A few pictures

Mitchell discovered sequins. Ugh. “Do you think this is enough, Mommy?” Yes, son. Way more than enough.

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This is how Rosie watches movies while I’m working. And, in this case, she just fell asleep.

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Mitchell discovered Car & Driver magazine in the doctor’s office the other day. I’m seriously considering buying him a subscription. I’ve never seen him more animated with other adults. He generally doesn’t acknowledge their presence, but with this, the nurse asked if he was looking at a magazine and he enthusiastically said, “Yeah! Look! There’s a car, and a truck, and look at this car! Which room are we going to? 7! Ok, I’ll find it!” It’s probably the most words he’s spoken to a stranger in his entire life.

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By themagnificentms

Oh Kansas!

We took a quick trip to Kansas…two weeks ago. And I’m so slow that I’m just now posting them. And, let’s face it, this is only because I’m procrastinating writing my very last paper EVER for grad school. Or any school. Ever.

Mitchell and Rosie love staying at Aunt Brooke’s house. They absolutely love Colton. Mitchell is still playing with his cars and saying “Here comes Aunt Brooke! Here comes Colton! Here comes Grandpa! Ok, here we go to Aunt Brooke’s house!”

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By themagnificentms

Happy 4th!

Just a couple weeks late. No big deal. 

Mitchell dressed himself. He’s a ‘Merican.

The kids enjoyed their first ever fireworks show! Kingsley always got so stressed and had seizures over the holiday that we’ve never been able to be out and about for the 4th, so this is the first time Mitchell’s really seen a display. It’s probably the first time in 10 years that Justin and I have, either! Mitchell and Rosie loved them. They loved staying up late even more. Justin and I, not so much. Justin wanted to call it quits by 9.




Aaaaand exhausted. 





Mitchell told Justin that he could go to sleep…with Mitchell on his head. 

By themagnificentms

Off to run some errands

Both kids are in to pretend play right now. It’s adorable. Whatever shirt Mitchell wears, he “is” that character. For example, he wears the top half of his Woody costume, which is just a shirt and vest, and for the rest of the day he “is” Woody. He has to be addressed as Woody, and goes around doing whatever Woody does. And it doesn’t have to be a character; he does it with his dinosaur shirt or duck shirt or whatever else he can find in his shirt drawer. It definitely makes me thankful for the t-shirt shop when he demands that he “be” Totoro today and I can just run downstairs and make him a Totoro shirt!

Anyway, even Rosie gets in on the pretend play action. The other night she kept trying to go run errands. She had her little bucket and kept coming to wave goodbye to us, then trying to get out the garage door. Even though it went on for at least ten minutes, it was cute for all ten minutes.

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In Mitchell’s current favorite movie, Totoro, the little sister runs away and the big sister runs all over the countryside asking neighbors, “Have you seen my sister?” So now, of course, Mitchell is obsessed with constantly finding Rosie and guiding her back to me. Most of the time it’s adorable, until she doesn’t want to come and it turns into a wrestling match. But last night at the mall, he kept stopping whatever he was doing, running up to me and yelling, “Mommy! Have you seen my sister?! I have to find her!” and then hunting her down. Seriously, love these kids!

Mitchell’s a little confused right now about babies and the aging process. He’s started saying, “When I was a little girl…” instead of “When I was a baby.” For example, “I peed in diapers when I was a little girl! But now I’m a big boy!” Curiously, when he speaks of Rosie’s future, it’s always, “When she’s a big girl…” I’ve tried talking to him about the fact that he was a little BOY, not GIRL, but it doesn’t stick. I’m sure he’ll get it soon. But for now it’s hilarious to see people’s faces when he tells Rosie in the middle of Target, “Yeah, I wore that dress when I was a little girl! And now you get to wear it because you’re a little girl!”

By themagnificentms

Work, work, work. 

Poor Mitchell is a victim of child labor. The other day he asked if he could vacuum, and after I got over my initial shock and worry (what exactly are you trying to hide?) and found the vacuum (seriously, who loses a vacuum?) he really did a great job of it! I hope he keeps thinking of it as a game. Or, really, my FLOORS hope he keeps thinking of it as a game. 


And then, yard work! I’ve been treating our house like a rental, and do did the previous 8 years’of tenants, so its yard is awful. So is the inside, but ya know. 
Anyway, the yard rocks all these sections bordered by those landscaping borders, but the inside of the sections is just filled with grass. Well, I’m tired of having to get the weed wacker all the time, so I decided to cover it with mulch. And Mitchell helped! The kids mostly loved the trips to Lowe’s. So did everyone else at Lowe’s. It turns out I have cute kids. Even when they’re running in opposite directions. Seriously, it was like we were reenacting the movie Speed, except instead of a bomb going off whenever I stopped the cart, my kids took off running in opposite directions and I died from exhaustion trying to chase them down. Rosie’s so clingy she won’t let me out of her sight (ever) unless we’re in public, then she just takes off running at every opportunity.


Speaking of taking off running, I feel no shame at the measures I go to to keep her out of the road while I work. Not that it lasted long, I was worried the neighbors were going to think she was being beaten. 

By themagnificentms

More summer fun

It’s hot. But, summer=outdoors for us. I will say this for Dayton, there are PLENTY of fun options for getting outside! Our fun afternoon of sprinkler fun ended with snow cones, because, what else? Is it awful that I had to learn my lesson about giving the kids snow cones in the car? That was a messy lesson. 




By themagnificentms

It’s summer!

Hooray, summer is here! Well, it’s been here for a while, but my lovely procrastinating self is just now getting around to posting lots of pictures of us enjoying our summer.

First, random pictures.

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Rosie’s personality is shining through this summer, and it turns out her personality can be summed up as crafty and ornery. She is SO ORNERY! I didn’t realize what a polite term that was until I had kids. But you cannot take your eyes off of her! She climbs anything and everything and somehow knows the best way to destroy things. She thinks non-spill sippy cups are simply a challenge. I finally figured out how to gate off the basement stairs since she figured out how to climb the cardboard box that I’d been using to to block it off. But that didn’t stop her; she just climbed the chair. And the cool play microwave Mitchell picked up at a garage sale? Merely a stepping stool to get to the real microwave. She does, however, still love some adorable cuddles, even if the only things available are stuffed animals.

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Mitchell, meanwhile, is rocking the imaginative play. Holy crap, I had no idea this age could be so dang cute! We looked at a few “preschool” programs around here, but decided to keep him home one more year and just do pre-K next year for a number of reasons. Mostly 1) he already knew all of the end-of-the-year goals for the preschool programs, like letter and number recognition; and 2) he is absolutely terrified of other adults. We aren’t talking about a little bit of fear, or just not wanting to mind them. We’re talking absolutely terrified, near-phobia. He doesn’t mind me leaving him places as long as he’s allowed to go about his business and play with the other kids. But if another adult tries to interact with him, best case scenario is he tries to hide. Worst case happened at the pool, when the instructor thought the best way to ease his fear was to sneak up behind him and pull him into the pool. He screamed. I’ve never seen him so scared. I kept motioning her to bring him back over, but I didn’t want to create a scene because I was scared that would just scare him more. Another instructor finally listened to me say that it wasn’t the water he was scared of (yet), but the instructor, and he intervened. And then he invited us to join private swim lessons instead of coming back to group swim lessons. So yeah. We kinda got kicked out of swim lessons. We’ll see how soccer goes next month…

But anyway. Imaginative play. He has some favorite books and movies right now that he will act out/play along with word for word. Sometimes I have no idea what he’s telling me until I recognize the line of script from a movie or something. One of his favorites right now is a little anime thing by Disney called My Neighbor Totoro. It creeps nerdy engineer Justin out. It’s hilarious. He hates watching it. Zootopia is another favorite, and he still insists on wearing his Woody costume whenever it’s clean. When he takes it off, he says “Look! I turned back into Mitchell!”

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He’s starting to flex his independent muscles, too. The other day I let him order at Waffle House. It was a hilariously long and complicated order, and I was sure his eyes were waaaaay bigger than his stomach. But no. He ate almost everything.

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Finally, our trips to a couple parks here in Dayton. The Cox Arboretum has a very very very tall tree house that I will never ever ever be climbing again. It turns out my stomach does not like being that high up. And Wygerzen remains my children’s favorite place in the world. We went to a story time there, and both kids insisted on taking their babies.

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Oh, the babies. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the babies yet. We stalk a store here called Once Upon a Child. They buy and sell used kids’ goods, like toys, clothes, books, etc. They usually have great prices. The other day, I spotted a nice little toy that was a musical “crib” that came with a chattering little monkey that makes little slurping sounds when you feed it a bottle. So it came home with us, intended for Rosie. Mitchell LOVED it. I tried looking it up, and it turned out it was discontinued in 2008 and sold online for oodles of money. Of course. So I told Mitchell we would go to Target and Toys R Us to see if they had a comparable baby that he’d like. I pointed out the FurReal animals that were very similar, but he didn’t like them. I pointed out the Baby Alive dolls, but no. He wasn’t interested in any of them.

Side story: When I was a kid, my favorite book was called Kitty’s New Doll. In the book, Kitty’s mom takes her to a toy store and points out all the dolls that Kitty could get. Dolls that can walk, dolls that can talk. Dolls that can drink a bottle, dolls that can say “mama”. Dolls whose eyes open and close. But Kitty wants a simple rag doll that doesn’t do anything, because then in her imagination, the doll can do anything.

So. We’re in Toys R Us and Mitchell is knocking down all my suggestions. He then picks out a simple plastic molded doll that comes with a cheap little bath tub (like, I wouldn’t even call this plastic…more like plastic mixed with paper) and fake bottles of baby soap. The doll is so cheaply made that they didn’t even trim the edges where the mold’s edges met, so there are bits of plastic still hanging off its toes. But that’s the baby he wants. The worst part was, even though it was so obviously cheap, the price tag didn’t reflect that. But he loved that little doll. And he still does. That doll goes everywhere with us. And if it doesn’t, the moment we get home, Mitchell runs through the house yelling, “Baby! I’m home! Oh, baby, don’t cry, I’ll rock you to sleep.” It’s so stinking adorable. Our house has been filling up with garage sale doll finds, like a baby carriage, crib, trike, etc. It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, watching him care for this little baby.

And then they do a mommy dog pile 🙂 While I’m working, sometimes.

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Finally, fun at the mall!

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Whew. Just noticed a couple more pictures. We have a toad in our backyard and Mitchell caught it the other night. He insisted on holding it like a baby and talking to it. Rosie wanted nothing to do with it.

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By themagnificentms

Videos!

Ok, I PROMISE we’re still here. It’s been an absolute madhouse around here. Between classes last semester, trying to get all the kids’ outgrown clothes into a consignment sale, and making shirts, it seems I haven’t had a moment to myself in months. Justin and I stayed up until midnight talking the other night because I’d been spending my evenings in the basement while he spent his evenings outside with the kids; we hadn’t had an actual conversation in over a week.

Mitchell is still rocking the imagination play, and it’s ADORABLE. Everyone and everything becomes a character in whatever movie or book he’s watched or read most recently. Right now he loves the Frozen movie, so his horse is named Sven and he’s constantly reenacting scenes from the movie with him.

Rosie is an adorable little sister. None of her toys are good enough; she lurks beside Mitchell while he’s playing, and the moment he walks away she grabs his toy and runs. This has resulted in a few emergency trips to Target or Toys R Us to get duplicate toys. Because, sure, I could teach them to share, OR I could just throw money at the problem. (I promise this hasn’t happened THAT many times. Generally they do figure out a way to share.)

I doubt I’ll have time to describe each and every video, but hopefully I’ll get to post a decent amount of videos before the heat press gets fully heated up.

https://goo.gl/photos/WPaaysY37tgfxcAt6

https://goo.gl/photos/iqso3oSeiBvHwGZn9

https://goo.gl/photos/MaDNfLmws9uBKhxw9

https://goo.gl/photos/KSnCmsRXMYE7rBus8 – This is a video about swim lessons. Mitchell was SO EXCITED to go. He spent the 30 minute swim lesson crying to avoid the pool (or, more accurately, the instructor). He then spent 30 minutes after the swim lesson screaming and throwing himself around the bathroom because he wanted to get into the pool. Extracurricular activities are such fun, aren’t they?

https://goo.gl/photos/e1icsAEXYBLNWFff7

https://goo.gl/photos/fRwvDtupXTzJxg8f9 – Seriously, she copies WHATEVER he does.

https://goo.gl/photos/8ZTWxJDpyqd617zz9 – 5 Little Monkeys was our book of the week. Can you tell?

Slip and slide fun! https://goo.gl/photos/dbfvrBzaFrHP4vU39

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https://goo.gl/photos/emFSRKhJk95cyioz6

https://goo.gl/photos/ZfGmY5VjEMQy1bdA7 – Little Sister’s revenge!

https://goo.gl/photos/aS3S5jQz4jXco9Y28

https://goo.gl/photos/LAnWPiUBmmkjmyW86 – One of the toys that resulted in an emergency trip to Toys R Us.

By themagnificentms

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day!

I spent mine making shirts. Which is a good thing and I’m thankful and everything, but it was definitely nice taking a break for dinner. Our kids were still on post-vacation exhaustion, so they slept/cuddled all through the meal.

Seriously, some days things are crazy. Mitchell’s on a hair trigger, Rosie refuses to let me put her down, they’re fighting over every single toy in the house, etc., and I just want one freaking second to myself. But, within a few minutes, one of them comes in for a hug. And I’m reminded how great my life is.

I read a book recently (What Alice Forgot; I completely recommend it) in which the main character hits her head and loses the memories of the previous decade. Her last memory is being pregnant with her first child; when she wakes up, she has three children and is getting divorced and is a completely different person than she was ten years ago. The entire book is her looking around, astonished at the choices she’d made and the person she’d become. Anyway, it really got to me. Obviously, I have no idea what kind of person I’ll be in ten years. What if my vision of my future doesn’t come true? What if we get sucked into this mode of “just surviving” and forget to have family time? It only took me a few days to read the book, but it was a whirlwind of emotions for me during that time.

Then, when I finished it, I thought about my thoughts and dreams a decade earlier. What if I hit my head today, woke up, and had forgotten the last decade of my life? I’d thing I was 22, living in Manhattan, getting ready to move to Texas with my boyfriend, completely terrified. I had no idea if Justin actually loved me or if he was just going with the flow. I’d just dropped out of K-State because I was a hot mess.

I realized that if I woke up without all the memories of getting here, to this place in my life, I’d be shocked that I had such a great life. Yeah, we’re in Ohio, which I hate, but I have an awesome husband who goes out of his way to compliment me; two kids who want nothing more than to hug me; I’m one class shy of graduating with a master’s degree; and I have a way-more-successful-than-expected shirt shop. My life is pretty snazzy.

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By themagnificentms