Kingsley bear

For his 9th birthday, Kingsley pulled his favorite prank: have a day full of seizures, act like death itself, then experience a miraculous (mostly) full recovery upon walking into the vet’s office. We came away with a nice big Rx for valium, though, so it’s not all bad (I won’t say if it’s for him or me).


By themagnificentms

Mitchell meets puppy


Just wanted to get that out there.

Now, for the post: Mitchell met his great-grandma’s new rat puppy, Sassy, yesterday. This puppy is so small that when the scale said she weighed 2.5 pounds, we all called BS. There’s just no way. She doesn’t even fit in the palm of your hand; she’s too small. Needless to say, Mitchell was a bit freaked out at first, but he quickly warmed up to her. I was so scared that he would hurt her. Even when he tried to throw the toys for her, I cringed. But we made it all day without an injury (to either of them, although, given Mitchell’s mood for the afternoon, he’s lucky he made it injury-free).


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By themagnificentms

The Mitchell Update

I realized I hadn’t done one of those monthly updates in a long time, and he’s hitting so many milestones here lately that I should probably do one of those. So, a couple weeks shy of 18 months, here’s the big comprehensive Mitchell Update.

It’s hard to know where to start. I guess I’ll start with Favorite Things.

He is still in love with a set of picture books of babies by Rachael Hale. He tries to imitate what he thinks the babies are doing (coughing or blowing spit bubbles or picking their nose). He also loves a Sesame Street book we have called It’s Not Easy Being Big (the irony is not lost on me). This kid loves reading in general. I’d say we average at least ten books per day. Sometimes it’s ten different books, and sometimes it’s the same book ten times in a row.

Another of his favorite things is putting things in boxes. It’s now a joke in our house that all boxes must be checked and emptied before going to the recycle bin because as soon as I put them by the trash can, Mitchell starts filling them with things. Usually his toys, but he’s started stashing snacks in boxes or cabinets throughout the house, too.

His favorite animal is a dog, but he likes going to the zoo and seeing all the different animals. He especially loves the llama at the petting zoo. For some reason he and Laika aren’t getting along too well this last week. When he drops something and she eats it, he no longer thinks it’s cute (but it is when Kingsley eats it). If Laika eats it, he throws a major temper tantrum. I don’t know which one of them isn’t watching where they’re going, but somehow those two seem to have collisions that end in tears multiple times per day. I’m sure it’s a temporary thing and we’ll get past it. He can open the back door now, so he regularly opens the door to let them in or out, then stands there yelling outside for a while.

One of his favorite pastimes is…ah…well, peeing on the floor. This is a new thing in the last week, and I’ve had to start dressing him in onesies again to keep his dang hand out of his pants. I thought this was a normal thing, so yesterday at a baby shower I asked a friend how she kept her little boy’s thingy in his pants. Like the classic situation, the room got quiet as I said it, so everyone could hear her reply that she didn’t have a problem with that, nor did anyone she knew. So yeah…that was fun. Abnormal child FTW!

His favorite food right now is probably scrambled eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, cheese quesadilla for lunch, and dinner is something that involves butternut squash, pasta, and cheese. Those are his three favorite ingredients, with an emphasis on the pasta. The boy is a carbohydrates fool. He also loves to snack on cheese. I keep a thing of pre-sliced white cheddar in the fridge (don’t judge, it’s a pre-sliced snack tray thing from Dillon’s) that he discovered about a month ago. At least once a day he goes and tries to open the fridge to get it. I try to limit it to one slice a day, just because doctors tend to frown on babies only having one poop per week.

He’s hilarious to watch entertain himself. He owns the place and he knows it. He makes his way from one end of the house to the next, opening cabinets, climbing on things, getting things out, and generally being content. He loves getting the soda cans out of the cabinet and rolling them or stacking them. He also likes to empty my pantry cabinet and then try to put everything back. We also have a little round couch pillow that he likes to take throughout the house and sit on. He’ll just carry it into the kitchen, sit on it, stand up, look at it, sit on it the other direction, maybe lay down for a bit on it, whatever suits his fancy. He also turns circles (“round and round we go, where we stop nobody knows!”) so often that I think he has to spend the majority of his day so dizzy he can’t see straight. Walking backward is a new thing. I was about three sentences into this post when he tried walking backward all the way from the living room to the kitchen, but he tripped on his tricycle and fell flat on his butt. A lot of times he gets more angry than hurt when he falls. He really does entertain himself quite well, a habit I’m not too keen on him outgrowing.

Speaking of angry, about a month ago Mitchell started hitting and biting when he got mad. He did it to both myself and the dogs, so he received a crash course in “nice touch” (petting and hugging). He caught on very quickly, and within a week he didn’t bite or hit anymore (it’s come back this week a little bit, probably due to stress). But, because he’s my child, he couldn’t just leave it at not biting or hitting. He had to take it to a creepy level. So now when he’s angry at me, he pets the top of my head. Or, if he does hit, he immediately pets or hugs afterward.

Mitchell is slowly figuring out how to dress himself. Well, not how to dress himself so much as how to bring me items to put on him. For example, a few days ago, we were getting ready to go and I was trying to put socks and shoes on him. Every time I reached for his feet, he yelled and kicked so I couldn’t put the socks on him. He kept trying to hand me something, but it took me a minute to realize he was trying to hand me socks that he’d picked out. Ever since, he’s had to pick out whatever socks he’s wearing. He’d already been picking out his hat every day. Throughout the day, he’ll regularly bring me things for him to wear. For example, he’s currently wearing a shirt, one snow boot, and hat. Why? Only he knows.

He loves helping/following instructions. He knows how to throw things in the trash, how to “put it back” or “put it away” (usually), how to get his socks, shoes, coat, and hat, and several other things. He likes to help me vacuum by pushing the canister around behind me and even tries to help cook by pouring things into the pot (I give him an empty measuring cup or dry ingredients to throw in). For the most part, he likes his toys with multiple parts to be put together when he’s done. For example, if he notices that the cookies from his cookie jar are scattered, he picks them up and puts them back before leaving the room.

In a matter of a few weeks, Mitchell cut four teeth. Week 2 of this massive tooth-cutting spree was when my grandpa died. So, in my opinion, that makes his absolutely charming behavior throughout that period even more admirable. Seriously, he did SO WELL, especially considering he was in unfamiliar territory around some people he didn’t see often or at all usually. He had probably a total of five short naps in a week and a half, and yet he still only had a couple meltdowns. Adding to my proud mama mood, on Thursday at story time he went around handing toys to other babies. Generally, kids steal toys from other kids at story time, so I was very impressed at my child’s sharing skills.

He’s working on body parts. He points to his ear, and sometimes his belly, and in the last couple days he’s started pointing to his nose, eye, and mouth. Since he has a runny nose, pointing to his nose isn’t always the best idea, but whatever. We have boogie wipes.


A somewhat depressing (for me) occurrence in the last few weeks is that Mitchell has started to go to sleep much easier for Justin than for me. I’m thankful for the ability to not be here when it’s time for him to go to sleep, don’t get me wrong, but…oi. My baby.


He REALLY enjoys hiding behind his crib lately. I REALLY enjoy how adorable it is.

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This seems like such an inadequate summary of my child. He’s so much more than this. He’s so clever, he does things just to make me laugh, he’s way more empathetic than he should be at this age (he was freaked out seeing me cry, but his first reaction was to give me very big hugs), he’s a hellion, he’s just so much personality in one little body. I can’t wait to see what the coming months bring me.

By themagnificentms

SAHM Rules

When I decided was finally able to stay at home with my son, I promised myself a few things to keep myself from becoming too lazy. Because I have a very grand habit of becoming lazy. (One of these days I’ll tell you all about college, AKA Mario Kart tournaments from dawn till dusk.) 8 months later, I decided to revisit my rules and see which ones I’ve kept.

1. I will get dressed every single day. Revision: I will put on a real bra every single day.

2. I will not wear the same clothes more than one day in a row. Revision: I will check the sweat pants for obvious booger or whatever stains before putting them back on. 

3. I will get out of the house every single day. Revision: It’s cold outside. Screw that noise. 

4. I will keep the toys off the floor unless Mitchell is playing with them at the moment and keep the house cleaned. Revision: I obviously hadn’t met my child when I wrote this rule. Mitchell plays with EVERY SINGLE TOY at the SAME TIME. And if you consider “clean” to mean “F4 level of destruction” then I guess I’ve kept to the second part. 

5. I will take Mitchell and the dogs on a walk every single day. Revision: In a temporary lapse of sanity, I forgot I lived in Kansas. Again, it’s cold outside. Screw that noise. 

6. I will get Mitchell’s baby book caught up and start scrapbooking. Revision: Welcome to Mitchell’s new baby book. And it turns out I’m not crafty enough for scrapbooking. 

7. I will cook as much as possible from scratch. Revision: Actually still working on this one! Surprised? Me too! 

8. The TV will not be on during the day. Revision: Still keeping to this one, too! I mean, after 9:00. Because I have to have my Rachael Ray in the morning. And, really, when you only have basic cable, it’s not hard to keep the TV off. Seriously, people, why do you agree to go on a TV courtroom? You know you’re going to be embarrassed on national television, right? 

9. I will not sleep in. Revision: Technically still following this one, but not by my own choice, by a little 2-foot-tall alarm clock’s choice.

10. I will not snack throughout the day. Revision: I will not eat more than 5 Reese’s peanut butter cups per sitting. 

So…the underachiever in me thinks I’m doing a-ok on these rules!


By themagnificentms

First pasta attempt: fail.

So Justin bought me a pasta machine for Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says “I love you” like “Put more effort into my food, woman.” Just kidding. I asked for it. The pasta machine, that is. I said it looked easy. I was gift to make so much pasta by hand.


The lesson I learned today is that there’s a reason Italians drink a lot.

I won’t even confess his much time I spent making the pasta, rolling it out, and then cutting it. To be fair, once I find my groove rolling and cutting it, it started going quicker. Like, it went from turtle slow to turtle-on-a-skateboard slow. But I’m sure practice would make it better. I have yet to find a way to do it without coating myself, my entire kitchen, and my floor in flour though.

To celebrate homemade pasta, I made a homemade marinara. It was suppose to be a sweet roasted tomato marinara with an undertone of smoked bell peppers. Instead it tasted like bell peppers with an undertone of bell peppers. Neither Justin nor I like bell peppers. But, God love him, he rocked the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” rule for the most part, then tried telling me out was ok. Sometimes I marvel at that man. The marinara was awful, the pasta was soggy and disgusting, yet he choked down a plate full and even had me save the leftovers.

Somehow, Mitchell liked it. I think he ate more of my helping than I did!

I will persevere though. I’ll get the hang of this. Maybe. Hopefully.

Here’s a picture of the most disgusting thing I’ve ever made.



Updated to add: my second pasta attempt went much more smoothly. I used a different pasta recipe, but more importantly, I didn’t boil the life out of the pasta. And, of course, I used a different sauce.

By themagnificentms

First Graduation…AKA “First Nervous Breakdown by Mom”

At Story Time today, Mitchell’s teacher handed me this nice little card:


I knew this was coming. At 18 months, he moves into the next group, Sneak Peak and Read, which starts March 5 (he’ll be a week shy of 18 months…a point I tried to use to keep him in Baby Bookworms, but it didn’t work).

Ugh. Mitchell LOVES Mrs. Jeri. LOVE. Plus, 18 MONTHS?! No. Not happening. It just can’t.

Screw it. I’m eating some cheesecake.

By themagnificentms

Thank goodness for dogs

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank goodness for dogs. Seriously, what do people without dogs DO with their toddlers?!

Kingsley has his limits of Mitchell time. But it turns out, if you give him a bone, he’ll tolerate that kid climbing all over him for like half an hour! Thank goodness both of my dogs are not food aggressive at all, because Mitchell was totally taking the bones away, giving them back, and generally being a nuisance. But they tolerated it admirably. I have a feeling they’ll be getting a LOT more bones in the future!

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By themagnificentms

Snowpocalypse Activities

With everything that’s happened, I completely forgot about any pictures left on my camera. Week before last was Snowpocalypse in the Topeka area. Pretty much the entire town was shut down for Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was so bitterly cold that there were frostbite warnings for the rest of the week. So, Mitchell and I went grocery shopping Monday morning and he didn’t leave the house again until Saturday. I took advantage of free babysitting and got out of the house Friday evening. My cabin fever was overwhelming by that point.

Anyway, Mitchell is so used to being out and about that it was torture for him.

One day I put every single stuffed animal he owns into his crib and he had fun throwing himself across the crib and throwing them around.

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We played a rousing game of peek in the teepee.

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And he tortured the dogs. The dogs were locked inside, so there was no escape for them. And I was welcoming any distraction for him whatsoever, so…yeah…the dogs earned their room and board that week.

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Friday night, I went to the Art Walk. Grandpa babysat, and in the grandest of grandfather traditions, Mitchell had the run of the house. I came home to find that my pantry cabinet had been emptied.


By Saturday he was opposed to any clothes except for socks and a hat. And I let him get away with it for a bit because HOLY CRAP he was cute.


All in all, I’ll be totally ok if we don’t get snowed in for an entire week again!

By themagnificentms

A decade ago today.

A decade ago today, I met the man who would become my husband.

I have no idea how we found each other. There are so many “what ifs” in the early years of our relationship that it was just sheer luck that we met and were still together a year later. At the young age of 19, I met person who would stand by me through the worst moments of my life.

Neither Justin nor I could be described as upstanding individuals a decade ago. We weren’t delinquents or anything like that, but we were feckless and irresponsible. I could describe each and every one of our shortcomings, but suffice to say, we weren’t terrific.

Somehow, though, we evened each other out. We grew into adults together, and we learned to use each other for strength. I will always consider him my rock. No matter what the situation – and trust me, we’ve been through some doozies – he always stands strong. He’s the most logical person I’ve ever met. He can be in the middle of a heated argument and still have the capacity to say, “You know, I hadn’t thought of that. That’s a good point.” (That is not a capacity common in my family.) I’ve learned how to be a better person by watching him. I am so proud of the father he’s become. I know that Mitchell and I are extremely lucky to have him.

So here’s to embarrassing our children in another 10 years by telling sappy stories about how much we love each other.

I love you, babe.

By themagnificentms

I chose poorly.

So, I got a coupon for a whole bunch of babylegs for free. They’re basically leggings for babies. I think they’re adorable. Justin, not so much. So this morning, I was busy giving Laika a bath and not paying a whole lot of attention (not in a neglectful mother type of way). I found a few puddles around the house and thought they were just water dripping off of Laika. But then I noticed this. And realized that Mitchell’s goods are not where they should be. So, clothing fail. I chose poorly.


By themagnificentms