Bring it on!

I am planning on a busy weekend spent mostly outside thanks to a good forecast.  I bought a deal online for some plants from a nursery nearby, so we’ll be heading there, but also will have to clean up the spots where our new purchases will be going. One area is completely overgrown with chives and I’m thinking a smaller lilac bush would be perfect there.  The kids will most likely be content to help us for about 10 minutes before they’re bored, but they love being outside and will find plenty to occupy their time.

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With luck we’ll be able to eat outside tomorrow night, but we’ll see. I’m planning on homemade pizza and ice cream because it is time to bust out the ice cream maker!  Then we just have to all decide on a flavor, which will mostly depend on what we have on hand.

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Then there’s camping prep to do!  I want to try and pare down what we bring with us, but we enjoy a certain amount of comfort when we camp so I’m not sure we’ll be able to leave out too much. One day we may just have to get a little camper.  In the meantime, our giant tent is good for when it’s buggy outside so that way there is plenty of room to still have fun without being bitten to death. I’m hopeful, though, that this year it won’t be an issue. So far the mosquitoes haven’t been bad at all and considering we’ll be headed north, I think we’ll be okay.  And by north, I mean very north. I almost wish I had a passport since we’ll be so close to Canada. Haha!

Camping Location

I’m hopeful it will be a good trip considering the drive, but it wouldn’t be the first time we packed up early if it just ends up not being enjoyable. With luck we’ll see some wildlife and there are plenty of trails to walk on and, worst case, a town close by where there’s a park if we can’t exhaust the kids near the campground. Absolute worst case, I’m not against slipping them a bit of melatonin (we use only the amount and type the doctor recommended and not regularly – usually just for Enzo when he’s having an especially hard time shutting down).  We are also not completely against letting them wind down with a show on our portable DVD player, especially if it means letting the campers around us also get some peace and quiet in the evening.

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Sure, they look sweet and innocent, but the sibling squabbles started up around the same time Miss Phoebe entered the stereotypical “terrible” part of the twos. She knows precisely which buttons to push with her brother and will do so gleefully when there isn’t something else to occupy her time. I’m trying to explain to Enzo that it’s best to just ignore her when she’s being a stinker, but he thinks he should get the last word since he is the eldest. He has fully stepped into his roll as the bossy older brother. Some days it’s really kind of hysterical listening to the two of them whether it be when they’re playing nicely together or bickering over the most ridiculous things.

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Happy weekend, all!

Let’s wrap it up!

Bring on the weekend!  We’re in for a busy one, but hopefully we’ll get some rest and relaxation in as well.  Tomorrow morning Enzo and I are going to his early childhood screening thing and then probably will do some grocery shopping since he has been chowing down on strawberries and we’re about out. Then on Sunday a friend is turning 4, so the kids are looking forward to that party as well.

I don’t expect to learn much at his screening simply because we know he’s on track… he’s smart and his eyesight and hearing seem to be good, so… I guess we’ll see. Day care thinks we need to mention how active he is and that his listening skills aren’t always the best, but at that age aren’t most kids that way?  Sure, his tantrums might be a little intense, but he’s just an emotional guy.  With age he’ll learn how to handle his emotions as long as we help him learn how, so if anything we need to learn how to do what’s best for him.

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We try not to spend too much time with video games and TV, but the kid has a knack for it. He learns quickly and really enjoys it.  Sometimes it surprises me just how quickly he picks some of this stuff up and I have to ask him how to do something. He’s also been working a lot on sounding out letters and learning how to read and all that good stuff. We do try to make sure he’s active too.  As for Phoebe… well…

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While Enzo might be more like me in personality, Phoebe is my spirit creature. We like to curl up and read or watch movies and too much TV doesn’t affect Phoebe the way it does Enzo.  Granted, she is entering the sassy twos right now,  and it’s sometimes hysterical to see how Enzo handles her random and ridiculous meltdowns. He already has the eye-roll and heavy sigh down.  Ha ha.  As they both get bigger I find myself trying to hang onto their “babyhood” as long as possible welcoming the snuggles whenever I can and probably letting them getting away with more than they should since I’m a sucker for dimples and toothy grins.  They know it too.

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A Room of One’s Own

I’m grateful that our house has three bedrooms upstairs and all close to each other. It’s really the perfect setup to have with small children, especially our two children. While they both get along fantastically they have two very distinct personalities and I think having them share a room would be difficult.  We tried briefly months ago, but it was kind of a nightmare, and even now if we all end up in the same room bedtime takes a bit longer.  They feed off of each other’s energy and before you know it they’re poking at each other, tickling each other and giggling or stealing each other’s lovies and fussing – anything but sleeping.  So, separate rooms it is.

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It’s been a while since we got Phoebe her big girl bed, and she continues to love it. While Enzo still prefers to crawl into our bed in the middle of the night, she prefers to stay in her bed, though there are nights when she insists I lay down with her at 2:00am and then generally wake up between 4 and 5 when Vega comes in to vigorously lick my face.

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Since her bed is much bigger than her crib we had to move a few things around and I brought a shelf up from my office to give her more room for toys and books.  I really need to do another purging of both kids’ rooms and ideally make space in their closets for some storage in there for the larger toys that don’t seem to have a place.

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Phoebe lucked out and ended up with the brightest and coziest of the bedrooms. I kind of want a set of her twinkle lights in our room – they’re magical and change colors and I’m a little jealous of the flannel unicorn sheets she has on her bed now.  How could they not make them in a King size??

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I really wish so many toys weren’t such awkward sizes. I confess I struggle finding places for all of them or ways to keep them organized nicely. There never seems to be the perfect bin or solution.

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Anyhoo, its funny how a house seems to be a constant work in progress what with everyone’s changing moods and preferences.  There is always something to rearrange or alter completely. I think once it warms up we’ll do another big purge and really narrow down the things we all like and want to hang onto, but finally get rid of the things we’ve held onto for no particular reason except for that we’ve just always had them.

Oh, the Randomness of Kids…

Sometimes it amazes me how up and down and all over the place small children can be. Their moods can go from happy to sad to mad to silly and back again all in a matter of minutes.  What I really love, though, are the random things that they’ll bring up – often out of nowhere.

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So, when Enzo suddenly asked for a trumpet one day, I was surprised, but not entirely.  Apparently he needed a trumpet like Quincy (from Little Einsteins), so I told him I’d see what I could find. Part of me figured he’d forget after a day or two, but when he asked the next day if I was going to the store to get him a trumpet, I realized he wasn’t going to let this one go.  Hooray for Amazon and Prime shipping.

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He was ridiculously excited when his trumpet showed up and after testing it out inside the house announced that he needed to take his trumpet outside, which is what we did.  We really don’t need any excuses to get out on a nice day, but he very happily ran around tooting his horn.  He gets very serious when playing it and while it’s still early to see what kind of interests will stick with him as he gets older, I wouldn’t be too surprised if music was one of them.

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Both kids are very into music, which I love.  Lately both kids have been enjoying dance parties in the kitchen and it’s a nice alternative to them asking for TV, so even if it means listening to lots of Disney tunes and The Gummy Bear song, I’ll take it.  With luck their musical taste will change with time, right?

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Camping: Part 2

Paul Bunyan Land is one of those kind of over-priced, small-town amusement parks that you go to because it’s random and there isn’t a whole lot else to do.  It’s kind of cheesy in a fun way, really only has a handful of rides for kids (most of which aren’t running all the time), a petting zoo and some wacky dioramas.  It also has This Old Village, which is kind of fun, but we didn’t have time for it with the kids.   Right away Enzo saw a few rides that he wanted to go on, and a few more that he stared at for a while, but said, “Maybe next time when I’m bigger.”

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Phoebe was fairly nervous and since they wouldn’t allow parents on the rides with small kids, we took a gamble putting her on a ride alone with Enzo after previous experiences.  She held on for dear life, but I think she was okay because her big brother was next to her having a blast.  They both loved the train (of course) and the boat was also a big hit, which sort of surprised me. I figured Phoebe would panic when the ride operator picked her up and plopped her in the boat rather than me, but she thoroughly enjoyed it.

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