Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thoughts From Your Child

Every night I mean to write a new blog post but we are knee deep in nesting mode over here and I somehow have found myself preferring to organize closets to sitting here and writing.  Last time around I never really had huge nesting urges but it's coming on strong this time.  I'm talking organizing and reorganizing all of our closets and drawers, Home Depot trips, spackling, painting walls, refurbishing furniture, the whole nine yards...and really all of those things are activities I would have sworn I'd never do before now.  Even Ryan is joining in on the fun...but his nesting style has more to do with what kind of new TV we need for our Super Bowl party.  ;)

For now I don't really have any photos to share, mostly because I don't think pictures of new plastic bins in closets are really that thrilling to anyone except OCD sufferers and 8 month pregnant women.  I did, however, want to share these "thoughts from your child" that my dad sent me at Christmas time.  I love it, and think there's so much truth in every line. 

Before having kids I always imagined I would be very strict, almost to the degree of being harsh.  After having Lyla I surprised myself with the gentleness I felt towards her.  I was just so overcome by the sweet innocence and preciousness of her and babies in general.  But these tiny people are smarter than a lot of us give them credit for, and discipline and boundaries are so very necessary for them.  I love the balance this list has of letting kids be kids and not expecting perfection, yet stepping in as a parent and providing boundaries when necessary. 

Hope you enjoy!

- K

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Animals are Assholes

I'm sorry for the language, but can we just be honest with ourselves for a second?  There are about a million and two causes out there inundating my social media about these "Pitiful Pooches" and "Krestfallen Kitties", and I'm calling your bluff.  Animals are assholes.

Seriously.  They are expensive.  They are loud.  They are dirty.  They have zero regard for their human counterparts, pooping and peeing anywhere they please without the slightest hint of remorse.  They bark and meow in the middle of the night, just to check in, make sure you know they're still there.  And then, after all that, they demand treats at all hours of the day.  As if they've actually done anything remotely worthy of a reward.

I can't remember the last time I sat down and actually had my lap to myself.  Or a pillow to myself for a single night's sleep.  I don't know what it's like to walk through the house without some kind of critter wrapping themselves around my ankles and tripping me, and not a single pair of black pants is still black 5 minutes after putting them on.

But, just when I think I've had enough and I've written off ever having another animal again...they curl up next to me, the warm piles of fur with those sad puppy dog and puss in boots eyes, and all is forgiven. 

Damn it. 

- K

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Somebody's Turning 2

I cannot even wrap my brain around how fast this past year has gone but somehow we are just 2 weeks away from Lyla's second birthday.  Instead of dwelling on the bittersweetness of another year come and gone (which I'm sure will hit me eventually), I've thrown myself into birthday party planning. 

Last year we flew back to Denver for Lyla's first birthday and had the best time with all of our family and friends.  (Will you just look at this little baby doll we had back then?!)  This year we are staying put so it will be a bit smaller, but I think it will be even more fun with Lyla's new found appreciation for presents, sweets, and tearing wrapping paper to pieces.  We're going back and forth between getting her a pony or a Range Rover power wheel.  Kidding!  ;)

Since the party is so close to Valentine's day and I'm a sucker for all things girly I decided to go with a Valentine's theme.  I've done a lot of Instagram, Pinterest and Etsy research in all my spare time and I can't wait to get it all put together for her big day! 

Here are some of my inspirations:

one - image from Instagrammer @amandarydell.  Her feed is gorgeous, so colorful and fun!

And now that Ryan's seen all of these glittery images he's sure this party will be his worst nightmare.  ;)

- K

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Potty Training Confessionals

So... Potty training: 1, Kassi/Ryan: 0

Last week I mentioned that we were starting the potty training process.  I talked about being emotional about the whole thing, but I was actually really excited to get started because Lyla is typically very good with direction and responds really well to rewards - particularly chocolate and donuts.  I was truly excited to see her successfully check one more milestone off her list.

We've read all of the Baby Wise books, and chose to go with Potty Wise for our adventure, and more specifically the progressive method which should typically take about 2-3 days.  Well, after the first day and some very slight progress I was left feeling a little unsure.  By the end of day 2, without going into too many details, I was feeling even less confident about the whole thing, and very sure this wasn't going to be a 2 or 3 day process.

When the morning of the third day was going far worse than the days prior I made the decision to stop and try again at some point in the future.  It was an emotional and confusing decision because I hate to quit anything, and one of the hardest parts that I think comes with parenthood is making these decisions and not really knowing at the time if it really is the very best for your child or not.

The next morning I woke up feeling so much better and just at peace with the decision I made.  I know at some point we will both be ready and it will just click.  But this is the thing - this girl right here? 

Every single one of the days of her 23 months of life have been my brightest.  There's been hard one's for sure, but every night I go to bed with a smile on my face, thinking about her and all we'd done that day.  I am painfully aware that our days of just her and I are becoming more and more limited and I just can't reconcile the idea of making these last 53 days (but who's counting, right?) anything but carefree and joyful.

So for now, pass the diapers.  Please and thank you. 

- K

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Final Cut - A Christmas Recap: Part 4

Christmas night my dad, stepmom, brother and sister came into town, so we had a second Christmas morning the day after, even though most of the wrapping paper was already ripped off.  Lyla had a hard time understanding why there were still presents under the tree with Dora wrapping paper, or why she couldn't/shouldn't rip those open too.

Lyla loved having more family around, and the extra presents didn't hurt.  I think she liked her Hug Me Elmo, but her favorite was the cute handmade Colorado hat.  Ryan and I already had our own, and they're pretty amazing.  The mini version was too cute, and she pretty much refused to take it off.  She doesn't really know it, but she's a Colorado girl at heart.

The time with family went too fast as always.  I actually didn't feel very well, so we kept it pretty low key with mostly lots of eating and a shopping trip or two.  And Despicable Me 2 on a constant loop.

Lyla loved her auntie Kate and even learned to say her name crystal clear, which is saying something because she hasn't gotten anyone's name just right up until then.  She cried for a good 5 minutes in her crib when she woke up from her nap to have them all gone.  It makes my heart hurt to see her sad.  I tried explaining to her that part of life is missing people and it actually makes getting to see them even sweeter.  I don't know if it really sunk in.  ;)

They left New Year's Eve, the same day Ryan had surgery, so the day was a little chaotic.  Definitely not our best NYE, but the next day was a New Year.  The year Lyla turns 2 and we add another little girl to our family.  I have a feeling 2014 is going to be a pretty special year.

- K


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Potty Training Eve

There's a new sort of holiday going on at the Chapman household.  It's officially Potty Training Eve, and I'm not really sure how I feel about it.  Lyla has been showing all "the signs" for a while now, and I even had "potty training" penciled in on my calendar for December, then cancelled it when the thought of little girl panties in my laundry brought me to tears.  Am I the only freak show mom that can't even handle getting rid of diapers because it means their baby is growing up?  Sigh.

Anyways, when my dad was in town we went to this baby boutique where there was a stack of potties on the ground.  Lyla waltzed right over and sat right down like she knew exactly what those things were for, so my dad bought one and brought it home.  Later that night she went over, sat on it and peed in her diaper.  All signs point to she's ready. 

Tonight Ryan came home early so we could make a big, exciting trip to Target for big girl panties (WAHHH), Dora pull-ups and treats galore.  Tomorrow's the big day.  Wish me and my emotions luck.  Oh yeah, and I guess Lyla too.

- K

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lyla's Christmas Eve Performance - A Christmas Recap: Part 3

Growing up I was always so shy.  I hated performing anything, got embarrassed easily, and I still absolutely hate any form of public speaking.  Ryan, on the other hand...I don't think he knows the meaning of shy.  Lyla certainly did not inherit my shy gene, and is happy to perform on cue at any time of the day, and even checks herself out in the mirror as she plays, or sings or dances.  The girl has some confidence.

Here's a little video of a Christmas Eve performance she threw together last second.  ;)

- K

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Photo Dump - A Christmas Recap: Part 2

Since we decided to stay in MN this Christmas it was a pretty quiet Christmas Eve and morning, and I didn't quite know how it would go or if it would end up feeling a little anticlimactic.  It turned out to be the very best Christmas Eve and morning of my life.

We went to Christmas Eve service and were a little shocked to learn that there was no child care provided.  Our little miss is not the type to sit still quietly, so I was a little concerned with how the next hour would go.  Sure enough as soon as we found our seats she was off running and exploring, and it didn't really stop.  For a split second I found myself thinking forward to a year that Christmas Eve would not include me running after a crazy baby or 2.  I immediately stopped and reminded myself that these are fleeting moments, and chasing this little blonde haired girl is exactly where I want to be.  Watching that not-so-baby girl run around in her fancy dress and the fur coat she refused to take off was as precious a Christmas Eve as any church service I could have heard that night.

After church we went home and had bagels and lox, our family tradition, and popped open some champagne for Ryan and sparkling apple cider for Lyla and I.  We used her pink plastic stemware from her kitchen set, and I'm pretty sure that girl was born for the fancy life.  She sipped that "champagne" like it was Dom Perignon, pinky finger out and everything.  Too cute.  Then she opened a present, another family tradition, of a pair of bunny slippers, pajamas, and "Twas the Night Before Christmas".  She was and is obsessed with those little bunny "shoes".  They give her about a million kisses each and every morning.

We went to bed late that night, turns out playing Santa is pretty exhausting, but I think we did a pretty darn good job.  The next morning we got up early and Lyla was so excited about her huge bear and bike.  I'm pretty sure it was her best Christmas ever too.  ;)

Here's some photos!

- K

The photo above is so special to me.  My mom made that doll when she was pregnant with me, and she shipped it to me for Christmas.  Seeing my own little girl hold it is pretty amazing.

The cat traps were as effective as ever.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Holidazzle Parade - A Christmas Recap: Part 1

The last week and a half has really lived up to all the festive hype a Christmas should.  Well, besides our New Year's Eve which included Ryan getting surgery, my sister and step-mom leaving town, and a crazy and wild record of Lyla's all time latest bedtime and Ryan's all time earliest...both at 8:30 PM.  Which I followed up by 2 hours of cleaning and 2nd birthday party planning.  Can you hear the party horns??

Anyways, Christmas was just as white and full of Santa sightings, little parties, baking, cooking, and eating as I could have dreamed of.  I ended up taking a bit of a somewhat accidental social media break because of everything going on, and I keep meaning to post updates and photos, but the more I procrastinate the more there is to post, and the more I procrastinate.  You know how it is.

So, I'll go ahead and start simple with some photos from the Holidazzle parade we went to the Saturday before Christmas.  It was sort of pure chaos, but I think it was a success because I'm kind of a sucker for anything festive.  I'm not sure Ryan feels the same way though.  Especially considering the fact that our alma mater, CSU, was playing their bowl game and somehow pulled off possibly the craziest win in the world's history.  Which we didn't get to see.  But let's not bring that up.

Now, if you know Ryan you know that "waiting patiently" isn't exactly his forte.  Nor are crowds.  Or traffic.  Now what I knew about this parade and he didn't (since I'd seen it with Lyla last year) is that it's pretty darn pathetic.  I mean, cute because it's Christmas time, and the Christmas lights, and people are excited and yada yada, but it's, I would guess, about 15 total "floats" which are mostly just Comcast vans with Christmas lights strung on them, or something similar.  What I didn't know was that we happened to be going on the very last day of the very last Holidazzle parade to ever exist.  I also didn't realize how many people would choose that day to go see these lit up Comcast vans.  Let me just say it was a lot.

I won't go into the details of just how hectic it all was, but after approximately 2 hours of having plans thwarted and finally getting something to eat, we headed out into the bitter cold to watch the parade.  After about 15 minutes of freezing, and 15 "this is seriously it?!" exclamations from Ryan we decided it would be best to head to our warm car and get the heck out of there.  Little did we know the parking garage exited into the street that was blocked by the parade, so we ended up sitting in the garage for about another 20 minutes before being able to move.  But at least we were warm?

All things considered all 3 of us really managed to keep it together and have a good attitude, which is somewhat astonishing.  There's something to be said for Christmas miracles, I think.  ;)  Here's some photos from the night.  Please note Ryan's pleasant smile in all photos.  And also note the incredible crowd...but mostly that skyway above the bridge.  It's hard to see but I'm pretty sure they reached max capacity and/or the weight limit.  The thing was completely packed from all angles.  It gives me claustrophobia just looking at it.

- K