Friday, March 25, 2011

Another Week Gone...

Whoever said "It never rains in California" obviously lives too close to the Southern border.

This is my front porch! Notice the water
has invaded right up to the doorway?!?
Luckily, here at Sunshine SAHM we had a wonderful week! We got to visit friends, we found new ways to entertain ourselves, and... Mark walked!

Yep, he finally decided to take a few steps on Saturday. He was supporting himself with one hand on a box and I guess he really wanted to go see Daddy because he just let go of the box, took a step, and fell down. It was great! I was so glad that Daddy was home, because I was afraid he would do this very thing - decide to take his first steps with no prompting from us at all - and Daddy would be at work.

Unfortunately, mommy missed the very first step - but I saw the next three! Then Mark decided he'd had enough and was done for the night. Since then, he's taken quite a few more steps. I wouldn't say he's "walking" just yet, but he certainly will be soon. Yay for the little man! (No, I have no pictures. I promise to get some when he's a little better at the whole upright movement thing.)

Grace frequently gets bored with the half million toys we've managed to collect around the house. Unfortunately, some of the toys more appropriate for her age are completely inappropriate for Mark. They often fight over the Leap Pad - Grace likes to put the cartridges in and Mark likes to take them out and eat them. We have crafts, but the pieces are too small to risk assembling if Mark is around. Lately the "fun" toys have only come out when Mark goes down for a nap early. But this week... I remembered the play pen.

It's not for Mark. It's for Grace.

Pssst.... Mom, don't tell my friends I
play in a playpen okay?
I threw some rice and red beans into a bin, got some spoons, an egg carton, and some colanders and Grace had a blast! Putting her in the play pen kept the mess contained and kept Mark safe. Grace must have played in there for more than an hour. Fun, fun, fun!

Two kids, both safe, both playing. No one crying,
no one stealing toys, no worries. Happy, happy mamma.
Mark had fun too. He practiced climbing up onto the window seat to watch the world go by:

Hi everybody! This is my new favorite spot!
He also worked on his culinary skills:

I know I'm really good at this, but it
feels like something is missing...
Mommy and Mark stayed home to work on cleaning up the kitchen while Daddy and Grace went on their first "date" Wednesday night. Since it was raining, they went to a nearby mall and played at the indoor playground and shared a chocolate milkshake. When Grace got home, she ran into the house with a huge smile on her face and said "Hi Mommy!". Okay, not exactly earth shattering, but trust me - if you'd seen the look on her face, you'd know what a success date night had been. (The sugar rush from the chocolate milkshake probaby helped her enthusiasm a bit too.) Daddy also showed Grace how to play Angry Birds. Another addict in the making!

Oh no! Those birds sure are angry!
Is that why they always explode at the end?
I hope your week was sunny, even if the weather wasn't cooperating. Daddy's mom and dad flew to Southern California yesterday to meet Baby Aunny, and will come to visit us after a short stay down south. We're looking forward to spending time with them and visiting some new places. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Floor Solutions

I hate mopping floors. Today I realized it is not for lack of effort, but simply because I have been using the wrong tools. I have one of these:

Mine is not this festive. Maybe it should be.
And this:

My latest purchase. Apparently not my last.
Two of these:
Failed me miserably. And is missing the "automatic" button.

Was even worse. (I didn't know that was possible.)

And in moments of true desperation... sometimes this:
These, dear readers, are pot scrapers.
They do wonders - but you have to be awfully
close to the floor to use them.

The light dawned as my Swiffer effortlessly smeared the strawberry filling of a cereal bar across the linoleum. The broom had smashed the bar into the nooks and crannies of the vinyl just moments earlier. As I pulled out the pot scraper and went to work on fossilized banana bits, I worked out a plan. It's only $1,039:

Well, hello Jack! It's good to see you.
Look for it on an Amazon wishlist near you...
and I'm sure it's worth every penny.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Week Gone...

We sure did a lot this week! Mommy has been feeling pretty tired lately, and looking at all the pictures - now I know why! Two little ones sure keep you on your toes...

Uh, Mom? I don't think I've ever seen you on your toes...
Gracie gave mommy the salon treatment, and brushed her hair out (actually, she channeled the 80's and ratted mommy's hair, but that's OK).

You look Fah-bu-lous!
Gracie got to stay overnight at Grandma and Papa's house. All week long Grace has been saying "Dee Dee Papa, Dee Dee Papa. Dee Dee Papa Scheeping (sleeping)." I guess she thinks they must be sleeping if they aren't playing with her!

Dee Dee Hawse! Dee Dee Hawse! (Our motto for the day.)
The forecast called for five straight days of rain at the end of the week, so we decided to let the kids play outside while they still could. Mark got his first ride in the wagon!

Hey Dad! Let's go to Dee Dee's House!
Mark also ate his first meal sans baby food. He loved it.
This stuff is great!

Hello! Is there any more in there???
Grace also had ravioli - she likes it too.

Keeping it on the spoon is a little tricky.

Putting the spoon on my head is easy though!
(Thank goodness ravioli is always followed by a bath.)
Grace discovered Thomas the Train, and was mesmerized by the show.
Do you know why she's not sitting on her
Thomas Engine? I don't either.

Child Mesmerized. Television is an amazing babysitter.
Both kids also had fun with the really expensive toys we buy to keep them entertained:
Wow! Look at the awesome box mom bought us!

Check the  picture above once more...
see the little fingers poking through the box? ;)
Hope your week was fun too! No matter how messy things may get, just remember you can always throw the mess makers in a box somewhere. They'll love it!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

It's Okay Tuesday!

Hey! It's Okay Tuesday! Amber over at Airing My Dirty Laundry: One Sock At A Time has a regular blog post where she lists things that are okay. She's invited other bloggers to join, and today I've decided to participate.

So, in no particular order... here are some things that are okay:

To wonder why your skillet is in your two year old's closet. Not wonder how, but why.

To wish the Kings and Queens in Disney had raised this last generation of princesses to wear more clothing. If it's the "Magic" Kingdom, then can't they combat global warming more effectively?

To wish that you had some time away from your kids. Like the next eighteen years.

To wonder if Raley’s is embarrassed when the sale flyers come out and their sales are more expensive than everyone else’s regular prices.

To wish time didn't go by so quickly, even when you wish time would go by more quickly.

Obligatory adorable picture.
Grace had just turned one. *sniff*
To wish you had a nanny. And a cook. And a gardener.

To wonder if anyone else finds themselves eating the last chocolate chip - and then realize not a single one from that bag ever made it into a recipe.

To find the Cosby Show much funnier now that you’re a parent too.

To wonder if you’ve always had to repeat yourself.

To wonder if you’ve always had to repeat yourself.

To eat another brownie because you feel guilty about not exercising.

To wish your car had a “self-clean” button.

Oooohhhh. This is fun. I might have to do this more often. But it might not always be on a Tuesday. You know what? That's okay too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another Week Gone...

On Monday, I introduced Aunny to my readers. By Friday, I was wondering why anyone would want to have a child, much less two! On Thursday night, Robert sat next to me on the couch. We were both exhausted. Robert said, and I quote: "Next time we have kids, let's not have them so close together." Amen.

Is it just me, or do we seem to be on a "good week, bad week" schedule? I feel as though every time I'm on an upswing, and feel like we're finally getting a handle on things around the house, the kids decide to throw me for a loop. One thing I'm learning: unlike working a desk job, being a SAHM is a new adventure every week. Because of the chaos of this week, I have very few pictures. This may be a good thing.

Grace was the most trying for me this week. She has been waking up early every day. This makes for one tired mama. Yesterday, Grace woke up at 5:30. I usually try to leave her in bed until seven... but there was going to be none of that based on the "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" that repetitiously came from her bedroom. So, I stumbled down the hall before she woke up her brother, changed her diaper, and brought her into bed with us in the off chance she'd get snuggly warm and go to sleep.

After much wiggling, she seemed to finally settle in. For whatever reason, she was most comfortable with her elbow securely nestled into my eye socket... but she was quiet. And still. So I let her be. Unfortunately, that lasted about ten minutes. Next, she climbed right on top of me, and snuggled her head into my collar bone. Fine. Would have been even better if her hair wasn't tickling my nose, but fine. Go. To. Sleep. Nope!

Next she turned over and decided to rest right between my legs, her head resting on my thigh. Great. Fine. Sleep. Before I knew it, she had slithered all the way down off the bed and announced "Buzz Woody!". It was six o'clock. She obviously wasn't going to fall back asleep. Neither was I. Off we went, to watch Toy Story. And that was just the beginning.

On the one hand, she is growing and learning so quickly it is amazing. On the other hand, it's been too quick for me to even keep up. She's really getting good at utilizing different objects (usually chairs) to explore and discover. I found that she had brought a chair up to the television so she could open the DVD player and put two DVDs in. She has learned to bring a chair up to the bookcase to try and climb to reach the small toys that she can play with only when Mark is sleeping. She has learned to move a chair over to my desk to reach the scissors. I found her heading into the living room with dolly in one hand and the scissors in the other. Luckily, I have no idea if she had plans for being a hairdresser or serial killer. I have learned to move fast when I hear a chair moving.

She has also taken her diaper off again and played in the contents. This time it required a steam cleaner and multiple surface wipes. Did I mention this was after she had gone into her brother's room and woken him up? She has learned to press every single one of my buttons. I didn't know I had so many.

I swear, I'm ready to use packing tape to secure her diaper before nap time. Potty training has been one of the strangest experiences for me. At the moment, my daughter will use the potty with no fear, no reservations, and has no accidents when we're out in public. So what's the problem? She will only go when she wants to (or when we're out and about and there are new bathrooms to be seen). At home, she will ask to use the potty when it serves her purposes. Don't want to finish your dinner? Ask to go potty. Don't want to go to bed? Ask to go potty. Don't want to clean the play room? Ask to go potty. And she goes - every time. But she won't go without some sort of inner motivation. Stinker.

If you're happy and you know it, momma must be
too tired to keep the spoon and bowl from you.
(Probably because your sister woke up before dawn.)
Mark is a master at making messes. He has recently begun to get really angry when I feed him. Mostly because he wants to feed himself. The problem, of course, is that he can't feed himself. Try telling him that. He takes the spoon, bangs it inside the bowl, and then holds the spoon up in his best impression of the Statue of Liberty. That's it. He has never - not once - brought that spoon to his mouth. He still hasn't walked either. Stinker.

With Liberty and Justice for ALL!
If you've got some stinkers on your hands this week, hopefully you didn't need a steam vac to help you out. In spite of the bad days and the difficulties, I'm always amazed to realize that I don't want to give up being a stay at home mom. There are certainly some challenges that come with raising your kids, but there are some fun moments too. I couldn't tell you what they are at the moment... but I know they are. Until next week...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrate! Celebrate!

If you've read my "Meet the Mom" page, you know that my brother and sister-in-law have been busy building a new little DeSanto for the family. I'm am very, very excited to announce that she has arrived! Annika Grace DeSanto joined our family yesterday, and everyone is healthy and happy.

Welcome to the world little one.
Your Auntie can't wait to meet you!
It is amazing to me how excited our household is over another little one coming into the world. Now that I'm a parent, the impact of this new little life is dramatically clearer.

In just six months, this tiny girl will be sitting up, laughing, and maybe even trying out food for the first time. In a year, she'll be saying "Mama" and "Dada" and maybe even walking. I know, because my little boy is 11 months old today. He's growing up way too fast.

In two years, this little angel will have just enjoyed Christmas - and really understood what presents are! She'll be walking, and talking, and maybe even have fallen in love with Buzz Lightyear. Or Elmo. I know, because my little girl has already passed the two year mark. She's growing up way too fast.

Welcome to the family Aunny. Your family is so excited to finally have you here, and we can't wait to meet you in person!

The second celebrate in today's title is for Robert and I. Eight years ago I walked down the aisle of a small church, built of stone over a hundred years ago. The church had wooden pews, a bell tower, and the original, beautiful stained glass windows. Our friends and family watched as we said our vows, and they all stood and promised to support our union. They've kept their end of the bargain, and we've kept ours. I can't believe this November will mark the tenth year of our being together!

Happy Anniversary Honey
I love you very much.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Another Week Gone...

Remember those pictures of Mark's first steps I promised last week? Well, it didn't happen. He will stand on his own for upwards of five seconds. He'll walk beside me down the hall, holding just my index finger. But he won't take his first steps. Maybe he's saving them for something really great. Or maybe he just doesn't want to perform on command.

I don't perform on demand.
So stick that in your pipe and smoke it!
Mark did very clearly say "no, no, no" in mimic to my telling him not to touch the fireplace. Guess I'm doing my job. I just hope he learns to walk before he learns to tell me "no" in response to something I've requested.

We got to play outside twice this week, which is always fun for the kids. Grace finally learned that when she pushes her feet on bike pedals, the bike moves! (Sometimes forward, sometimes backward - she learned that too.)

Whoa. I'm not even touching the ground!

Now she only has to use the Flinstones method when she's in her car with Duck.
Or she can just push.

C'mon Duck! Let's cruise!
Duck, next time you have to push!
Grace loves to play in the dirt. An entire backyard of grass and she finds the bare dirt spot to dig her fingers into. Imagine her delight when she found that mommy keeps dirt INSIDE the house too!!!

Imagine my delight at finding her delight! Sigh.

The plant was on the counter. I had just watered it.

Grace decided to pull it back into the sink and drown it.
As it turns out, Mark likes dirt too.
Girls are so inefficient. Why use your fingers when
you can scoop the dirt into your face?
We also discovered that when you combine a blanket and a few chairs, you get a fort:

Welcome to Gracie's! Come on in...
Well, Gracie and I discovered. Mark is still working it all out:

I don't get it. Can we go back outside and find more dirt?
The above picture only serves to remind me that although we may not be going out in public, people might still see my children. So the bumblebee pants with the red, gray and blue cars shirt? Bad idea.

The kids wore me out this week, but we really enjoyed them. Mark is beginning to get so much more personality. I sometimes think their personalities go in growth spurts just like the rest of them. Mark is copying sounds, motions and even emotions. I made Grace stand in the corner today and he crawled up and saw her crying and he started to cry too. It was cute to see him so sympathetic. (Grace didn't think so, but she was in the corner because she had hit Mark over the head with a wooden knife. Funny, that didn't make him cry. I'm afraid he may be getting used to it.)

Grace is also growing emotionally. She finally told me "I love you" (after some prompting from Daddy) and she is beginning to speak in more complete sentences, using the small filler words. One of her favorite lines is "I got it, I got it, I got it!" Usually in reference to zipping up her own pajamas or coat or whatnot. Her latest trick is to move chairs all over the house to help her reach the scissors on my desk, the gas fireplace knob, the mini blind cords, the plant on the kitchen counter, the water faucet above the plant...

If your kids tired you out this week, you're in good company. Hopefully we'll all continue to see more nice spring weather so we can send them outside to get all their energy out. Even if they do happen to eat some dirt along the way.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Excuse Me, But That's Not Chocolate.

Every seasoned parent likes to share sordid stories of what their kids did "when ours were the age yours are now". Why? Why do you do this? Why do you tell us these things?
We cannot take our children back and demand a refund. There is no buyer's remorse or lemon law. Finders, keepers.

Maybe other parents enjoy hearing these tales. Certainly the parents telling the stories chuckle and even laugh at their prior experiences. I sometimes chuckle. I have even been known to laugh. Mostly, I cover my ears and begin chanting "la, la, la, la" when these stories begin. I don't know how she does it, but Grace somehow climbs into my brain, retrieves these morsels of information, and uses them like a road map to each new adventure.

Enter the next new adventure:

That is an empty Pull-Up. And by empty,
I don't mean there is no child in it.

Thankfully, the mess covered a fairly small area.
Considering my laundry handicap however, this was a major event.
NO. That is not chocolate. It's exactly what it looks like. Why did a take a picture? So I wouldn't lose my mind. I can look back and think, I survived.

That, and I'm amassing photos for Grace's 16th birthday party.

If you are a parent, you could tell this story. So I won't. I will tell you that this photo was sent to my husband last Friday, with the caption "No matter how crappy your day was, trust me. Mine was crappier."