Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to the two best dads in the world!

I'm not one for getting schmaltzy (in general, but especially on the blog), but I would be remiss to mention what a fantastic father my husband has turned out to be. There's no such thing as "mommy-only duties" in our house - James helps out with absolutely everything, and for that, I feel beyond lucky. And Sammy could not be more smitten with his daddy. Everything - and I mean everything - is "Daddy" this, and "Daddy" that. I'm not the only one that benefits in our household - Sammy and Libby are both some very lucky kids.

Of course James has had some big shoes to fill, as my dad is the original BDITW (Best Dad in the World). My childhood memories basically center around all the activities I used to do with my dad - fishing for minnows, playing soccer, softball, tennis, cross-country skiing - I could go on and on. Though I'm very much like my mom, some of my favorite qualities are those I've inherited from my dad, and I am beyond lucky to have had such a great role model. As if that wasn't enough, watching the relationship between my dad and my own kids develop is truly one of the best things in the world.

Happy Father's Day, everyone!

What We've Been Up To

It feels like I've been away from this blog forever! I have at least three posts in draft form, and Libby's one month update has been looming over my head, but it's just been a tad bit busy around here. I'm hoping this photo dump will get me back onboard with blogging. So what have we been up to?

Last weekend it was our town's annual "Celebrate West Hartford" event, complete with games, food, a craft show and a 5k race. The highlight for Sammy was getting to sit in the fire truck.

James wanted to participate in the 5k race, so I ran my own earlier that morning. First sub-8:00 average since before I was pregnant with Libby! Slowly but surely I'm getting back into shape.

I forgot to take photos of James actually participating in the race, but how about one of his loyal spectators instead?

The change in Libby just the past two weeks alone has been crazy! All of a sudden she's much more alert and awake. She's making more cooing sounds (though still uses grunting and crying as her primary form of communication) and has attempted a bunch of smiles. I absolutely love it. (I also absolutely love my little girl in polka dots.)

This past week I took Sammy and Libby to Rhode Island for a few days. They got to visit with Queenie, Auntie Kate and Auntie Em, and minus some sleeping issues (to which I'm still recovering), we had a fabulous couple days. Doesn't Auntie Kate look totally natural and relaxed with the Baby Bjorn? (Note the stiff arms.)

The beach roses were in full bloom alongside the path to the ocean. Beach roses may be one of my most favorite things ever.

At six weeks, Libby had her first trip to the beach! Ah, the ocean waves - nature's sleep machine.

I love this photo of Sammy and me, but he looks like he's about 10 years old, which I am not ready for.

Regardless, Sammy loved digging in the sand, making sand "cakes" (because that's what you do when your aunt is a pastry chef), throwing rocks, and just generally having some open space to run. I can't wait to take him back.

Fantastic pic of Sammy and his aunties. The kid refuses to wear a hat, but would not take his sunglasses off the entire time we were at the beach. 

Queenie and Libby, back at the beach house.

While my town has a million and one parks and some great playgrounds, Westerly, Rhode Island may have the best playground I've ever seen. Who knew?? Sammy had a great time going down one of the gazillion slides.

Random picture of Libby, attempting to smile. As I'm sure everyone is thinking, yes, she has inherited my ability to make lots of different faces.

Upon our return from the beach, Sammy received a much needed haircut. I can't get over how cute he looks with his semi-buzzed head. He looks more like James than ever.

And finally, I already posted this picture on Instagram, but it's too cute not to share again. We went to a birthday party yesterday for one of Sammy's friends, and Libby felt that picnic-chic was the way to go. I love my girl in gingham almost more than polka dots!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend Recap

Is it inappropriate to do a weekend recap on the cusp of another weekend? Regardless, we enjoyed a really nice Memorial Day weekend - our first as a family of four! 

As I am drafting this with a limited amount of time on my hands (it's nearly 6 a.m. and I'm trying to get in a run before everyone else wakes up), this will again be another picture-heavy lacking-in-text post. 

My Memorial Day weekend actually began on Thursday night, as I enjoyed a fantastic and much-needed couple hours out with my dirty martini-and-oysters partner-in-crime, Sara. (Hi, Sara!) Couple one of my favorite food and drink combos with some great conversation (and still a relativealy early bedtime), and I was a happy girl.

Sammy also thoroughly enjoyed himself that evening, as Sara's husband Neil came over to hang out with James while we were out, and brought along his guitar. (And just yesterday, days after this happened, we were still talking about "Neil" and "guitar.")

The majority of the weekend was a washout, and Friday was no exception. So when a friend called to see if I wanted to get together earlier on in the day for some sort of indoor activity, I figured it would be a good opportunity to visit the children's museum in our town. Note to self: Fridays are popular school field trip days. Not fun when trying to navigate two restless toddlers (and an infant) through the museum. Still, Sammy seemed to enjoy himself, especially at this Lego exhibit.

We had a relaxing Friday evening in, which was punctuated by a visit from one of our favorite neighbors / babysitters, Elizabeth. In the photo above, Elizabeth is holding our own Elizabeth for the very first time. (And we quickly put her to the test by having her feed Libby.)

Saturday morning, we had Libby's newborn photos taken at our house. The one above was snapped with my iPhone. Isn't it the sweetest thing you've ever seen? I can't wait to see how the actual professional photos came out!

Once the photo session was complete, we got in the car and drove an hour-and-a-half to visit James' cousin and his family. James' cousin has two adorable girls, and the eldest is pictured above, holding Libby. It was a really nice visit, and James and I breathed huge sighs of relief upon returning home, as both the kids did extremely well on Libby's first lengthy car ride.

And just because I almost exclusively post pictures of Libby with her eyes closed, here's one I snapped of her Sunday morning - eyes open! As of this past week, she is staying awake for much longer!

Sunday we were lucky to receive a visit from some of our favorite friends, Misty and Clark. Clark took quite a liking to Libby! (And that little pudgy hand of his was quite gentle as he patted Libby on the head.)

Meanwhile, Sammy and James spent the majority of the afternoon doing yard work, or "help Daddy."

That night we met our friends (the same ones who we dined with the night prior to Libby's birth!) for pizza. (Libby's first dining out experience!) I didn't take any photos at dinner, but I had to share this photo I snapped of one of the gazillion generous gifts they gave to us that evening. Could there be anything cuter than personalized hair clips?? I think not. 

After dreary cool weather Saturday and Sunday, we finally saw sun and warmer temps on Monday - just in time for our town's Memorial Day parade! Libby slept through the majority of it.

Sammy was perhaps not as impressed as I anticipated....

Except when it came to the marching bands. 

And finally, to cap off the weekend, we had an impromptu little barbecue on our patio. Though I've yet to cook a real meal for our family since Libby's birth, and trips to the grocery store have been rather limited, we somehow managed to cobble together a meal comprised of hot dogs, burgers, deviled eggs, French potato salad, grilled asparagus and broccolini, a mixed berry salad, tomato and mozzarella salad,  watermelon, and plenty of adult beverages. It was the perfect way to end the weekend.

(Sammy and his friend Lila forgo'd most of dinner and instead opted for an evening drive through our backyard.)

Monday, May 20, 2013

How We Survived the Week - In Photos

Let me tell you - parenting two kids (even if one of them sleeps most of the time) is no joke. I've decided that going from no kids to one is more difficult mentally - but going from one to two is more difficult, well, physically. I won't sugarcoat it - I'm tired! I barely have time to eat! (Me, who never ever ever misses out on a meal!) (If only this would help get rid of these last 10 pesky pregnancy pounds.) I have yet to skip a shower (some things I simply won't give up), but there have been days when I jump out with only half a leg shaved. And while I do think I'm more relaxed and easy going this time around, there have definitely been a few tears shed, more than a little aggravation, and feelings of just wanting to give up. 

With all that said, getting through my first work week parenting two under the age of two primarily by myself (at least between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.) went a bit smoother than I anticipated, and we actually had a pretty fun week. (If only the nights were as easy!) While we stuck around the house a bit more than usual, we got out a bunch of times as well. We made it to play group, we ventured to Target, we visited our local animal farm / park, we took a lengthy walk to the playground, and we spent plenty of time out in our yard.

The bonus to having an infant and a toddler in the same shopping cart is that it's near
impossible to hit my usual $100 Target minimum.

Believe it or not, this photo was totally not staged.

Both boys are big into jumping these days.

I admit that the neat freak in me cringed throughout this entire activity.

Sammy continues to be obsessed with "mowing the lawn" (or driveway). 

Occasionally he takes a short break to tackle some other yard work to dos.

For now, Libby prefers to sit around and look pretty.

We survived a two+ mile walk to and from the playground - but just barely, as Libby cried the entire length of our street on the walk back.

The hauling out and filling of this water table was done while simultaneously wearing Libby. All I'll say is that it's a minor miracle that she is still with us today after this effort.

My handsome boy enjoying a "pop" on the front porch, while also continuing to prove that Wayfarers look good on everyone.

Libby's first time on the activity mat. How quickly the rainforest calypso theme song came back to me....

I won't lie. Come Friday evening, I was exhausted and rather cranky. But I actually got a decent night's sleep that night, woke up bright and early Saturday morning, had a cup of coffee, and tackled something I've missed a ridiculous amount the last five months....

I ran! Three whole miles! And I didn't stop once! Granted I took it rather slow, but I can't tell you how excited I was throughout the entire run. I've got a long way to go, but am so, so happy to be able to get back out there. And I also can't tell you how much being able to exercise (at least a little) has done for my sanity. If anything, I need running now more than ever. (Now to just find the time to do it....)

But while my little run may have been the highlight of my Saturday, a certain little boy was in absolute heaven as we took him to our town's touch-a-truck event.

And to end the weekend, we had some special visitors, as James' family made the trip up from New Jersey to meet the new girl of the family.

Cousin Patrick and Libby share the same birthday!
And now another Monday has come and (nearly) gone. While this particular day has been riddled with multiple blowouts (by both kids) and outfit changes (by all three of us), it's still been a great one. Everyone has been fed, baths were given, and I've actually had a few minutes to type this out while the kids sleep. These days, it's the little things....

Outfit #1 of 5. Though technically this was Libby's nightgown.

Outfit #2 of 5.

Outfit #4 of 5 for Libby. As for Sammy, at this point, I just gave up putting new clothes on him.