Yearly Holiday Card

One of my favorite things about this time of year is mail – especially the holiday cards and year-in-review cards we receive from family and friends who we haven’t seen in a long time.  When you have kids it’s so easy for a year to go by in an instant and while social media makes quick catch-ups so easy, it’s not as personal as receiving something via the good ole USPS.  Even if it’s just a photo card, we enjoy getting them (I use the blog as an excuse to not write a year end letter). 😉

When we first decided to send out a holiday card we knew we didn’t want to do a standard photo because it’s not really “us,” so now each year we try to come up with a unique idea, which is both a lot more fun and difficult with kids added into the mix.

2010

The year we got married and the start of a tradition.

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2011

This was the year we found out we were going to be parents, so this idea was actually inspired by a friend who posted a screenshot from ‘Alien’ to my Facebook wall when we announced the news.

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2012

I knew I wanted to do this when I realized that Enzo would be big enough to sit up on his own by the time we need to take the photo.  Nom nom, babies!

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2013

This year, I don’t have a picture of – we went for your standard collage card because Phoebe was a newborn and we didn’t have the energy to do anything creative.

2014

There really is no explanation needed is there?  Let me just say it is not easy to get two children this young to cooperate for one photo.  It was a fun one, though.

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We already have a plan for next year, and it’s going to be spectacular and take some sewing on my part, so I should probably start now since I don’t really sew.

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Random musings about winter, potty training and parenting.

I’m not gonna lie, I kind of like the mild winter we’re having so far.  Sure, a little snow on the ground would be nice to make everything pretty, but a forecast of almost 50 degrees for the weekend?  Seriously?  We will definitely be taking advantage of the warmer temperatures and getting out of the house.

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Granted, with potty training, getting out has been… interesting. I know it’ll get easier, but right now we’re definitely still in that phase where accidents do happen now and then.  Also… how the heck do you easily take a little boy into a public bathroom.  We found ourselves in a family bathroom this past weekend and Josh and I looked at the toilet, looked at Enzo, looked at each other and couldn’t figure out what the easiest way would be to get him on the toilet.  Does he sit? Does he stand on the seat?  How the heck do we keep his pants dry? Let’s just say there was some trial and error involved and we’re still not entirely sure what the best way is. Thankfully Enzo found it amusing as well and cooperated as best he could with two somewhat inept parents.

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 We’re determined, though! The other tricky part is finding something to do where two toddlers won’t get into too much trouble, oh and that isn’t really expensive.  We can always do the zoo, but it would be nice to do something different.  Once again, though, we don’t want to drive too far considering we don’t want to risk accidents in the car.

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Parenting!  Each day seems to bring with it new challenges and fun surprises.  It also seems like Phoebe is ready to slowly start phasing out her morning nap. At day care she sometimes skips it and other days it’s very short so they want to see about cutting it completely. I’m okay with that since it would mean they would both be on the same nap schedule.  Honestly, I’ll be okay with no naps at all.  While the downtime is nice, they’re such a pain because they’re in the middle of the day.  Guess I’m going to have to work on getting our family out the door a lot earlier. 😉

Dancing in the kitchen…

I don’t really remember how it started or who started it, but it began when Enzo was smaller (then tapered off) and is once again a favorite game of both kids.

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There is nothing that gets more smiles than ballroom dancing.  Actual music doesn’t matter, but only ballroom dancing will do and is more exciting when each parent has a child and you pretend to almost run into each other.  Considering neither Josh or I are dancers, running into each other isn’t always on purpose. 😉

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While Enzo enjoys solo dancing, he prefers the more chaotic dancing, whereas Phoebe will take both. She likes it so much in fact, that simply standing in the kitchen is often unacceptable and it’s a pretty safe bet that she will reach for your hand and look at you expectantly.

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While it can be an exhausting game and leave our arms aching, it’s worth it for the giggles.  It’s also kind of funny/sad because Phoebe is never ready to stop and her sassiness comes out as she sort of screams/cries at you in frustration and won’t let go of your hand. I kind of love how much she loves music, and I’d love it if she wanted to take dance lessons when she was older.  Enzo seems more interested in sports, so it would be fun to have a little dancer (I always wanted to take dance lessons when I was younger).

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I’m okay with just kitchen dancing for now, though. They’re growing up fast enough as it is.

 

Morning Routines

I used to be a morning person… even during the week I’d get up early so I had at least half an hour or so to read a book while I slowly drank my coffee and ate some breakfast and enjoyed the morning quiet all by myself. Weekends were even better because I could just read until whenever… heck, I could just read all day if I wanted to and it was magical. Magical, I tell you!

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Oh, how things change.  Now I get up as late as I can, which isn’t very late… 5:00am is a horrible time of day. I shower, feed the cats and then proceed to get the kiddo’s stuff ready (bottles, breakfast, lunch) and hope that no one gets up early otherwise everything is thrown off kilter.

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Granted, in the past couple of weeks since I took these photos, Phoebe is no longer on formula, and only takes one bottle of milk to day care, which saves me a few minutes in the morning. Hey, every second counts.

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On a great morning the kids sleep until 6:15-6:30 and hopefully Josh is out of the shower by that time so I can start blow-drying my hair and then feed Phoebe her morning bottle because baby girl is like me and needs food in her tummy fairly quick.

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Due to lack of time, my own breakfast usually waits until I get to work.  Enzo will wake up and depending on his mood be happy and joyful and want to watch an episode of one of his favorite shows, or will tell us all to go away and stay in bed as long as possible before wandering out and demanding a snack. He’ll either accept breakfast as an alternative or fuss for a bit if we tell him he can have breakfast, but not snacks.

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At some point I’ll find time to get myself ready. Thankfully, I don’t really take that long unless I have no idea what to wear and then the morning ends with me rushing around trying to finish while helping Josh dress the kiddos and keep them amused.

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Somehow we always end up somewhat rushed the last 10-15 minutes, especially now that cars need to be warmed up and the kids need to be bundled up to brace the cold.  Generally the kiddos will amuse themselves fairly well, but lately Phoebe has been a tad clingy in the morning, which can make rushing around difficult.

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On the mornings when they wake up early, we are sometimes able to get out the door on time, but the morning is more stressful because we have tired, whiny munchkins to trip over, so I’d almost rather trade being late for happier kids.  One of these days I’ll hopefully work closer to the kids’ day care, which would be ideal. My office move really threw things off and added driving time.  Oh well, in the meantime we do our best to manage the chaos and as long as everyone is smiling by the time we get to day care, I call it a fairly good morning. 😉

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Belated Pumpkin Fun

Now seems like as good of a time as any to relive our corn maze/pumpkin patch fun since the high for the day is whopping 15 degrees (with a real feel of -2).  We won’t dwell, though.  Onward to pumpkins and corn mazes!

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If there’s one thing to say about Minnesota in the Fall it’s that there are no lack of corn mazes and pumpkin patches.  We decided to go with one that seemed to have more included in the price and hoped it wouldn’t be too crowded. We also figured it would be a great time to break in our new wagon rather than bringing a stroller.

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It was our first corn maze, and surprisingly the kids didn’t even get bored – I think they were too excited about the wagon to care about anything else.  Phoebe usually likes being carried, but LOVED getting to sit facing her brother… even though he was being a little cranky.  Thankfully there was a helicopter flying around that made him happier.  The kid loves helicopters unless they’re the remote controlled kind, in which case he doesn’t even want to be in the same room with even if it’s turned off.

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Aside from the corn maze, there were a few attractions like a bouncy house, slide and pony rides as well as food.  Once again, though, we had to deal with some hornets (sigh) and Enzo had a minor meltdown. Seriously, what was with all the hornets this year? I’m actually a little glad colder temperatures have hit if only because there are no more hornets/wasps and spiders.  Anyhoo, oh yeah, there were pumpkins!

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Our front stoop is generally really boring and lacking in decoration (especially since we also never finished our whole landscaping plan), so pumpkins were a must this year.  We figured it would be fun to have Enzo help pick them out and he thoroughly enjoyed the process.  He’d copy his dad and brush off the dirt and attempt to pick them up to get a better look.  All in all, we got some fine pumpkins… that are now covered in snow. Whoops.

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