Category Archives: parenting

Family Outing and the Stuff Kids Say

It’s been a few weeks now, but a weekend finally worked out where we could all go to the zoo together.  There are kangaroos temporarily there and the kids wanted to see them, so on a chilly day with rain on the horizon, off we went. Haha!

It’s also nice to have Josh there because then I don’t have to shuffle kids, a stroller, and coffee.  Enzo decided to bring his camera to the zoo that day too, so I need to grab it and see what he took pictures of!

It was a really nice, slow day without too many people, which means it’s perfect to walk on the Tropics Trail – especially when it’s chilly outside.  The kids can wander off, and Phoebe can run into at least a dozen people because that’s kind of just what she does.

As difficult as this age is at times, there are some pretty great moments.  The kids have been really into realistic imaginative play.  They like to set up a store and go shopping, or one night we set up a restaurant.  Not gonna lie, it’s one of my new favorite games.  The kids wanted to go out to eat after swim lessons, but that wasn’t happening, so Enzo actually had the great idea to play restaurant at home.  As soon as we got home, I set up a little table for them (with flowers too) and grabbed some “menus” and crayons and led them to their seat.

Phoebe kept calling me Restaurant instead of Waitress, so I finally convinced her to just call me Heather.  They loved ordering drinks (Enzo said he would have a beer) and Joe their friendly waiter served those while I took their food orders and set about preparing that.  They were both unbelievably polite – way more than they usually are in an actual restaurant – and it was adorable when they would ask Joe for something (Phoebe: Joe, can I go to the restroom?) or when Enzo told me quite politely “I think I forgot my wallet.”

We sent Joe out to the parking lot to see if he had dropped it next to his car and sure enough, Joe was able to find it. 😉  I wrote up a receipt and everything and ran Enzo’s card through, and even more adorable, I saw him grab a crayon to sign his receipt.  I had no idea they paid as much attention as they do when we go places, but sure enough… he knows the drill.

Phoebe wanted to pay as well, so she ran and grabbed her wallet and tried giving me her actual money telling me she wanted me to buy something nice. Haha!  Tempting…

The game isn’t old yet… last night Phoebe asked for an apron so she could cook me something to eat in her restaurant.  “Um, ma’am? Ma’am!  What do you want?”  Haha!  She’s full of “Yes, Ma’am’s” lately and it’s pretty cute. I realize I’m completely biased.  Enzo is full of sass and usually keeps us laughing as well.  He’s a big fan of knock-knock jokes right now, which reminds me of myself as a kid.  I remember buying a joke book and rainbow sherbet and being in heaven.

Simple things, right?  Some days I long for simplicity, though modern day conveniences are quite nice.

Or just a big kitty to snuggle… I’d be okay with a leopard too.

Road Trip Part 3 – Disneyland!

Not surprisingly, one thing we were all looking forward to on our trip was Disneyland. It’s the happiest place on earth, right?  It’s been years since I’ve been there, Josh had never been and we figured both kids were old enough to enjoy it, so the 4 of us and my mom headed off to Disneyland bright and early on a Thursday morning.  One thing we knew we wanted to do was spend a full day there, but we didn’t necessarily want to drive back to my mom’s the same day, so we got a room at a hotel a couple blocks away.  Best idea ever. We were even able to check in that morning, drop our stuff off and walk over to Disneyland.

Enzo wasn’t keen on getting his photo taken so early in the morning, but I can’t really blame him. Even during an on “off-season” day there were still lots of people and lots of things to see. We kind of just picked a direction and went for it.

Josh and I started the day off going on Big Thunder Mountain. Phoebe was too short and Enzo decided it was too scary, so my Mom stood by with them while we got one ride out of our system and then focused on a little sight-seeing and heading toward Toon Town.

We were briefly distracted by the short line to Small World, so we figured it would be a really nice and easy first ride for the kiddos.  So… Phoebe loved it.  It wasn’t too fast and she loved looking at everything.  Enzo thought it was boring.  The rest of us feel like we lost 5 years of our lives in the ride that never freaking ends.  Just when you think you can’t take it anymore and are willing to throw yourself from the boat… it keeps going.  My only consolation is that it made Phoebe very happy.

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Mother’s Day Nod

I thought I’d take a look back at those very important moments that made me a mom…

39 Weeks with Enzo.  Huuuuuuge.

38 Weeks with Phoebe.  Seriously, I was enormous. No wonder people stared…

Little Enzo baby!

Little Phoebe baby!

I wish those first couple of months (or so) with both kids were easier and that I remembered them with great joy, but they were easily some of the most difficult of my life. Oh how I love both my babies, but postpartum depression and anxiety is no joke.

Motherhood is rarely all rainbows and sunshine, but thankfully the ups tend to cancel out the lows and I’m able to focus more on the moments that make me smile.  I am filled with gratitude every time one of them strokes my hair and tells me they like me a lot or tell me the wonderful gifts they wish to bestow upon me.  They know me really, really well too! Unicorns, jewelry, books… what more does a gal need?  Oh… maybe wine…  have a glass on me, Moms!

 

Through Their Eyes

Children are always watching and listening, which can be both good and bad. Definitely bad if by chance you happen to whack your head really hard and accidentally let slip something you don’t want them to repeat and they, of course, repeat it.  Granted, they have pretty selective hearing, but I digress.  There are days when they surprise me by just how much they really pay attention to what’s around them and see things rather than just looking.  Some days it’s a very good reminder to myself to slow down and SEE because there’s a difference.  Unfortunately I haven’t been very good about it lately, either.  Perhaps our upcoming trip will be a good opportunity to change that.  I’ve also been having fun trying to help the kids learn how to use a camera.  Their hands are so little they sometimes have a hard time, though.  Haha!  Time for more practice!  In the meantime, I haven’t done a post with pictures by Enzo, though I do have a lot more to scan.

We all have our favorite seats on the couch.  This is the view from his.

Hey Dad (and messy kitchen/dinning area).  I kind of wish that wall was an actual wall rather than a banister so you don’t have to view the backside of everything and cords and whatnot.

Some day all too soon this bag is going to be filled with actual schoolwork rather than just fun little projects from preschool.  I admit that sometimes I worry about him going to Kindergarten this fall…. will it be too soon?  Is he ready?  Do all parents stress this much over these kinds of things or do I just have extreme anxiety when it comes to this sort of thing?  All the more reason to spend more time teaching myself to breath and let the worry go.  I’ve been too “busy” or too “tired” or too “insert excuse here” lately, and self care isn’t something you should put off or ignore.

One small step…

Enzo is officially registered for Kindergarten. I have very mixed feelings on this matter, which is weird to me because I never felt like I would be “that” mom. Both kids have been in day care since they were 6 weeks old, and the transition to preschool was never a big deal because we still dropped them off at the same place every day. Maybe that’s why the thought of him going to Kindergarten makes me feel like my heart is suddenly in a vise.  It should be exciting, I know, but I worry about my boy and this big step into the unknown.

I’ve always had some anxiety along with my depression, but postpartum depression and anxiety were worse because suddenly there were these tiny little creatures I had helped create and was supposed to take care of and all of these ridiculous thoughts and emotions going through my brain all. the. time. Long story short, it’s better now, but the anxiety is more bothersome to me now because I’m not worried about myself, instead I’m thinking of every worst case scenario that involves my children and there are times when it’s hard to breathe and I have to hold back tears because I am so fearful for them.

Overcoming my fears of the unknown and inability to protect them from everything is a work in progress. Out of the past my own fears, traumas, failures and hurts will suddenly appear and I’m reminded of those things I would do anything to protect my own children from. But I can’t. I know this, and yet it doesn’t make it any easier.

I know that I cannot live in fear because that isn’t living. My life would be vastly different had I lived in a protective bubble and yet I survived it all and perhaps am better for it. I think it’s really been within the past 6 months that I’ve started taking more chances and have tried to do things that challenge my fears and have overall tried to have more trust and faith that everything works out the way it should… and really, it does. For the longest time we didn’t want to switch the kids day care because that’s what they’d (we’d) known since they were tiny babies. The idea of changing and leaving their friends was just not something I wanted to deal with until we were left with no choice. The result?  The kids are doing great in their new environment and we should have probably made the switch sooner.  They don’t have any close friends, yet, but those will come.

As we get ready for our highly sensitive boy to enter Kindergarten I have to remind myself to breathe and trust that he’ll be fine. We just need to give him the proper tools and that means he needs to see me handle fear and change and adversity with strength and optimism. More than anything I want my kids to grow up to be strong and confident and caring.  So, when he steps on that school bus for the first time all by himself, I will put a smile on my face and cheer him on as he embarks on his own new adventure and I will trust that he’ll be okay.