Mitchell’s an interesting fellow. He loves climbing. Yes, yes, I know this is a generic little boy trait. But he LOVES climbing. And jumping. This didn’t bode well for my childhood dresser that he’d inherited. The poor thing hadn’t exactly had an easy life with me, so it was already shaky, and the drawers didn’t have stoppers, so I can’t tell you how many times I thought I’d broken a toe when a drawer landed on it. But when Mitchell started trying to climb it, I knew it needed to be replaced. I panic enough already, I don’t need to see visions of that dresser toppling onto him.

So, off to Ikea we went on Friday. One mommy, one 3 year old, one 8 month old, and no list. What could go wrong, right? I planned on leaving the house at 9, and after a giant meltdown about a missing backpack, having to scour the house for the exact right Hour Wheels to put in the backpack once it’d been found, never-ending snack packing because the snacks kept getting eaten the minute I packed them, and the largest spit-up I’ve ever seen, which required TWO outfit changes (mine and Rosie’s), we finally left a little before 10. Not bad. But we had one thing going for us: Mitchell’s now potty trained and therefore could stay at the children’s play area for an hour while I picked out his dresser! 

We got to Ikea before 11, and I signed him into the play area. Keep in mind that Mitchell is rarely left with anyone but myself or Justin. Very, very rarely. So I was a little nervous. Mitchell wasn’t. He was watching the kids through the windows and practically vibrating with excitement. The workers were a little hesitant because he was just barely tall enough, but they let him in. They have me a pager like when you’re waiting for a table at a restaurant and had me write my phone number on a bracelet for him. As soon as they opened the door for him, he was off. Awesome, right?

Rosie and I walked off and the shopping commenced. I perused. I tested drawers. I compared prices. I took notes. I was shopping to the extreme. Rosie occupied herself by bringing a smile to every face we passed. Even the old men who were obviously dragged there under extreme duress couldn’t resist smiling and cooing at her.

I checked my phone often, and around 11:30 I decided to grab Mitchell and take him to the cafeteria for lunch, even though it wasn’t time to pick him up until 12:15. When I got there, I could see Mitchell in an upstairs room playing with another boy his age. “Aww, he found a friend!” I thought. I watched him, heart melting, as I waited my turn. I finally got to the counter and said I was Mitchell’s mom, reaching for the pager at the same time. As I pulled it out, I noticed it was going off. I was confused and definitely not ready when the worker raised her eyebrows in the universal “what the hell kind of mother are you” expression and told me, “Mitchell *dramatic pause* has not been following the rules. At all.” “Oh my goodness,” I say. “What did he do?” In my head I was picturing him hitting another child, pushing, breaking things, and many other terrible, awful scenarios that I would have to find a way to blame on Grandpa’s terrible influence.

“He’s been jumping. Into the ball pit. Constantly. We cannot get him to stop.” She said this all very seriously, and very, very angrily.

I swear to goodness, at this point I thought I was on Candid Camera. I bit my lip to keep myself from laughing with relief. Oh, my kid isn’t a monster, you say? Of course I didn’t say that. I think I stuttered something like “Oh?”

“Yes. It’s one of our rules. We have you a copy when you signed him in. It’s a safety thing.”

I resisted the urge to point out that if they have me a copy as I signed him in, I wouldn’t have had a chance to go over the rules with him. Or that he’s 3, and it really doesn’t matter how many times I tell him not to jump in a ball pit, that’s his first instinct. I just said “Oh, yes, that’s bad,” trying to act as serious as she was. I hear the other worker holler for Mitchell, and as he came down the stairs, he took off running. “There he goes again,” the other either said, clearly exasperated. And, sure enough, about two seconds later, I heard the splash of a very happy toddler jumping in a very large ball pit. When they brought him out, they both looked completely grim, while he was grinning so big he looked like a jack-o-lantern. “Mommy, I jumped in the water! Can I go back?” he exclaimed as I put him into the cart. With the two workers watching, I put on a very serious face, which is very hard to do when looking into an ecstatic 3 year old’s face, and said “No, you can’t, because you didn’t follow the rules.” I swear, I could feel those two workers glaring at us as we left.

I remained firm as long as I could, but Mitchell was so darn excited and happy about his time in the play center that eventually I had to just grin along with him. I’m still trying to take the fact that he got kicked out of the Ikea play center for jumping in the ball pit seriously. It’s hard though. He was jumping. In a ball pit. C’mon.

But anyway. I had no idea if he was still going to be crazy hyper or if he’d be worn out, so I decided to just head for the maze of self-serve furniture warehouse so hopefully we’d get out of there with at least a dresser. Luckily I’d written everything down, so we made pretty quick time. Or, as quick of time as you can when you’re grabbing seventeen different boxes for one dresser. I bribed good behavior from the kids with a container of sweet puffs, and Mitchell had a blast doing the “one for Rosie, and two for me!” thing. As I was loading all the boxes onto the conveyor belt, I happened to turn around and notice absolutely everyone behind us, even from surrounding lines, was watching us. I slowly turned to the kids to see if Mitchell had managed to get his underwear off, but no, he was intact. Finally I asked one of them if I had poop on my back, but she just laughed and said they were all just watching my kids. Huh. Ok. Well, I guess that’s good somebody is, because I’m busy schlepping this entire dresser down a conveyor belt!

We grabbed a couple hot dogs for Mitchell, the kids ate in the car, and then we were off for home! It’s very convenient that Ikea made a dresser that fits entirely in the back of my car.


Mitchell, exhausted from all that rule breaking, fell asleep almost immediately when we got home. Since Rosie had slept on the ride home, she decided to stay awake for the spectacle of Mommy putting together a dresser. Or she just knew a good jungle gym opportunity when she saw it.


An undisclosed amount of time later, I’d gotten it put together enough for Rosie to declare it a play pen.


As soon as Mitchell woke up, he decided it was a bed.


But, finally (like, 5 hours later), it was completely assembled and in Mitchell’s room. And the only thing it’s missing is feet! I stupidly didn’t realize they came in YET ANOTHER box. But at least Mitchell loves it, mostly because he thinks it’s fun to jump off of. He’s also enjoying having easy access to all his clothes (see previous post). And I’m enjoying the peace of mind knowing it’s not capable of toppling!

So…Ikea conquered! We’ll just have to plan our next trip around those two workers’ shifts. And keep doing that until all the workers know him as a jumper and he’s completely banned from Ikea play center. Hopefully he never wants to go to Sweden. I’m pretty sure if you get banned from Ikea you’re automatically banned from Sweden.

By themagnificentms

So, Mitchell picked out his own clothes…

You know those adorable blogs about toddler fashion, with perfect ensembles and kids with better fashion sense than I’ll ever have? Yeah…this will never be one of those blogs. I don’t think I do that bad of a job dressing my children, but Mitchell’s begun to demand a little more input into his outfits. Usually it’s limited to picking out his socks and shoes boots, but since he got his new dresser (just realized I didn’t post about THAT adventure…I’ll get on that!) he’s decided he needs to pick out more pieces of his wardrobe. It’s getting interesting.



That’s right. He just cruised the neighborhood in swim trunks and cowboy boots, towing his backhoe (don’t try to tell him it’s a front loader. He’ll argue with you).

For nap he even added a cowboy hat, but luckily he said it made him too sweaty to keep wearing.


Ah, individualism. He rocks it.

By themagnificentms

A little heavy on the Roe

My blog posts have been taking quite a hit from our hectic non-stop days around here and I wanted to make sure Future Rosie reading this knows that, even though I’m not posting about each and every one of her accomplishments, I’m still noticing them.

It’s different with number 2. With Mitchell, I loved every time he did something new. I was so excited when he sat up. I was convinced that he was miles ahead of his milestones. With Rosie, I know she’ll get there and, in the long run, it doesn’t make a bit of difference if she crawled at 7 months or if she waited until 9 months. Her future entrance exams won’t ask when she first showed interest in knocking over block towers. She’ll get there.

What matters now is that she’s telling me to just love her. She’s a giant cuddle bug and demands lots and lots of attention. Luckily, she’s adorable, and when all else fails, I still have the ring sling. She crawls, she sits, she does everything she’s supposed to do developmentally, she just wants to spend the majority of her time crawling on Mommy or nuzzling into my neck. And I’m totally fine with that. Because, with number 2, I know that each new development takes her a little further from me. And I’m not ready for that yet.

Everyone seems to want to tell me to enjoy this time with her, because pretty soon she won’t want to be near me. Even strangers in the store tell me that, as soon as she hits her teenage years, she’s going to hate me. They talk about the inevitability of it. I’m sure they think they’re just making small talk, but they don’t understand that every time they say something like this, I shut myself in the room with Roe and just cuddle her and talk to her and whisper that that will NEVER happen to us, even though I know it probably will. But I’m going to do everything in my power to keep it from happening.

I don’t want to lose the ability to coax this adorable little smile out of her.


I want her to always be so happy surprised to notice me.


I don’t want to lose the “inside secret” with her (Big Brother will never know what we do when he’s asleep).

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I don’t want her to ever think she can’t reach for me when she’s a little scared.


But I know she’s already looking forward to getting away from me and playing with the bigger kids.


Mostly, I want my baby Rosalynn to always know that she’s so, so loved, by everyone around her. She can coax a laugh out of the sourest of people just by grinning at them. Even her grumpy growly face is adorable. She already shows a level of determination that scares me. She can run the world if she wants to. I just hope she comes home for some mama cuddles every once in a while.

By themagnificentms

Poor Laika

How many of my posts have been titled “Poor Laika”? Too many, in Laika’s opinion, I’m sure. I’m really glad that her first 8 years were spent spoiled absolutely rotten. It makes me feel less terrible that my children use her as a jungle gym now. And, really, other than the jungle gym thing, she’s still pretty spoiled. She makes sure of it. If I forget, she just steals some spoiling in the form of the kids’ food. Bonus points if it’s the VERY LAST PIECE of birthday cake. Still grumbling about that one.

Anyway, both of the littles were trying to climb all over her this morning. I finally convinced Mitchell that he couldn’t ride her like a horse, so he grabbed his minion and asked if he wanted to ride Laika. He’s such a sharer.


And Rosie just had fun crawling all over her.



Not that she’s limited to crawling these days. She’s been able to go from laying down to sitting for a couple weeks now, and yesterday she did her first official pull up to standing. I’m so not ready for this. Although, maybe if she’s standing or walking, she’ll quit eating every damn thing she finds on the ground. I swear, she’s 8 months old and I’ve already saved her life more times than I can count. And not in the general mom “I have you life” sense. No, I’m talking about her face is purple and I’m digging a random leaf out of her throat. Or a dead bug. Yeah. That was awesome. Truthfully, though, her breath never smelled better.

Anyway. Pulling herself up.


She also gets VERY jealous when Daddy takes Mitchell outside while I’m cooking dinner. She crawls over to the door and doesn’t move until he comes to get her.


And tonight she decided to rearrange the patio furniture. Or else lobby for being released from the walker.

And, as usual, my babies being adorable. Mitchell loved reading to her. When she isn’t eating the pages.


By themagnificentms

Not quite, kid.

Miscommunication reins supreme in our house. It seems that almost all of our problems boil down to something being interpreted wrong. Today’s conversation with Mitchell is no exception.

This morning I decided to talk to him about Halloween. It’s coming up, and depending on what he wants to be, my procrastinating butt might need a head start making his costume. So I showed him some pictures of his previous [adorable] Halloween costumes. I read him a book about costumes. I told him he could dress up as whatever he wanted and go trick-or-treating. I started naming off things that he could dress up as, such as the Man in the Yellow Hat, or Curious George, or a minion. Well, something got lost in toddler translation, because next thing I know he’s running up to me with his stuffed minion and a pair of shorts and telling me the minion needed to get dressed up. He tried to put shorts on Curious George, too, but the only thing that would fit was a pair of underwear. For the rest of the morning, he walked around the house looking for candy, saying that they were all dressed up. Whoops! Maybe should have waited a while to talk about Halloween!


By themagnificentms

Bipolar. I swear.

If I’d written this yesterday, like I had planned on doing, this title would have been something like, “Who are these children, and where are mine?” This week, my children have been creepy well-behaved. Like, so well-behaved that it was disconcerting. I found myself wondering what they were planning.

On Monday, Mitchell and Rosie were best friends. I overheard Rosie start crying on the monitor while I was in the bathroom. By the time I got to the bedroom, I saw Mitchell holding her hand through the bars telling her “It’s ok, Rosie.” Ugh. Heart melting!


I thought their adorable camaraderie was over when Rosie snatched Mitchell’s Curious George, but instead he just grabbed it and started cuddling with her with it.

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On Tuesday, Mitchell had his 3 year check-up. He took Curious George with him, because he takes Curious George everywhere. The nurse was so nice and took Curious George’s temperature and vitals before she took Mitchell’s, and Mitchell encouraged Curious George the whole time. “It’s ok, Curious George. It’s ok. You’re just at the doctor.” When it came time for him, he didn’t even blink. The nurse was so impressed. But not nearly as impressed as she was at the very end of the appointment (an hour later) when she needed to take some blood. She did the finger prick and he didn’t even jump. She had to knead the finger for a good five minutes to get enough blood to fill the vial, and Mitchell didn’t cry, didn’t struggle, didn’t fidget, nothing. She kept telling him what a good job he was doing, then turning to me and saying, “Seriously, he’s doing so well! You have no idea how rare this is! He’s making my job so much easier!” By the end, she told him he’d been so good, he could grab three stickers at the check-out desk. Then, when she told him she was done with his finger, he told her thank you. For drawing his blood. Seriously. She looked at me and said, “Did he just say…” And I said, “Yep, he just told you thank you.” She said, “Oh, you just grab a whole handful of those stickers! I wish I had something better to give you!” Unfortunately, the mean receptionist was at the check-out desk, so I limited him to three. She scares me. Oh yeah, Mitchell is 31.8 pounds and 38 3/4″ tall, which is pretty average percentile for both.

After his stellar performance at the doctor’s office, I told him we could go to the mall. Last I’d heard, the play area was supposed to open again at the end of the summer. But, since I’d promised something to my son, of course I was wrong. The play area was gone. Completely gone. With a little sign saying it’d be back at the end of September. So Mitchell got to ride the car. And Rosie was bouncing like crazy in the stroller watching him, so I put her up there too. At first, she thought it was the greatest thing on earth. She kept looking at Mitchell and kicking her legs and getting really excited. Mitchell was less than thrilled that he had to share the car. Theeeeen….I started it.

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Full story:


After the car, the first stop we made was to JCPenney. Mitchell saw a pack of cars he wanted, and I told him if he was SO GOOD in the mall and held onto the stroller the whole time, no getting distracted and running off, we would stop and get the cars on our way out. I figured there was no way he’d be good the whole time. Wrong. That kid never ventured away from the stroller handle. He was a perfect angel. Absolutely perfect. He got his favorite meal from Chick-Fil-A and just sat there eating his food until it was gone. He didn’t get fidgety in his seat or anything.


So, of course, as we were leaving, he reminded me that he got cars. Yeah, yeah, you get cars. Because we needed more cars in this house. Just the other day I slipped and fell on a Hot Wheels. IN MY SHOWER. Seriously. MY SHOWER. A Hot Wheels. Why? Oh, they were dirty. They needed a shower. *grumbles because it’s freaking adorable as he’s explaining it so I can’t be mad*

On Wednesday, we ran to the grocery store in the morning. Mitchell was so sweet, so polite, and so well-behaved that we had to stop at the park on the way home.


Lucky for me, Mitchell’s bipolar switch got flipped this morning, so I no longer needed to wonder what he was planning or plotting with all those angelic moments. He was on a roll this morning. It was like he’d saved up all his behavior from the previous three days and just let it all out. Oi.

So, on our way home from speech, we took a detour. I didn’t know what was down a certain road, and it turned out it was a lake. I thought, “Oh, how relaxing.” And it was. For about five minutes.

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He was convinced there were turtles out there. There probably are. Huge, man-eating turtles. He got bored looking for them, so he started throwing leaves in the lake. Keep in mind, we weren’t on the beach. We were just on some random trail that happened to adjoin a few rocks at the side of the lake. Part of the lake that was probably 50 feet deep, I’m sure. I’m a mom. I can sense these things. And those rocks were at a very precarious 30 degree angle. Maybe even 45 degree. At least, that’s what my panicked brain saw when Mitchell kept trying to edge further and further out to throw the leaves. We didn’t stay there too terribly long. But there were some nice trails that we walked. I can’t get over how tall the trees are in places around here. It’s very beautiful.

All in all, though, this picture pretty well sums up the mood of this week:


Calm, happy, touching. 🙂

By themagnificentms

Happy 8 months, Rosalynn!

Our little Rosalynn is 8 months old!


She celebrated by cutting her very first tooth! Since she cut a tooth, I finally gave her some finger food. She is OBSESSED with other people when they’re eating, but I’ve been very wary about giving her anything because she tends to just shove everything in her mouth, whether it’s edible or not. I’ve dug more things out of her throat than I care to remember. She was VERY happy to have finger food. I wish I’d been videotaping the first bite. She looked at me like she kept expecting me to take it away, then when she realized I wasn’t she got a huge smile on her face.

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Of course, first time with finger food, she immediately had to get a bath. Well, shower. She loves the shower. When she hears that shower turn on, it doesn’t matter where she is in the bedroom, she crawls all the way to the shower and tries to get in. Mitchell thinks it’s hilarious. “Come on, Rosie. You want to take a shower, too?” I still don’t trust him enough to let them shower together, though.

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Other than the teething issues (which mostly occur at night, lucky me), this little girl is becoming quite the ray of sunshine (seriously, no sarcasm!). She absolutely adores her big brother and follows him around wherever he goes. Luckily he mostly lets her play with him. He always wants to wrestle with her, which, as you can imagine, doesn’t work out that well, but she loves it. It makes it hard for me to say “No, you’ll hurt Rosie” when she’s laughing.

She’s an absolute cuddle bug. She hugs like there’s no tomorrow. Like, wraps her arms around your neck and buries her face in your face types of hugs. Her favorite thing is sleeping in the crook of my arm or on my chest. You know, when she decides she absolutely can’t stay awake any longer, because the only way she goes to sleep anymore is if she’s on the brink of exhaustion.

More than anything, she wants to be involved. She wants to do what everyone else is doing. It kills her if she has to stay on the patio while we play in the yard. She can’t stand it. Now that she can speedily army crawl, she even gets upset if Mitchell is playing on the floor and she’s in her walker and can’t reach him. Yep, she’s still army crawling. Except she can go really fast with it now, and her little butt gets to moving from side to side, so she looks like a snake slithering across the floor. It’s a little weird to see.

She’s really, honestly, a lot of fun to have around right now. At least if I have to be carrying around 18 pounds on my hip constantly, it’s a very cute 18 pounds. I can’t wait to see what the next month brings!

By themagnificentms

More birthday pictures

A few more birthday pictures. Because, you know, there weren’t enough. This is Mitchell trying to figure out how to hold up 3 fingers. “I was two, now I’m three, then 18!”

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By themagnificentms

Grandpa > anyone else

It’s pretty great that Grandpa got to be here for Grandparent’s Day. But I think it’s even more fitting that he had to go home on Grandparent’s Day, and we all knew we wouldn’t be seeing him again for a long, long while, because it made us even more thankful to have him in our lives.

Our house is more fun with Grandpa here. There’s constantly a smile on Mitchell’s face, and no parent can’t smile when their kids are smiling. Rosie even enjoyed playing with Grandpa. Our house is more relaxed with Grandpa here. Mommy gets to take private showers. Somehow every trip to the grocery store (which seems to have to happen at least once per day) becomes a fun outing (just so long as it doesn’t involve hide and seek).

I won the lottery for awesome dads. Just don’t tell my teenage self that, because she’ll just point out her unreasonably early curfew and junker car. But, just like my love for Justin increased tenfold seeing him be a father to my children, my respect for my dad has grown immensely. He’s an AWESOME Grandpa. Him and Mitchell are well on their way to an epic grandpa/grandson relationship and I’m sure him and Rosie will have an awesome relationship, too, just as soon as she decides that anybody can hold her other than Mommy. I just have to learn to accept that the basis of that relationship is doing things that Mommy doesn’t approve of, like peeing outside.

Of course, Mitchell and Rosie have many other AWESOME grandparents that I wish we could see more often. One of these days we’re going to get home to see everyone!

Definitely going to be heavy on the pictures!

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By themagnificentms