My Week(248) in iPhone Photos

August 3rd, 2015

I am at the beach, where time means nothing, so I totes forgot to do this post yesterday. I’m not even sorry.

Sunday:

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Grandpas are popular

sunday2

My vacation started early because I went to Target alooooooone

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That looks like poor choices

Monday:

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Evan and Caroline were REALLY excited about Linc’s birthday presents.

monday2

Oil change

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Pizza crust is his favorite food

Tuesday:

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Soooooo much driving

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WHY DOESN’T MY TARGET SELL WINE?

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There are other beds, they insist on sharing

Wednesday:

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Bleeeeeh

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This is the church where I got married! Also, it’s very hot. 

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Charleston’s version of a splash park

Thursday:

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Caroline loves that the city is full of horses

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Mermaid

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My husband is very much enjoying his scotch…I mean…vacation

Friday:

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I love this house

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Lowcountry boil time

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Hot Mess

Saturday:

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Never leaving

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A picture of me in a bikini. Almost.

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Hanna Jams and reading time

I’m already late for a 10 am pool date with the kids where I am going to mostly ignore them while I float. Because the beach is amazing and you can do that here.

I’m slooooowly editing the 4000 photos I’ve already taken and will post way too many soon. And then next week I’ll repeat it all over for the lake. My life is not too bad right now.

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Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, One Year Old Is What You Are

July 27th, 2015

We celebrated Lincoln’s 1st birthday party on Saturday with a Twinkle Twinkle Little Star themed party. I fell in love with the star idea while rocking Linc to sleep in his room – there have been glow in the dark stars on his ceiling since we bought the house. Plus I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he is a sparkly, twinkly baby personality-wise. He’s my little star.

You can check out my Lincoln’s First Birthday Pinterest board for a lot of the recipes and inspiration for all my ideas. I’m putting the post after a jump so all 2 bazillion photos aren’t on the front page for the next month…

twinkle twinkle little star first birthday ideas

Read the rest of this entry »

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My Week(247) in iPhone Photos

July 26th, 2015

This week Lincoln turned 1 and I started freaking out because summer feels almost over.

Sunday:

sunday1

Target is easier when you can tie one kid to your back and bribe the other two with Icees.

sunday2

All the kids love the Boppy

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Lake Baby

Monday:

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Sunflowers for Wishes is beauitful

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Caroline dressed up for our wagon ride

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I made the mistake of asking them to take a nice picture.

Tuesday:

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Party planning

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We have a LOT of clicky things from Wendy’s kids’ meals now.

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This might have been the last time he napped nicely.

Wednesday:

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If you look closely you can see my baby playing with his new 7 year old BFF.

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Baby’s first deli cheese

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It turns out clean and shopping is pretty good exercise

Thursday:

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OK, I’M ONE NOW, I’M GOING SWIMMING

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Birthday’s are exhausting

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Bumpa will read you alllllll the books

Friday:

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The bones of The Australia at Mystic Seaport

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Figureheads

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Using my camera to check and see if Linc is asleep yet. NOPE.

Saturday:

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I’m proud that all my party guests noticed my sling matched the decor

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He had a really good day

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He has sad eyes because he tried to eat the lit candle, but eating an entire mini-cake cheered him up.

Linc’s first birthday party is over and it was SUCH a success. We were completely done and ready for our guests before they arrived (this never happens) and I got to relax and drink champagne while the kids screamed their heads off on the bounce house. My parents and E’s parents were both here which meant we had TWO grown ups per child – not to mention all the dads that Linc conned into picking him up and carrying him around. He’s really good with dads.

We’ve got some vacation coming up and I cannot waaaaaait. But first I have to get all those party photos sorted and posted, or they’ll end up in the file with the rest of this month’s fun activities and no one will ever see them. What good is a cool party theme without a blog post?!

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Lincoln: 12 Months

July 23rd, 2015

{Evan’s 12 month post} {Caroline’s 12 month post}

So it’s kind of funny. When Evan turned 12 months, I definitely still thought of him as a baby on the brink of toddlerhood. When Caroline turned 12 months, I thought of her as a toddler who was basically a real person.

Today Lincoln turns 12 months and he might as well still be 4 months old.

Don’t tell HIM that – he thinks he’s a human who can jump on the couch and climb stairs and swim in the lake and eat ham at the grocery store and feed his own self and use my phone and set a schedule. He can actually do about half of that stuff, although I try my best to discourage it.

But I still think of him as a tiny baby. He still gets up most nights to nurse and it hasn’t occurred to me to discourage that. I only started putting him in his crib a week or two ago and most of the time he ends up in my bed before morning. I never remember to bring shoes for him, because why would a baby need to put their feet on the ground? I have five bazillion baby wearing devices and use all of them regularly. Every time I say something to him and he appears to actually understand what I’m saying I am SHOCKED. The fact that he doesn’t talk yet doesn’t worry me because babies can’t talk.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be convinced of his babyhood. Maybe I’ll feel that way forever – or at least until there’s a new baby, if there ever is a new baby. The future is unclear. But the right now is full of an adorable, slightly ginger baby who is a joy and a light in our crazy family. We all love him to pieces.

At 12 months, Linc wears 12 or 18 month sizes in clothes and a 5.5 shoe, He has at least 8 teeth. There are some molars back there too and his canines are coming through, but NO WAY do I want to stick my finger in his mouth. He likes both real food and nursing. He never crawls anymore.

Likes include water, sand, eating sand, baby food pouches, cheese, meatballs, nursing, cuddles, giving kisses, dogs, cats, anything with fur, his yellow blankie, naps, blowing raspberries, phones, cords, taking trash out of the trash can, climbing, pooping and smiling at everyone.

Dislikes are being hungry, being told not to kill himself, being rescued from danger and milk from a cup.

Add “being still long enough to have his picture taken” to the list of haaaaaaaates.

lincoln 12 months

lincoln 12 months-2

lincoln 12 months-3 lincoln 12 months-4 lincoln 12 months-5

lincoln 12 months-7

3rd baby, 3rd blankie, 3rd favorite lovie

lincoln 12 months-9

lincoln 12 months-10

lincoln 12 months-11

lincoln 12 months-12

lincoln 12 months-13

lincoln 12 months-14

LASHES

lincoln 12 months-17

lincoln 12 months-18

Bye! Leaving!

lincoln 12 months-19

Are you coming??

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Ok, well, you sit there. I have places to go.

lincoln 12 months-21

JUST KIDDING I LOVE YOU!

lincoln 12 months-23

Come with me if you want to live…

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEET BOY! Everyone who knows you loves you so, so much.

12 Month Milestones (originally from BabyCenter)

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Imitates others’ activities – Pretends to talk on the phone, can throw things away, likes to steal people’s chairs. It’s like he thinks he’s a real person.
Indicates wants with gestures – I feel like he doesn’t really have control over his arms most of the time. He screeches rather than points or signs.

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Takes a few steps – Runs. And just learned how to climb onto the couch.
Says one word besides “mama” or “daddy” – He still doesn’t really talk. I don’t have much trouble understanding him, but he doesn’t really say mama or daddy yet.

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Walks alone – I feel like if there’s one thing that applies to all children I give birth to, it’s their advanced walking skills.
Scribbles with a crayon – Likes to chew on markers?
Says two words besides “mama” or “dada” – No. I figure in a couple months he’ll just start talking in complete sentences.

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Yelling At A Kid Doesn’t Make You A Hero

July 22nd, 2015

This is not the post I was supposed to be writing today. Right now I am supposed to be taking pictures of my 364-day-old baby so I can post a sweet, heartfelt, sob-worthy birthday post tomorrow when he turns 1. But my baby is blissfully taking a much-needed nap while I get to sit on the couch with a Diet Coke and think about how much needs to be done before his party on Saturday.

Except instead of party planning, I am working myself into a rage for the third time this week over that story out of the diner in Maine. I have spent entirely too much time, energy and furious typing on this story already, so what’s another hour?

Sometimes my children are monsters. I'm sorry.

Sometimes my children are monsters. I’m sorry. But screaming at them is not the answer.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you can catch up here on Buzzfeed and also read the mother’s account of what happened here. Do NOT read the comments.

Although I am extremely inclined to believe the family over the diner owner, I cannot prove anything one way or another. Even in this age of social media and cell phone videos as far as I know there isn’t any footage to confirm or deny the length of the tantrum. I’ve already word-vomited my feelings about that part of the story all over Facebook, much to the distress of some of my friends’ friends who insist I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about because THEY SEE parents being bad parents ALL THE TIME. I actually hardly ever see anyone being a terrible parent and can’t remember any time vividly enough to recount it for you now. Maybe I’m not observant or maybe my threshold for “terrible parenting” is just wicked high after having three kids. But if that is something ALL these internet commenters experience ALL the time, I cannot deny it happens.

So I give up on all my previous statements, assumptions and conclusions. You are right, people of the internet. Maybe these parents were incredibly neglectful, lazy and selfish and their monster of a toddler screamed at the top fo her lungs for 40 minutes, ruining everyone else’s morning. They are horrible and completely in the wrong for not taking their kid out of the restaurant.

But the part I absolutely WILL NOT concede is that the diner owner should be congratulated or treated as some sort of hero, standing up for the rights and eardrums of all the polite, respectable people who all seem to have raised their children without a single mistake ever or who are doing us all a favor by not having children in the first place.

I will cut a paste a few congratulatory comments so you don’t have to read all 1,000+ of them yourself.

“LOL I really like this owner!”

“owner did the right thing. that’s it!”

“I think the owner had every right when the parents r sitting there making everyone pay for their child’s temper tantrum. If u can’t control a Whiney kid….Stay the hell home! When I go out the last thing I want to listen to is a whaling brat!”

“Ugh. I’d have thanked her right then. Take your shrieking spawn outside please.”

“Restaurant owner is right. Dumbass mother is wrong. Case closed.”

“As for the owner, I applaud her. Simply put, her restaurant, her rules. It doesn’t necessarily matter if she has kids of her own or not either. She acted perfectly fine.”

“I give the owner support for her so-called rude response…apparently that’s the only way to get thru to the parents…the child had given a pure example of that truth! 40 minutes of ignoring your child is rude …BE A PARENT!”

Let me just be clear here: yelling at a kid in this situation does not make you a hero.

Do you know what makes you a hero in this situation? Kindness.

Kindness, patience and sympathy, which all seem to be rarer than unicorns these days. I feel extremely lucky that most of my interactions on a daily basis fall into the “polite indifference” section of the grid rather than “angry hostility” or “crazy screaming person” areas. I appreciate anyone who lets me just go about my parenting and life business without instantly writing me and my kids off as brats, jerks, whiners, life-ruiners who don’t really deserve to be out in public at all.

My heroes are the people who help when they don’t have to. The waitress who sees that I am struggling to keep my toddler in his high chair long enough to eat my meal and brings him apple slices to gnaw on is a hero. The cashier at the grocery store who starts to talk to my whining 4-year-old to distract her is a hero. The nurse at my doctor’s appointment who holds my baby for me so I can get changed is a hero. The lady at the beach who shares her snacks with my kids so they don’t have a hunger meltdown after all the snacks I brought have run out is a hero. My definition of hero here is pretty low, but in all those situations I am as grateful as if they had saved me from drowning. In a way, that is exactly what they are doing.

Those people are heroes because not only are they doing me a huge favor and embodying the idea that it takes a village, they are demonstrating in a real, tangible way to my kids what good behavior looks like. Instead of reacting to anger and frustration with anger and frustration, they are living proof being kind and calm is a real solution. “Oh!” thinks my kid, “She is trying to communicate without throwing a fit! Maybe I should also try that!”

That is how you turn irrational, screaming babies into full-sized good people. You model the behavior you want them to emulate, in private, in public and in diners. It can take a while, years even, but there isn’t really another option. I work really, really hard every waking hour of my day to give my kids the life skills, language and emotional maturity to one day be someone’s employee, boss, wife, husband, neighbor or friend. It is a fact of human survival that babies and children are necessary to create full-grown adults, so we need to allow for them to exist, even if sometimes they are awful. Kindness is how we teach them not to be so awful.

If you tell me that because these are not YOUR kids and YOU didn’t choose to bring them into this world you have no responsibility or obligation to help me teach them to be kind, I cannot argue with you. That is totally true. You are not obligated to do any parenting, so please enjoy doing things like sleeping in, going to brunch and yelling at whoever you want. But try to remember that you – YES YOU – were once a child. If your mother or father is available, call them up and ask them to tell you about their absolute WORST parenting moment. Maybe they can remember a time someone was kind to them while they were struggling, and the next time you encounter a horrible child in public you can pay that act of kindness forward.

No, you do not have to go above and beyond for me just because I have kids. No, I am not asking for special treatment. It is just so disheartening to think that so many people hate my family just because we exist in public spaces, we have bad days, and sometimes we make noise. I swear I am doing the best that I can to raise my tiny humans into people you would be happy to sit next to in a diner. If you can show them a little kindness, you can be a hero.

I’ve been staring at this for 15 minutes now, trying to decide if it’s worth hitting publish when I am fairly certain I’ll get yelled at for my post about not yelling at people. If you feel the need to comment or share, please be kind and give me and my commenters the benefit of the doubt when it comes to judgment, entitlement, parenting styles and anything else.

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