So Much Christmas, So Little Time.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. The effects on my baby’s sleep schedule, not so much. Right now Mitchell and I are in disagreement as to the length, time, location, and even existence of his naps. But I’m sure by next year I’ll forget all about the grinchy feelings I have about my child skipping so many naps in a row and only be left with the STILL FULL house of toys. Because Santa seems to have dumped his ENTIRE WORKSHOP on us. Seriously, it’s difficult to move from point A to point B in our house right now. It’s not just Mitchell’s stuff, either. We’re all spoiled. As a family. Seriously. It’s kind of awesome. And mildly ridiculous. The reason it’s taken so long to update the blog is because there was literally no room on the table for my laptop.

Ok. Christmas updates. (Christmas #1 wasn’t really a Christmas celebration, just us all exhibiting an extreme lack of will power and giving each other gifts early. See previous post.)

Christmas #2 was the Sunday before Christmas at my Granny’s house. I couldn’t get many pictures because it turns out we’re starting to outgrow her house and I couldn’t get a good angle for everything. Mitchell got a bubble mower, which he loves, some shoes, some talking figures, a Lego train thing, some stuffed animals, and I’m sure several other things that I’m forgetting right now. But for some reason, he was mainly interested in my new Ernest Hemingway book. I think it’s a bit heavy for you just yet, baby.


Justin and I also got spoiled. Justin got a nice new tool set, and I got several new books (including The Abhorsen Trilogy, which is currently sapping my will to be productive) and some fabulous new boots.

Christmas #3 was at Justin’s parents house with that side of the family. Mitchell got the kitchen set he’s been scoping out at the Toy Store for the last six months, along with a huge stuffed horse and several other odds and ends.


Christmas #4 was Christmas Eve night with just Justin, Mitchell, my dad, and me. Mitchell got spoiled. A lot. He got a great little shopping cart and GIANT ball from Grandpa, I gave him the tent I’ve been slaving away on, Justin gave him a book about Norse mythology, and so many other random odds and ends I can’t list them all. Justin got an awesome t-shirt from Mitchell and tons of movies, I got a card game, a Kindle, and lots of other odds and ends.


I look totally excited about Mitchell’s new ball in this picture.


And then I realized how big 32″ is.


I also have no idea why I have this expression in this picture, but given the scent coming from Laika since Christmas, I’m guessing she farted.


Justin got a cowbell! Because we all need more cowbell!


Christmas #5 was Christmas Day at my grandma’s house. Mitchell got a nifty eating set (the fork is now his favorite), blocks, a farm set, and some stuffed animals.


Aunt Brooke and I got each other the EXACT SAME BOOK.


Finally, Christmas #6 was at my step-dad’s house the Saturday after Christmas. Mitchell got a tricycle, a ball, and a very loud book.


But his favorite was the piano.


Obviously I missed lots of gifts, but I’m in a hurry to finish this before Mitchell wakes up from his nap. So don’t be offended if I missed your gift, it doesn’t mean he isn’t loving it!

By themagnificentms

Christmas #1

Here’s the thing about me and Christmas: I rarely make it until Christmas. I’m always SO EXCITED to give other people their gifts (and to get mine) that I generally crack and exchange at least a couple presents early. The bad news is, my dad is the exact same way. So unless we just avoid each other for the two weeks leading up to Christmas, there’s no chance of opening gifts on Christmas morning. So, since we got snowed in this weekend, we all exchanged a few gifts. Can you blame us? I mean, the tree looked like this:


Those gifts were begging to be opened.

First up: a FurReal rabbit from Papa Mitch. Mitchell showed no interest in opening his presents, but couldn’t stop giggling at the sounds this rabbit was making.


Next: a Woody doll that says lots of phrases when you pull the string in the back. As you can see, Mitchell couldn’t WAIT for Daddy to get him out of the package.


And, while it isn’t a Christmas present, Papa Mitch brought up a pull-along duck that my grandma brought me from Germany when I was a baby (it ISN’T an antique, not even VINTAGE).


But, in the grandest of all holiday traditions, Mitchell promptly ignored all these new gifts to go play with his old toys. He found new ways to turn on his music cube:


And he thoroughly enjoyed his hippo chair:


Justin got a PS3:


Justin gave me a very confusing card game and spent the next hour trying to learn/teach us the rules:


Since we’d given my dad a nice big bottle of Rumchata for Christmas, we were probably not in the best state to learn a super confusing new game. But a good time was had by all!

By themagnificentms

In search of Christmas…

I really don’t want Christmas to be all about the new toys for Mitchell. Which is totally hypocritical of me to say, because as of yesterday morning, there’s literally no more room for gifts under our tree. Seriously.

But anyway. Back to the point. I’ve decided that each year, one of Mitchell’s gifts will be something homemade and meaningful. I had all these grand crafty plans. I saw the pattern for a teepee in Joann’s and thought it looked perfect (mostly because it said “easy” in big bold letters across the front). I find some adorable fabric and vowed that Mitchell would get it for Christmas.

This was in October. As of yesterday, this is how far I’d made it in the project:

And last night I had to undo even that much. When I bought the fabric, I chose a cute skyscraper fabric. But that cute skyscraper fabric has turned into a huge PITA. I want able to cut it in the most efficient way possible because of the pattern (who wants gravity-defying sideways skyscrapers on their teepee?) so I spent yesterday hunting down more fabric. The same pattern made me unable to save time by just folding it to cut multiple pieces.

To make a long story less long, the $40 price tag for a teepee isn’t looking so harsh anymore. But I will prevail! Christmas morning, Mitchell will have an awesome teepee and years from now, he’ll say, “Wow, Mom, you made that yourself?”

And in the meantime, he’ll just continue to terrorize Kingsley. He keeps trying to get him into the kennel with him. He’ll get in the kennel and holler at Kingsley, come out and try to lead Kingsley to the kennel, get back in the kennel, and so forth.

By themagnificentms

Best Discovery Yet

Last night, Mitchell made the best discovery of his short life: he can reach his little hang down even with his diaper on. I wouldn’t recommend shaking this kid’s hand from here on out. He was so excited he did a happy dance. Seriously.


Man, 20 years from now he’s going to be SO MAD at me for that picture.

So, he’s crawling onto the couch with ease now. Which means the poor dogs have nowhere to hide. And my heart regularly drops when I see him running across the couch.


Laika’s a good sport about it. Kingsley only tolerates hugs, not getting crawled on.

Despite not having a nap today (thank you, Laika, for scaring the squirrel out of the neighbor’s yard repeatedly), he’s in a hilarious mood. First, he discovered how to make Darth Vader sounds with a cup. No DNA test necessary: he’s my kid. Then, I’m guessing because he spent the morning [literally] bouncing off the walls at Going Bonkers, he figured out how to repeat the experience at home. He’s been running full-speed at Laika and bouncing off and hitting the floor. He thinks it’s HILARIOUS. Poor Laika, not so much. I swear, she just looks at me like, “Why did you bring this thing into our happy home? Wasn’t I enough?”

Finally, I promise Christmas cards are on their way. I lost track of time a little bit. I have all my Christmas presents bought and wrapped, though, so there’s that!

By themagnificentms

Best place ever (Going Bonkers)!

Turns out I can’t run the camera while sliding, so forgive the terrible ending. But suffice to say, slides are his favorite.

He got to play around in the big kid area since there were no other kids there this morning, and it just reaffirmed my worst nightmare: this kid has no fear whatsoever. The slides in the big kid area go VERY fast and he was launching himself down them. Also, even though the tunnels are made of netting, it turns out I still get mildly claustrophobic. But that’s ok. He was having such a great time it was totally worth a mild panic attack.

By themagnificentms

15 Months!

My little guy is 15 months old today! I can’t believe it. How is this possible?!

He’s hit that stage where he knows what he wants and gets frustrated that nobody else knows what he wants. Usually I know what he wants, because he’s generally very clear (reaches for the fridge when he’s thirsty, pulls at the freezer door when he wants ice, takes his shoes to the door when he wants to go outside, etc.). But there are times when I really don’t know what he wants, and then he fusses. I’ve started working on the sign language again. We did it a little bit when he was younger, but he wouldn’t repeat, he just understood what we were saying. He’s getting a lot better with hand-eye coordination though, so hopefully he’ll start using it.

The only word he still says regularly is “dada”. Grandpa swears he’s heard a “papa” here and there, and he’s started to say something like “rara” when I tell him to say “mama”, so I’ve latched onto that and am totally claiming it. Of course, if I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit that he also says “rara” when he means “night night”, “boob”, “teddy”, and, really, almost anything else. But whatever.

Speaking of “boob”: yep, still nursing. The only reason I mention it is because it seems (according to the news lately) that everyone wants to judge people on their choice to nurse or not to nurse, at what age to stop, where a mother chooses to nurse, etc. It seems there are only two camps: people who think nursing is disgusting and completely judge anyone who’s ever decided to nurse (especially in public) and, in the other camp, mothers who feel the need to pull out the boob in the middle of a crowded restaurant to feed her 5 year old. So, while I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, I still feel the need to admit that yes, I’m still nursing my 15 month old, and yes, he’s been known to cop a feel when he thinks he needs a boob. He usually only nurses three or four times a day, especially since he no longer goes down for a nap or bed by nursing. I’m still planning on nursing until he’s 18 months old because we’ve read some studies that says that will lower the likelihood for him developing allergies, and, let’s face it, with his lineage, the kid needs all the help he can get in that department. I also use nursing as a crutch: sometimes I call it our “reset” button on the day. If he’s totally fussy or otherwise acting up, I’ll take him to the rocking chair and nurse him and, by the time we’re done, he’s like a new baby. I’m scared to death of when I stop nursing and have to find a new reset button. Books work sometimes, but not as well. Anyway. Totally off subject.

But hey, while we’re on the subject of parenting habits that people can totally judge me about: Mitchell still sleeps with us. He’s getting WAY better about going down for a nap or bedtime on his own, but by about midnight or 1, he’s in bed with us and stays there until morning. For the record, it doesn’t really bother me until he kicks me in the bladder at 6. When I was pregnant, I thought it would bother me a LOT. I didn’t intend to EVER sleep with him. I didn’t even plan on letting him fall asleep while eating. I read a book (I wish I could remember the title) and had every intention of having a perfectly scheduled baby by the time he was six weeks old. Then Mitchell happened and every plan I had went out the window. I don’t know why I thought I would be so firm on him sleeping in his own bed. I’ve NEVER been able to sleep by myself. As a kid, I slept with one or both parents (obviously not together, they were divorced before I can remember), one or more of my sisters when I was finally kicked out of my mom’s bed, stuffed animals when my sisters weren’t available or I moved away, then when Justin came on the scene we didn’t spend more than a night apart until he went to Ohio for a summer, and when Justin wasn’t available, Laika proved herself a worthy spooning partner. Seriously, I was kidding myself when I said I’d never let him sleep in my bed. I guess Justin and I will just have to keep upgrading our bed size with each subsequent child until finally we have a Shaq-sized bed!

As scattered as my parenting choices/opinions are, I’m SO LUCKY that I have found a husband who shares (or at least tolerates) them. On the 15th, Justin and I will have been married for 6 years and together for almost 10. My memories of pre-Justin are fading, and I love him so much that I really don’t mind. I have absolutely no idea what I’d do with myself without him. I also don’t know another man who would just laugh when I make a life insurance joke, completely replace the lyrics of a song without even noticing, take such joy out of following the letter of the rule while finding ways to circumvent it (like the no-Christmas-before-Thanksgiving-rule), or prepare a delectable meal and then burn the crap out of it. He doesn’t just tolerate my quirks, he genuinely enjoys [some of] them. Or at least he fakes it admirably. And really, that’s all you can ask for when you’re as unpredictable as I am. I couldn’t ask for a better father to my child.

Aaaaaaaaand…end the sappy ridiculousness! Here are pictures.

By themagnificentms

Baby help


Putting plastic on windows is SO MUCH EASIER with baby’s help! I have no idea how I ever managed without him!

By themagnificentms