alone i have no idea how i would be doing this, but with the amazing superhero that is gage, i can.

you see, my little 40 year old is a miracle worker. he sees me getting into packing the house and he understands what needs to be done to get us from this apartment to our shiny new yard. without me asking gage has stepped up his role of being a big brother and he keeps chunk entertained while i pack each of our things away. gage may be strict in action (uncle tom, donuts are not healthy for us), but he is completely understanding and bending when it comes to the ultimate goal.

i am so proud of my little man for being such a big man. i am so proud of the love and affection that he shows to his little sister during such a difficult stage of transition. he may be a handful sometimes, (mom, i say these things because i know everything and every person else is ridiculously) but he is wise and sweet beyond his years. my little man is such an amazing and important part of this family and i am just grateful to have him and to be able to learn from him.

i never thought these things to be possible - but i love him more with each day and each second. i am so thankful to be his mother and to be able to have a hand in raising him. i love my little man.


scattered updates

- i think it is super cute that chunk says "anks" when you give her what she wants / asks for. pretty proud that gage, her daddy, and myself are good role models creating a polite little 18 month old monster.

- i have 8 boxes packed.

- we have a place to live in virginia. a house. with a big yard. and a great kitchen. that was stressful.

- gage is giving us a run for our money - 4 is a hard age, but i applaud his search for independence and his fighting spirit while he figures it out.

racism is alive and well.

- ugh.

- gage has been using chunk's barbie to "dust" our house this week in preparation for the move.

- charli is talking like crazy. she talks so much that i can't even keep track of all the crazy words coming out of her mouth. when she talks like a sheep, she screams "BAAAAAA" and that is pretty darn funny.

- we took gage on his first train ride in strasburg, pa. he loved it. he thanked me for the educational experience and told me how much he enjoys that we help him learn.

- my 4 year old is going on 40.

- chunk's doctor ignored my requests to look at her diaper rash the last 2 months resulting in an emergency appointment where i learned (from a new doc) that she had a serious yeast infection. i was not a happy mom.

- balsamic, mustard, rosemary, and garlick make an awesome marinade for almost everything. 



today is my sister's birthday!

happy birthday, brook!

my sister has always been the person i look up to in my life, the person i fear getting slaughtered by in a debate (she's wicked smart, yo), and the person that has always been so consistently her that i marvel at everything she is. when we were younger my sister had the coolest chemistry set and the best color me badd tape on the block. when my sister graduated high school she spent her days hiking with the little red dogs out by the buffalo and mastering the art of drinking tequila better than everyone else. when my sister goes to work for a company she becomes the balls of the operation - men and women fear and respect her brilliance and her take no prisoners approach. when my sister decided she could cook she became the gourmet goddess of the kitchen and she fed us the most glorious food that all we could do was take a nap. when my sister decided she was a photographer she killed that, too. i would be jealous if i wasn't busy wondering how the hell she does it all and still maintains an amazing sense of humor. plus, she will kick your ass if you fuck with the people she loves. be warned.

my sister is going to be a mother soon and i know without a doubt in my heart that she will be the most amazing mother, the most poised mother, the most beautiful and outstanding example for her daughter. you see, my sister is a strong person. she is stronger than almost anyone i have ever met in my life and she never boasts that. she never says, "hey, i am better than you!" but you know it when you are in her presence because it is impossible to ignore. she is well spoken, intelligent, strong, confident, humble, and just plain fucking awesome. i am proud to say that my sister is, like, totally my bff. and stuff. when we moved to the east coast she gave us a place to vacation, she fed us food, she made charli love her and her amazing tricks, and she became gage's most favorite person of all. in short, my sister is better than you.

so happy birthday, brook, i love you so much. we all do. thank you for being the person i can always look up to and for always being there for me. having you in my life makes every day better and i am constantly grateful to have you here and to know you. you will always be my big sister, but most importantly you have become an amazing friend and presence in my life. <3


monday morning blah blah update

this weekend was full of much needed family time and relaxation. we played tons of games with the kids, had movie nights on the kids' new pillow mattresses, tried out elevation burger (yum!), had some homemade sour cream chicken enchiladas (double yum!), played at the park, and finished it all up with espresso cheesecake and a yuengling. like i said, much needed and full of awesome.

yesterday when we were getting ready to walk out of the house the husband asked chunk where her coat was - she threw her hands up in the air and said, "i don't know!" a first for her and a hilarious moment for us. she has also started saying, "bless you", "thanks", "princess", and "want yogurt". he daddy has been gone for the last week and a half or so and was blown away by how different she is speaking and acting. i think sometimes i forget how much she grows on a daily basis and it is a fun reminder when he slows down to pay attention to all of it.

charli is growing up a bit and is starting to enjoy playing some games on her own for a bit. we keep her cupcake kitchen in their tent in our dining (play) room and she is often sitting in front of it making cupcakes for everyone in the house. i love that when she puts the cupcakes in the oven she will go, "tick tick DING! all done!" and will come out and present us all with her fresh baked plastic treats. she has so much pride in figuring out all these little things on her own and i absolutely adore watching her imagination bloom right in front of my eyes.

gage man has really started taking this being 4 business seriously. this week he decided that he was open to watching new movies and has really started enjoying new concepts in shows he has never watched. yesterday we all sat down and watched beauty and the beast; he asked questions every 5 seconds about what was happening, who was good and bad, and where the hell is the princess's mom!? i didn't know if he would enjoy the movie, but he did and even asked to have it playing in the background again today. he also started playing dora on the wii all by himself. watching him figure out how to play the wii all by himself was absolutely adorable, and the smile on his face as he plays is priceless. i love that we can play that game on a cold day inside because it gets him standing and moving around a bit and keeps him engaged with thinking about his next move.

our little hall monitor is so cute with how he treats his little sister and how he tries to take care of her. the other day he complained to me that chunk doesn't like to cuddle with him enough, but today when she wanted to share his prized new pillow mattress he was all "get off of me, baby, this is my space!" and then, "you can cuddle with me later because i know you love me." if anyone in the world tried to hurt his baby sister he would be first in line to battle because he is just amazing like that. we have had a bit of a fight on listening and lying lately, but nothing that isn't typical 4 year old boundary exploration. he knows that if he doesn't listen enough in the day the consequence is losing his leappad, and that has worked out effectively for the most part.

the husband is working his ass off and we are still just waiting for news of when everything is going to go down. he rock-stared his financial analysis class and is getting more comfortable with his new role in his company. i couldn't be more proud of how well he is doing and how much he does for our little family.

i am really starting to find my stride with everything. sewing has been such a great outlet for me and i am enjoying taking on new projects and learning all about my pretty little machine. i have never felt particularly crafty, but sewing is different for me. i look forward to learning more about what i can create, even if that means my seam ripper is going to need to be replaced soon. i am going to start working on a project for rapture (my sister's soon to be here baby) this week and am hoping that will go swimmingly. i have never been in this good of a place in my life before and it feels incredibly gratifying. feeling happy is really starting to grow on me.


cha cha chunkers

the husband and i have been incredibly busy not having sick kids lately, which is super amounts of awesome and win. i can admit that i think both of us had had it up to everywhere over the last few months, but finally getting a break has been nice. i am especially happy that we are getting a break leading up to our anniversary because i love me some romantical shit. this year i want to have a glass of wine, watch tv, and go the fuck to bed. romantic? yes, in my book.

i keep meaning to write a chunk update, but then i a fall asleep. or a show i want to watch comes on. or i pretend to be in a coma just so i trick myself into thinking that i had five minutes of calm. it's amazing i can even dress myself anymore. i love chunk, but she is a lot like having a warden. a warden that brings you presents and blows you kisses.

the warden is currently obsessed with bringing me gifts. when i am showering she will bring me toys and lay them in front of the shower door. a few days ago she took out all the puzzle boards and spread them across the bathroom - when i tried to get out of the shower she screamed at me and tried to close the door to keep me trapped in. she likes to bring me presents while i am doing the dishes and she insists that i keep them directly underneath my feet to avoid a complete meltdown. her favorite place to bring gifts me is while i am sitting on the couch, but when i am on the couch the rules change and i am forced to hold everything she wants me to have or she throws herself on the ground and screams for thirty minutes. this morning she started screaming, "hold it!" in the middle of her tears because i didn't want to hold the book that she didn't want to read anymore.

lately chunk has taken to having meltdowns because we won't allow her to take her lovies into the bath with her. chunk has mitti, monkey, and mouse and she loves them with all of her heart. she also really loves her bath time. a + b = why the hell not bring them in with me to enjoy the happiness? the other night i literally had to spend 15 minutes trying to convince her to breathe after i told her monkey would not be joining us in the bath that night. as much as i love her cuddling a soaking wet stuffie to sleep, i don't.

she is hilarious, and is loving laughing and play time. she loves to play the new games her big brother dreams up and for all of her craziness, she really is so incredibly sweet and cuddly. i always look forward to the half hour after her nap because i know she is just going to want to sit on my lap and cuddle until i have to get things done. she loves her goodnight kisses, her stuffies, her books, her daddy, her brother, and i am pretty sure she loves me as long as i don't say no.

she makes me so incredibly happy and i love the light she brings into all of our lives. as she is getting older she is starting to love helping around the house and she is talking at a level i didn't even know was possible for her age. she is an absolute blast to be around and to say that there is never a dull moment is an understatement. my mom always says, "no doubt about it, she is a challenging baby" and she is, but that also has a lot of upsides because her dynamic personality can make the good times the greatest times. i will think that i have had enough after an hour of her screaming at me for no reason, but all of a sudden she will light up, start laughing, and run into my arms happily. that's charli - and i wouldn't change any of it.


New day, new ideas.

"mom cats are just stupid and scary. And when you aren't looking behind you they pop up and then they thppppt all scary and cat. Cats like to pop up and surprise you and your head and then there is milk on your head. And they poop in boxes, mom. In boxes is where they poop."

Guess he is a dog person. ;)



Well then.

"this is NOT a drawing. It is a balloon with a smiley face on it and it is not real."


Gage man has it in his head that things are only real if they can move. Convincing him otherwise is impossible. This blog? Not real. My bed? Not real. Cartoon characters? Real. You know what else "fart on your face for real!!!!!" Kids are weird.



Dear Gage,

For your birthday this year your Nana and Papa got you a sweet new LeapPad that you adored from the word go. You are such a technologically driven child and we were hopeful that this new system would pull you away from the Angry Birds and maybe give you a bit more of the educational play instead of the killing the pigs play. Your LeapPad has a game called Pet Pals 2 that allows you to adopt a virtual dog and care for it. You love this because you love taking care of puppies (just ask Aunt Brook’s dogs who love it when you come over to care for them!) When you started the game you chose a cute little Husky Pup that you named “Cuddly Pup”. When the game told you that you could choose a new dog to care for after a few days of play you were completely offended – how dare the game suggest you abandon your sweet Cuddly Pup for a new dog!? Bastards.

And that is you. You are the most loyal person I have ever met and you are only 4 years old. You’re incredibly loving and would never throw anyone under the bus or abandon them for any new someone or something. You have your circle of people and animals that you love and they are always your best. You are consistent, reliable, and far beyond your years with your attitude and intelligence. We get so many compliments from strangers about your manners and self control when we are out and I always have to tell them that it is not me; you are just that great of a kid. I am so proud of your demeanor and your loving nature.

We have had a hell of a year and have enjoyed so many travels, visits, and adventures. We had a pass to our local zoo (Elmwood Park Zoo) and enjoyed almost weekly visits during the warmer weather (and some of the cold weather, too!) to see the animals and play at the park. You love checking in on each animal and reciting facts that you have learned about them. You love feeding the goats and ducks, and as long as there aren’t too many crazy kids on the playground you love playing there. We took many a trip to our local farm (MerryMead) to visit with the animals and eat some of the best ice cream that exists on this planet. Our normal routine is to go visit the animals, head in and eat our ice cream, and one more round trip of visiting our animal friends before we are allowed to leave. If you aren’t thinking about being a veterinarian yet, maybe you should, you have a kinship with animals rarely matched by other people. Again, you’re just that good.

This year we made countless trips down to visit Aunt Brook, Uncle Tom, and Dominic. You love visiting their house because it is magic. Seriously, everything at their house is like magic to you and I love the way you light up as soon as we are there. It helps that Aunt Brook is one of your most favorite people in the world, and that no dog holds a bigger place in your heart than Martini. The two of you love to cuddle up on the couch and watch your cartoons and both of you always look right where you want to be in those moments; it’s so incredibly sweet. When we watch the puppies at their house while they are out you insist on being the one that feeds them and lets them out and are very responsible about it. I promise that as soon as I can I will get you a puppy, but Aunt Brook’s sub in happily when we are missing puppies in our lives.
You also visited California for the first time this year to spend Thanksgiving with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Jess. I don’t have to say that you had a good time, because you love your Nana and Papa so much and they are always a good time. You stepped foot onto a sailboat for the first time (Papa’s boat, Jessica) and finally had a positive reaction to ocean waters as you played on the beach in Monterey Bay. Nana and Papa were also able to visit us a few times this year and we enjoyed their company so much while we had them. Having family so spread out is hard sometimes, but we all manage to make it work because family is incredibly important to us, but you know that, because you feel it to your sweet little core.

You took a while to find your voice, but this year you have found the words you were always looking for and your vocabulary has taken off. I love our little conversations and all of the rules you place on us during our daily lives. You love to turn everything into a game, and you love manipulating those rules to make sure that you win every single game. You are a brilliant little guy and you love to learn about everything around you. Educating you is impossibly easy because you soak up information like a sponge and you have a very photographic memory that keeps everything in order for you to recall things at a later date. You remember things that happened at the age of two and I love watching you recount the stories because I can watch you visualize everything in your head as you go as if you were reading a story in front of you. I hope you always embrace your intelligence and let it guide you to amazing places in life.

We had the opportunity to watch you blossom as a big brother this year and even typing this makes tears well up in my eyes because of the pride I have for who you are and how you treat your little sister. Charli wants to be just like you in every single way and will often irritate you because she just won’t get out of your business. Every single thing you do, she does, and everything you love, she loves. You treat her so well, giving her hugs and kisses each night before she goes to bed, and giving her reasons to laugh all day long. The two of you fill my heart to the brim with happiness and I love that you love being a big brother. She has really helped to bring that shy little guy out of you and I am happy to report that finally, and with no encouragement from us, you started to interact with other little kids towards the end of this year. I hope you keep finding the courage to laugh and play, because watching you just be  you is one of the greatest joys of my life.

I have such a hard time writing these letters to you because there isn’t enough space in the world to put down how I feel about you. When I gave birth to you I was forever changed and I had no idea then that you would be who you are and continue to change me every single day. You aren’t like other kids. Hell, you aren’t like other grownups. Your light shines beautifully and bright. You have such a peaceful and calm soul and you act much older than you really are. You may be a quiet child, but your thoughts are loud and have such a big personality on their own. I hope that you can always find a way to speak loudly; no matter if you do it by words or by action, but I have no doubt that you will do great things in life.

Mostly I just want to thank you for being the you that you are. I am beyond proud of my 4 year old little man and I love you more than I ever thought I could love something in my life. You are such a joy to be around; being your mother is a blessing and getting the opportunity to spend every day with you makes me happy beyond measure. I hope I can always guide you to be the best possible version of yourself that you can be, but seeing who you are now I don’t know how much guidance you will really need. You’re such an incredible little boy. Thank you for letting me be there to watch you grow and learn, you make me proud of you every single day.

I love you,



speak up, i can't hear your babble

one of my new favorite things that charli is doing is using baby sentences to tell us things. she will run into a room, point, and say something like "ugh huraah hur ha be tado meow" with firm authority. she really feels confidant when she leaves the room that her instructions have gotten through to us and that we are now ready to follow through with those plans.

one of my least favorite things that charli is now doing is collapsing into a heap on the floor and screaming for at least five minutes because we can't understand her booga booga language and have absolutely no idea what we are supposed to be doing.

kids can be such a joy.