Mini Monet // Ice Cream Date // Beach Day // Day Date to Muir Beach // Serious Train Playing Stance // Trapped With Balloons // Getting Some Serious Air // Unamused At The Pizza Shop
This was not Sadie’s first Easter, nor mine. Sadie is so old and refined that this was in fact her 3rd Easter holiday. And it was my…. well, I’ve seen my fair share of Easter baskets, we’ll just leave it at that. However, it really kind of was our first Easter in a way. Sadie was only less than 6 months old her first Easter, and to be honest I don’t have the slightest memory of what we did that year, if anything. And last year she was a year and half old. She was walking yes, speaking a bit… mostly just words here and there – no real communication. But trying to get her to understand the concept of looking for hidden eggs and collecting them in a basket??? No way. Plus, Easter last year fell on the day after Devin’s birthday and he had a heavy weekend with some friends that came up to visit and was in no form to be jolly and painting eggs the next day.
But this year…. this was the year that it all came to life. I’ll also preface this by saying that we have yet to spend a Christmas in our home, so the act of being able to sneak around the house and prepare for my daughter’s surprise in the morning was a total first for me. And also it was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had. It felt so real, like, I’m really doing this thing! I’m someone’s mom!! I get to do all those sweet beautiful things that my parents did for me when I was little, and I get to do it for my Sadie.
So Devin and I stayed up late stuffing plastic eggs with jellybeans and M&M’s and cutting tags off of all the little toys and books we got for her basket. That morning when she woke Devin kept her occupied playing in her room while I snuck out to the backyard and tip-toed through the dewy grass to place neon eggs in semi-conspicuous places. Devin got her dressed in her most Easter-y dress and we told her that the Easter Bunny had come last night and he hid special treats for her outside and it was time for her to find them.
The joy I felt watching her get so excited every time she found an egg was so wonderful. She would run over to it, pause and say “I think I found my egg!” Then swoop it up into her basket. With every single egg.
When she came across her last egg I dashed back inside to place her Easter basket on her bed. Once her and Devin made it back inside she quickly discovered that her eggs were filled with pieces of candy. And her first ever candy breakfast happened. We were able to break her away from her jellybeans by telling her that while she had been looking for her eggs the Easter Bunny came inside and left a special gift for her on her bed.
The toys we got for her were simple knick-knacks from the drug store and a few dollar bin items from Target. But she flipped. She loved everything and kept raving on about how the Easter Bunny was her friend and he left her toys and candy.
As the excitement began to simmer down I stepped away to get ready and start preparing for a post candy binge breakfast and Devin and Sadie sat down to watch Fantastic Mr Fox with all of Sadie’s new toys. Unexpectedly we got an invite over to Sadie’s best friend Delphine’s Grandparents home for Easter brunch and yet another egg hunt. Since we don’t have any family up here, we thought why not?! So we headed on out and not only got a delicious breakfast, we got to watch Sadie enjoy her 1st ever real Easter all over again, and this time with her little partner in crime at her side.
After our big morning and a nap break we kept the holiday spirit alive by dying eggs. Sadie is still keeping the spirit alive after dipping her entire hand in the egg dye. She has had a green hand for two days now
It never ceases to amaze me how much I love this whole mom gig. I mean, of course we have our bad days just like anyone else… but just like a fine wine it’s getting better with age.
I really can’t believe it, but Sadie is one month shy of being two and half. In my opinion it seemed as if the first year of her life took so long. During the newborn and infant stage there is a lot of monotony going on and progress such as sitting, crawling, walking and talking seem to take a long time to get to. But since her first birthday time is moving at warp speed, and since her second birthday that warp speed got a turbo booster strapped to it.
I call her my baby, but she is so far from a baby. I especially realize this when we are at the play ground with REAL babies. Or toddlers just learning to toddle. I watch my “baby” climb ladders by herself, go up and down stairs with ease and call to me from the top of the highest tower, “Mommy, watch me go down the big twisty slide!” This kid is no baby.
Her speech as far as I am concerned is at a 100%. There is nothing this kid can’t say. And she has repeatedly reminded me of that when she recites things that I say that could be viewed as a little less than appropriate.. oops. She has also really developed a love of singing. She sings constantly and immediately remembers the lyrics and melody of any song I sing to her more than once. Dare I say, she might even grow up to be a pretty good singer. And speaking of her voice… oh that sweet little voice. How I treasure it so. It is so sweet and little.
One of her favorite new expressions is calling me babe after every question or request. She obviously has picked that up from Devin and I who use ‘babe’ as our pet name for each other. But, I can’t tell you how funny it is to hear your toddler say, “Can we paint now babe?” or “Is the mac and cheese ready babe?” Kills me every single time.
I understand that the “two’s” are supposed to be terrible. And it’s a very common practice to have a tantrum here and there and there and there. God knows how I escaped it, but I did. Somehow. I have an angel for a child. She never tantrums. She has no problem with disappointment… if I tell her she can’t have a lollipop now or she needs to put that toy back on the shelf because we’re not buying it, she obliges and just says, “maybe later.”
She also loves to share. And will happily give toys away to any wandering nearby children. She’ll go with the flow if I have to wake her up from a nap early, or if I forgot her favorite toy at home. Honestly the only thing she gets pretty opinionated about is which pj’s she gets to wear at night. She’s pretty specific about that. Who knows why. And it’s not that I have done some amazing training process on making her an agreeable little person. She just is who she is. And that happens to be a kind, caring, gentle, patient and smart little person.
We are by no way perfect over here. We are still dealing with sleep issues that I really hope will be resolved soon. We’re still in diapers and are still very much attached to our pacifier. These are all things that are on my major to do list before we hit three. But at this rate her third birthday will be here in a blink so I know I have to get on it. I’m just so scared of the fallout from those things. Especially the pacifiers!! If anyone has any helpful tips for that, I’m all ears.
Here’s to you Sadie. Thank you for making life so easy and so very magical. xo.
The one and only Auntie Jam Jam came for a visit over the weekend. Sadie loves her Aunt and I love having my sister around so it was a win win for all of us. We went on a few mini adventures during Jamie’s time here. And we all seemed to have really enjoyed our afternoons out, especially Baby Reindeer who you will probably spot in more than a few photos. He has become my second child and we are to never ever ever leave the house without Sadie’s very special friend. Nor are we to go to bed without, or eat a meal without.
The very last photo of Sadie and Jamie was taken during a very heart-felt 35 minute monologue into which Sadie was explaining to her Aunt that there was a bumble bee and it was nice and it likes to eat grass and has a mommy and daddy. And somehow it went on like that for 35 minutes. Sorry Jamie!
Christmas in our household is kind of a spectacle. We ended up celebrating Christmas with just us three a couple of weekends ago at home. We wanted to do something special and intimate with just our small family and since we left to head South the weekend before Christmas we really had no choice but to celebrate it quite far in advance. It turned out great. Sadie loved her presents. We kept in simple, we got her an outdoor slide and a Calico Critters Dollhouse. She loves both of her gifts madly and still even weeks later wants to play with them all day.
We actually very truly believed our own hype. All day long we believed it to be Christmas Day and would be shocked over and over again to see so many stores open on Christmas. All in all it was a quiet day filled with pajamas, coffee, toys and rain. It couldn’t have turned out any more lovely if I do say so myself.
The real Christmas wasn’t all pajamas and snuggles though. We live in Northern California and our family lives in Southern California… a good 10 hour drive during holiday traffic. We were nervous and stressed about the road trip with Sadie, but even though it was so painfully long she did very well. Better than could be expected, which was a great relief. I’m thankful that the ride down was good at least, because the rest wasn’t as smooth sailing. I’ll be totally honest. We have a child who is a terrible sleeper. Always has been. Sometimes it’s better, and lately it’s been pretty good. But when you take her out of her home, out of her bed, out of her routine it really all falls apart. She barely slept at all. One morning she woke up a bit before 4am and that was it. She wouldn’t go back to bed. So we had to get up too. Some mornings she slept til 5:30, but it never really got better than that. Most nights she refused going to sleep and it would take us hourssss to get her down. It certainly didn’t help things that we had to stay at three different places on our five night vacation. And the way Sadie works… if she doesn’t sleep, she won’t eat. So there was that as well. She wouldn’t stay put for a meal. Had no interest in anything I offered her. And barely ever finished even a snack. She also wouldn’t let me bathe her. So it was a fight to sleep, a fight to eat and a fight to take a bath. That translates into very exhausted parents.
Luckily, the first night we got back home, after another 10 hour drive that didn’t go as nice as the first, she went right to bed and slept through the night. And what do you know… she’s been eating like a champ again.
It’s hard to travel with a little. It throws them off so much. And Christmas is just added pressure to that, because there are specific times to be at places and there are people depending on you and wanting quality time. Which is such a beautiful thing, but hard when you’re already fully absorbed in managing a child while you’re sleep deprived.
But at the end of the day, yes of course it was wonderful to see family and spend the time together even as tired and frustrated as I was. It’s hard, but it is wonderful.
These little Calico Critters we got her for Christmas were a real life saver on the road trip. She had so much fun with them in the car, and took them with her on every pit stop to show them around.
We were very lucky to have Uncle Jared serenade us all day Christmas. He even taught Sadie a thing or two.
We got to see all of our family, minus our sisters. Devin’s lives in Asia. And mine was on her honeymoon in Costa Rica! But regrettably we didn’t get to spend the time with friends that we had hoped for. We’ll have to come back to LA on a different day to specifically see and catch up with friends.
Sadie is definitely understanding the “Santa” concept. She continues to ask if Santa is coming to give her another present. I’m so excited to see how she reacts to Christmas next year, when she is a full grown THREE year old!
Merry Christmas to all and a Happy New Year!
My head and heart have been very heavy since this past Friday. I can’t even wrap my head around it. Every time I try to really grasp what this must be like for those directly affected my brain hits an automatic “shut down” before I can dive in too deep. It’s literally unimaginable. My breath escapes me if I for one second imagine what life would be like if someone took Sadie out of my life. Uuuuggghhhh… I can’t even think it… I really can’t.
In light of this tragedy it has me thinking about guns and how I generally dislike everything about them. I get uncomfortable even glancing at a cop that has one in the holster of his belt. I look at it and think… look at this instrument of death, that little thing literally kills people. I shudder at the thought.
Growing up I lived in a house where guns were kept. My father is a Vietnam War Veteran and a Retired New York City Firefighter and kept a collection of guns in our home, my whole life. He is extremely experienced in gun handling and gun safety. And being a father of 3 he always made sure that the guns in our home were responsibly locked away out of reach and furthermore that we, as children, were educated about the dangers of guns. My father’s gun collection was locked up in a gun cabinet in the study of our home, a room that as little children we were rarely in. Our dad explained to us what guns were and what they did. I think it was safe to say that we understood the severity of a firearm even as very young children. He never used them. He wasn’t a hunter, or gun range shooter. They literally were just a collection and on occasion were shown to boys who would come over to take my sister and I out on dates. My dad really knows how to scare a guy into having his daughter home by 10pm.
One weekend day, my sister and I who were both under 10 years old at the time were playing in the study. Our parents had this amazing Encyclopedia collection that must have consisted of 20 or so books. We used to like looking at the anatomy pages and giggle looking at medical drawings of the penis, hehe. Well, somehow between anatomy and dolphins a little shiny silver key fell out onto the carpet. Jamie picked it up and we both looked at it and felt this rush of adrenaline. We just made a huge discovery. A discovery we were never meant to have unturned. We knew what it was, and we knew we weren’t allowed to do it. But the thrill was just too big to ignore. I walked to the door and made sure it was all the way closed so mom wouldn’t walk by and catch a glimpse of what we were about to do. And then Jamie and I stepped in front of the gun cabinet. We stuck the little key in, and turned it. The large heavy door swung open. And there we were looking face to face with handguns, rifles, bullets, a cross bow and a pretty large “crocodile dundee” type knife.
Our hands hovered into the forbidden gun cabinet. But they never made contact. We stopped ourselves before we went too far. We knew it was bad. Not just a bad that would get us in trouble but a bad that could do considerably more damage. We were afraid of these weapons. Even at our young age we understood that very bad things could come of these tools.
We closed up the cabinet, and used the same key to lock it back up and went back to the encyclopedia where we found the key trying to find exactly where it had fell from. But even that still felt so bad. It felt like we were doing something really wrong. So instead, Jamie and I found our mom and told her that we found something. We dropped the tiny little silver key into the palm of her hand and we said sorry. She turned pale as a ghost and immediately understood what we had stumbled upon. It scared the life out of her, just as it had for us.
Needless to say, the key was moved to a location that I never again found. And as the years have gone on the gun collection has dwindled and dwindled down to maybe one or two items. And I believe those have sentimental value of some sort.
My parents were two of the lucky ones. This story could have had an entirely different ending. Even with the most responsible of gun owners sometimes things can go wrong. Here in our household we discussed the topic on if we should or shouldn’t have a gun in the house for “protection.” We both agreed that the possibility of a tragic accident involving the gun occurring is higher than the chance of an armed break in.
And our house feels much safer without a firearm in it.
Last weekend marked the beginning of the Hanukkah Holiday. To be totally honest, Hanukkah doesn’t even hold a candle to Christmas celebrations. (pun intended) But we still did it as big as could be. We set the Pandora station to Hanukkah music – who knew they even had that? We lit our first candle, we let Sadie open her Hanukkah gift which is her new favorite toy ever by the way. That’s all on Dad. He chose this amazing wooden train set. It’s huge. I bought a large storage bin to store it all away, but so far I haven’t even had the chance to put it anywhere. It’s the first thing she wants to play with in the day and the last toy she touches before bath and bedtime.
After candles and gifts I prepared a big Hanukkah feast. Hanukkah food is funny. It’s everything fried, you are celebrating oil after all. So I made fried chicken using matzo as the batter, kale cooked in olive oil and a new take on the traditional latke. I always kind of hate having to eat latkes for dinner. It’s essentially a hash brown patty and in my opinion not worthy of being a meal. So I decided to go a little rogue and try frying mashed potatoes. It turned out so awesome. I’m glad I ventured out, this will definitely be returning next year. And for dessert… donuts, of course.
After we finished our meal and the candles all burned out – we headed out to walk around and check out Christmas decorations in our wildly festive neighborhood.
Warning! I am about to post tons of photos of homes decorated for the holidays. If you don’t like cheer I urge you to stop scrolling.
And to top it all off, we even ran into carolers… CAROLERS people!! I thought that only existed in movies!!
Well a happy ho ho ho to you and yours and if you celebrate the festival of lights enjoy these remaining few nights of it!
This year marks Sadie’s third Christmas season. Three Christmases we have had since being parents and yet somehow we still have never had a real Christmas tree. This year I was hell bent on changing that. We have a cheap Target brand polyester leafed four foot artificial Christmas tree collecting dust and most likely housing a small family of rats somewhere in the basement. And I really didn’t want to set that plastic pre-lit piece of garbage up in our house once again this year. I mean, we are a family now. We have a small child that for the first time is actually understanding what Christmas, Santa and Reindeer all mean. I wanted to give her the full on deal. Not the cheap “this’ll do” Christmas that we could do before when it was just the two of us.
The time is here now. These will be the memories that she will carry with her for her lifetime. The magic and wonderment of childhood Christmas. The decorations, the joy, the warm cozy stay at home feeling and the presents, of course, the presents!! So last week I told Devin that we had weekend plans. We were going to get a real Christmas tree and we were going to go see Santa and get a picture of Sadie on his lap. Devin was not amused by this plan. As I suspected he would, he gave the old “we have a perfectly fine tree in the basement.” To which I replied with a simple tip of the head and eyebrow raise. And he said, “ok fine.” Turns out… only one of these two things ended up happening.
Turns out it was Sadie who wasn’t amused by my Christmas plans in the end. She took one look inside the cozy log cabin inside Santa’s Village and saw an old man in bright red velvety pajamas staring at her offering a seat on his lap, and her response might as well have been flipping him the bird. She was sooooo pissed. Terrified to the deepest core of her being and she seemed to have a very deep hate, almost a personal vendetta against St. Nick. Seems as though he’s much more appealing when he’s in a cartoon or a book – not so much in real life.
The good news is that we got a real life tree. It was so much fun going to the nursery and picking out the one we liked the best. Figures we ended up with a charlie brown-esque tree. Out of all the ones they had we really liked the one that barely had any branches. It was cold and raining and so much fun. I feel like I enjoyed it just as much as Sadie did which is weird because I’m an adult and running errands isn’t supposed to be fun. But sometimes it just is.
Even though I didn’t get Sadie’s photo with Santa this year I’m grateful for the funny memory of trying to take her there. And I love our tree. It makes our house feel so much like home. Although we won’t even be spending Christmas morning in our house this year it makes me feel so happy to know that we are beginning to make these stories and memories for Sadie that she will have to hold forever. The stories she will one day tell her children. The traditions she will carry on with her own family some day. My parents made Christmas such a magical time for me as a kid. Nothing has ever compared to how exciting Christmas Eve and morning was in my household. I’m chomping at the bit for the opportunity to do the same for Sadie.
Even though my blood is only half Christmas and the other half Hanukkah, the Christmas runs deep in me. And I am so thrilled to share it with Sadie, who is after all, 75% Christmas. : )
For our long Thanksgiving Holiday weekend Grandparents Foley came up to keep us some company. What was expected to be a gloomy and rainy few days turned out to be not so bad at all.
Like almost every other American we celebrated Thanksgiving. My sweet, thoughtful, amazing and hunky husband went ahead and ordered a pre-cooked Thanksgiving meal for us while I was away on my girls trip the weekend before, so that I wouldn’t have to be cooking all day. Turned out that the “pre-cooked” meal did indeed require quite a bit of cooking after all. And of course I wanted to add some of the dishes that are a tradition in our household that were not included in the pre-ordered meal.
But all in all it wasn’t too hectic. Things went smooth and delicious if I don’t say so myself. Plus this was the first year I’ve done Thanksgiving dinner all on my own. Last year was my first year hosting, but my mother was here and did at least half of the work : )
Sadie got to celebrate yet another birthday. Her Grandparents hadn’t seen her since her birthday in October so they came bearing gifts. I think she is expecting a birthday party at least once a month at this point. And the fact that Hanukkah is in a week and Christmas 2 weeks later isn’t helping… what a rough life this poor kid has.
After reviewing the photos from the weekend I realize besides for eating and opening gifts we apparently rode a lot of rides!
We took Sadie to the steam trains in Tilden Park for the first time. It turned out to be way cooler than I thought it would be and I’m looking forward to going again sometime soon. I also found out that dogs are allowed on too… maybe Berkeley would want a little choo choo action in her life.
And of course the trusty ol’ zoo always has everything that this child could possibly want: a petting zoo, animals, a playground and of course more rides.
But mostly our holiday was spent lounging around the house being cozy and strolling the neighborhood as it begins to turn very colorful and festive for the Christmas season.
Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one and welcome to December! Just remembered… isn’t the world ending in like a few days??