The F Word (no, not that one).

We’ve reached that point in the year where there is no denying that fall is just around the corner and I am doing everything in my power to hold onto summer.  I’m avoiding fall because of what it inevitably becomes and I simply can’t think about that right now.  Granted, I wish stores would hold off when it comes to putting out Halloween and Thanksgiving items and it is way too early for pumpkin beverages. I refuse to rush through the last days of summer.

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So, from here on out we’re going to get good use out of our shorts and short-sleeved shirts and hit up the zoo as many times as we can, the arboretum, and pretty much anyplace that is outside and more enjoyable in sunshine.  I even signed up Josh and I for a Grape Stomp at a local winery.  I channeled my inner Lucy years ago working very briefly at a chocolate factory, but this should be a bit more fun.

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We also want to try and fit in some kind of end-of-summer gathering, but we need to do a little planning and the house needs some organizing before we invite people into our chaos as we’ve moved things around since the last time we had a large group over.  One day we’ll finish our various projects and I won’t stare at the basement wondering what on earth needs to be done to make it more functional and the landscaping won’t obnoxiously taunt me every time I pull up.

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Oh well, one day at a time.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed with too many projects, so I’m trying to work on the ones that feel the most important.  They don’t always have the biggest impact, but I’m trying to focus on what will make me feel the most joy.  I’m preparing for a major house decluttering, so I suppose Josh and the kids had better get ready too.  Like so many others I’m reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up and I’m getting kind of excited (also really nervous) about getting rid of a ton of things and simplifying.

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What do all of these random thoughts have to do with zoo pictures?  Not much at all.  We finally went to see the monk seals a little while ago, and are due back for another visit.  I think I’m okay with putting off de-cluttering a little while longer while we make the most of the nice temperatures.  Maybe we can give the carousel another whirl since Phoebe really wants to like it, but gets a little freaked out every time.

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Instead, they wanted to spend the entire time at the new play area. I mean, who goes to a zoo to see animals?  Not these two!  Give us all the slides!

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Things They Say (and Do)

There is never a dull moment… well, okay maybe there are a few here and there, but count on a kid to say or do something to end whatever quiet boredom you may have been experiencing.

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Enzo has been talking a lot about birthdays lately… his in particular. I can only assume it’s because a friend had one at preschool?  He will randomly bring it up, though, and change themes.  Most often he is having a boat birthday and “you can come to my boat birthday if you want to!”  However, sometimes you’ll hear, “Phoebe, if you don’t stop, you’re not coming to my birthday party.”

His imagination is also thriving and the other night he kept having fake phone conversations on a TV remote that he was pretending was a phone.

“This is Paw Patrol, what’s wrong?”

Another thing we often hear him say is, “One day when I’m so much bigger…” or “One day when I’m a really big strong boy…”

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As for Phoebe, she spends a lot of time singing still and also talking about Paw Patrol since her brother has gotten her hooked on it.  Her devotion to Minnie remains, however, so that is her main request. You can also count on her to ask for chocolate milk upon waking in the morning, but woe to you who puts it in the wrong cup because her shriek of disdain is ear piercing.

Since we’re working towards potty training her, she does talk about going potty and “poopin” rather frequently. The other day when I was at the table in fact, Enzo came over and suddenly said, “There’s poop on the floor, Mama.”  Huh? I looked down and sure enough, there it was.  And acting as innocently as can be was Phoebe who pointed at it just as surprised, even though her diaper was also discarded next to her.  Nice try, Phoebe.

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With both their language skills progressing more and more, they seem to play much better together.  Granted, Phoebe refuses to ask nicely when it comes to them playing with him, so there’s still a little bit of sibling rivalry, but for the most part they have a really good relationship.  Both Josh and I had one of those heart bursting moments at the mall not too long ago…

Phoebe was playing on a toy and got off of it only to have another little boy climb on.  She tried to get back on and fussed, and we explained she needed to wait her turn.  After a minute he got off, and suddenly Enzo ran over (to take it we assumed), but then Phoebe ran over after him and he motioned her on it and said, “Phoebe, here you go! Quick!” and then he totally stared the other little boy down and held out his arms to block him when he tried to get too close.  I believe Enzo said, “You leave my Phoebe alone!” while throwing some major shade and protecting his little sister.

Ack!  So darn cute.  It’s moments like these we always hoped for.

Through Enzo’s Eyes

A while ago I went ahead and let Enzo play with some of our cameras.  He had a lot of fun, even though he has a hard time holding onto them due to his hands being fairly small.  Most of them are blurry, but it was fun to watch him play.  I think we need to get this boy his own compact camera, though.  I’d love to see more of the world through his eyes.

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And some fun shots he took with the Instax that I need to re-scan. Ha ha.

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Currently…

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Reading

Let’s see… I finished The Martian and despite it being a little slow at times, it was still a really good read.  There’s humor and wit, and while I’m not an expert at all when it comes to space travel or engineering it’s informative and doesn’t leave you feeling completely confused.  Right now I’m reading a couple of books including Outlander, which I figured I should read due to its popularity.  I’m not very far into it, but so far I like the writing and while I’m not a historian, I think it probably paints a decent picture of 18th century Scotland.

Watching

I’ve actually been binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.  I never got into it before, but I like having it on in the background and have been wondering why on earth I didn’t watch it when it was on the air!  Oh yeah, there was a lack of cable for a while there pre-Hulu days, and I’m not one to start watching a series if I’ve missed the first season or more.  I’m also really excited about Showtime on Hulu now.  Hooray!  I finally get to see some shows I’ve been wanting to.  Josh and I also started watching Supernatural together. I had started watching the first season ages ago, but now we’re starting from the beginning and it looks like that will be our new show.  It’s fun… cheesy at times, but fun.

As for movies… yeah, we really haven’t been watching that many lately.  There’s been a lot going on.

Health and Wellness

The Fitbit continues to be a great motivator and I feel better the more I walk and exercise, so that in itself is a great motivator.  I also haven’t had hives since the last “Currently” so I’m incredibly thrilled about that.

Drinking/Eating

I’m kind of obsessed with popcorn right now.  I could eat it every day, and sometimes I do.  The Pop Secret with Sea Salt is my favorite right now.  We’re in a rut in terms of meal planning and dinners, though… anyone have any tips or ideas to motivate me again?  I’m stoked to try Blue Apron – it’s finally delivering to our area, so maybe that will help.

Enjoying

The weather – overall this has been one of the mildest summers we’ve had since moving to Minnesota, and even though it was a little disconcerting to be in the low 60s the other day, we’re making the most of what warm days we have left.  We’re headed to opening weekend of the Renaissance Festival tomorrow and I’m hoping the rain actually holds off until late afternoon.  We haven’t gone to the festival since we first moved here, but I remember it being fun and hope the kids think so too.

Thinking About

Everything and then often nothing at all.  We’ve been struggling with Enzo at bedtime and I have no idea why.  He says he isn’t tired at his usual bedtime, but the past few nights he has been fighting us and his bedtime and then wakes up tired and cranky due to lack of sleep.  Kind of at my wit’s end.  Granted, we went through this before, but Phoebe is a much lighter sleeper now so when he starts yelling and screaming because he doesn’t want to stay in his room, she wakes back up.  Have I mentioned what an easy sleeper she is?  She willingly lies down in her crib, waits for me to cover her with her blanket and then tells me good-night. She’s typically out in 10 minutes.  I am so grateful we have at least one kid who doesn’t fight bedtime right now.  Parenting has been a struggle lately, that’s for sure.  I know his potty training regression is probably due to getting rid of his nuk, but his sleep was fine at first… now I’m not sure if this is also a result of him giving up his nuk???  Fingers crossed we can find a way to win at bedtime again.

Another Big Boy Bed

On one of our more recent trips to IKEA with the kids, we decided to make a completely random and unplanned purchase.  This particular idea was all Enzo, and Josh and I were hopeful that it would be a game changer.  His idea was… a loft bed.  We couldn’t help but agree that it would be a fun setup for his room, and would actually free up a lot of floor space.  More importantly, we hoped that it would make bedtime easier as he has never been a big fan of settling down for the night.

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As you can imagine, both kids wanted to help put it together, so I did my best to keep them amused while Josh did the easy work *wink*.  I let them play in the rain for a bit and then both decided to strip down and run around… a fairly common occurrence in our house.  The funny thing is that Phoebe is usually the one requesting to take all her clothes and diaper off and if anyone takes an article of clothing off – even if just to change into something else – she will start trying to take all of her clothes off and demand that you disrobe her so she can be free.

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Anyhoo, the more the bed came together, the more excited Enzo got and he was thrilled when he was finally able to give his new bed a whirl.  We had picked up sheets on the way home from IKEA and the quilt was made by his great-grandma and was the perfect size.  Josh and I high-fived and Phoebe may have pouted a tad since she’s too little to climb up top by herself.

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As for whether or not it’s actually improved our bedtime routine, well… sort of?  It improved for a while, but we still have those nights where it is really hard to keep Enzo in his room and get him to go to lay down.  Part of the problem could be due to the rain we’ve been getting that has meant less outdoor time that usually wears him out.  I know the rain the past few days has been messing me up as well and I’m a tad stir crazy since I haven’t been getting as many walks in.  You can only wander Target for so long, you know?

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Overall, Enzo really does love his new bed, though, and he and Phoebe often play in the nook area together.  It may not have completely changed his sleep habits, but I’d still say it was a good change and something that was fun for Enzo to be a part of choosing.

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