Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Dominic's Very Hungry Caterpillar Birthday Party

Dominic's birthday is this week! I can hardly believe it. We decided to have a little party for him while we were in Utah so family could be there, and it was so fun. Party inspiration was the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" because Dominic is just that: always hungry!

^^Suuuuper yummy and adorable cookies from my favorite Utah place The Sweet Tooth Fairy^^
My favorite was putting together this caterpillar with his monthly pictures. Still can't believe how much they change in just a year. 
He loved all his balloons!
And now for a lot more pictures!! I love baby cake smashes. Especially my babies who have so much fun. 
 ^^I had everyone sign the copy of the book that I got for him to read and remember^^
^^with my Aunt Wendy^^
There were only three kids there: J, Dom, and my bestie's Kelsy's little girl Ava, and it was the perfect amount of energy haha. 

Happy happy birthday, sweet boy. Glad you had such a good time at your party. 

Monday, November 28, 2016

Things I'm Loving Lately: Holiday Edition

Now Christmas time is here! So here a collection of things I am loving so far.

1. Milano peppermint slices! My new favorite. They are harder to find, so if you see them, buy them! I think walmart is the most reliable? Anyway, so yummy.

2. Matching family pjs! Yes, I have been wanting to jump on this bandwagon for a while. You know how I love to match. These ones are the Burts Bees brand from Target and I bought a set of different patterns but I love them all and they are decently priced. Other brands I was looking at were like $200 for my family of four. Got these ones for less than a hundred for four.

3. New Christmas cds! I always look forward to seeing which of my favorite artists are coming out with Christmas cds. These two are great. I had been looking forward to the She and Him for a while. And Leslie Odom Jr. is great. Both are jazzy, relaxing type of cds.

4. Yummy drinks! This one from Trader Joes is so yummy. Raspberry Cranberry Spritzer. Very Christmasy.

5. Netflix binging! It's not exactly about Christmas, but there are some good new releases. Our favorite is "The Crown." Even if you don't watch everything about the royal family like I do, you will like this show. It's really good. Victor likes it too.

So there you go. Anyway holiday things you're loving that I should love too?? Let me know!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Motherhood Life Lately: It doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

 I wrote my last motherhood update right before my precious J turned 2...and when that happened, motherhood life definitely started becoming more challenging. I talked about it in my last post a little. So while there are more tantrums and struggles with both boys, I still am filled to the brim with gratitude and contentment. And the tantrums really are such a small percentage of the day, which is a good reminder to try to not lose patience too quickly.

So many people have been saying that 2016 has been one of the worst years to date. And when I think back on things, I could maybe argue that as well. We've had car troubles that left me stranded in St. George for a few days alone with the boys, we had some flooding in the nice new house we bought, we've seen family members have health struggles, and we've felt stress with the state of affairs in the world.

One of our biggest trials we went through earlier in the year has changed the way we have viewed all the previous challenges. When our sweet J was having a seizure every hour in the ER which led to a transfer and overnight stay at Stanford, it was by far the most emotional and stressful thing we have gone through. The feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. Thankfully all of this was just a 48 hour ordeal.

Ever since then, things that may seem stressful and difficult are put in perspective. Car troubles are inconvenient, but not so bad. Political drama can be stressful, but doesn't impact the way I raise my family. And crazy toddlers can be exhausting, but I remember the time when he didn't feel well enough to be crazy, and it helps calm me.

Maybe it's because Thanksgiving is around the corner, or it's the end of the year which is causing me to reflect on the year, but man, I am feeling so grateful to be having these motherhood experiences. I'm trying to savor all of it, even when it's not "ideal."

For example, we have hit a roadblock in the boys' sleeping arrangements in that J has been sleeping in our room for a few months now. He'll fall asleep in our bed, and Victor moves him to the pack n play. There have been a couple times when I've wanted to ask for advice from experienced facebook friends on how to get him to go back to sharing a room with Dom, but then I realize I don't really want their advice haha. I love laying next to J as he falls asleep. The time is fleeting for how long it will be like this. (and it ensures both boys sleep for the longest amount of time possible...so yeah)

So that's why the title of this post has become the mantra for Victor and I. It doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful. It definitely isn't perfect, but it sure is wonderful.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Little Things About My Little J

Lately there have been a few little things that J has been doing now that he is getting so much better at organizing thoughts and starting to talk a little more and I don't want to forget.

He has designated a spot on the couch as only his, or as he says "my sit." Even if he's not sitting there, if he sees you sit there, he comes and demands you move. Or if it's Victor, he comes tattle taling to me that Victor is in his sit. Oh man, this boy.

He has a set of cars someone gave him for his birthday. One of those cars has flowers on it, and every time, he says that it's "mommy's car." So interesting to me, since I really haven't taught him about anything being masculine or feminine.

We are teaching him spanish (trying to) and so there are some words that are easier for him to say in spanish, like agua and si. He sure loves to say "no," but when he wants milk, he brings us the milk from the fridge, and says "SI! SI!" It's hilarious. And also he is freakishly strong and carries a full gallon of milk around the house like it's no big deal.

He also knows that mommy's name is "Annie" and will unpredictably call me it once in a while, like in Costco when I walked away to get something. I got it on instagram stories video, but the app didn't post it and it gone! So angry. But it was so funny.

Speaking of Costco, I was checking out yesterday, and Dom started crying because he wanted the checker's scanning gun and couldn't get it, so J kept hugging him and patting his back and trying to give him his pacifier. J is the sweetest brother and I love seeing them bond!

He has a book about feelings, and it's definitely catching on, because lately if he gets hurt, or feelings hurt from getting in trouble, he cries through the tears "Sad!" So cute, and so sad haha.

Also we have had some behavioral breakthroughs with him, and it all stems from not letting him have ANY tablet time. It was turning him into a monster! Even at church, when he usually loved going to nursery he wanted to watch the ipad. So he is cut off completely, and we call the ipad "the thing that must not be named" because when he hears the word he starts asking. It's crazy how that has made such a difference. Even his nursery leaders noticed a change and said "it's so nice having the old J back!" He still has tantrums, but we have been able to resolve them much faster. So yeah, when you see people post those articles about how tablets turn kids into crazy addicts, I believe it whole heartedly!

Man, we love this kid!

Monday, October 10, 2016

California Bucket List

I started compiling this list as soon as we got orders to California, and there have been a few things I've added since we got here. We have less than a year left in Monterey (noooo!) so I've decided to get a solid list compiled of things we've done and things we are still planning to get er done!

The things we've done:

Big Sur!
Carmel by the Sea
San Francisco (still lots of places to explore there)
Redwood Forest
Santa Cruz
Hearst Castle
Los Angeles
Sequoia National Park
Morro Bay
Madonna Inn
National Steinbeck Center and Steinbeck House in Salinas
Point Lobos
Enjoy CA wildflowers

The things we still need/want to do:

Sea Glass Beach at Fort Bragg
Half Moon Bay
Carmel Mission
Redwoods National Park
Burney Falls
Lake Tahoe
Harry Potter World in Universal Studios

Anything else I should add to the list??