Three

It’s hard to believe that Damien has been in our lives for three years. I can’t believe that the little teeny baby – or even further back, the two lines on a pregnancy test – that inspired this whole blog is now a little boy with a distinct personality, a wild imagination, and a big heart. Dan and I just were reflecting that at this time last year we took note when Damien spoke in a complete sentence. This year, he speaks like a tiny adult (albeit one with a mild speech impediment. I love the traces of his toddler talk and will be sad when they disappear.)

His birthday was a fun day for all of us. This week he is slowly transitioning to the three-year-old room (which is actually not a room, as the three and four groups have the run of the whole preschool while the babies and twos are gated off) so he went to school on his birthday and all through the week. (Also, like I learned from his last preschool, as much as I’d like to spend extra time with him I will live to regret changing his routine any more than possible. Plus I can get a little bit done with only one kid in the house that I can’t get done with two.)

Damien woke up to a decorated door and his first present to open – a birthday tshirt from Old Navy (which, I discovered, was an amazing buy because all day people would say “oh, it’s your birthday? How old are you?” and Damien wouldn’t have to say anything, which was good, because he probably wasn’t going to.) He immediately put his shirt on and grabbed a balloon from the door and started batting it around.

PhotoGrid_1418749014266I brought him to school and dropoff wasn’t too painful; I promised to see him at snacktime with cupcakes, which I’m sure helped.

Le cupcakes - they are tiny (at the preschool director's request) and blue (at the birthday boy's request.) Damien and I decorated them together (I took frosting, he started sprinkles and I evened them out because OCD.)

Le cupcakes – they are tiny (at the preschool director’s request) and blue (at the birthday boy’s request.) Damien and I decorated them together (I took frosting, he started sprinkles and I evened them out because OCD.)

I sent a special birthday-themed lunch with Damien:

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That’s cheddar cheese (cut with a small 3-shaped cookie cutter), PB&J sandwiches (cut with large D and 3 cookie cutters), chocolate milk, and banana chips/raisins. I tried to think of a birthday-themed fruit or veggie but couldn’t come up with anything, so I defaulted to a known favorite. Also, I drew hearts on the chocolate milk as a ‘love note’ since he couldn’t read an actual note. :)

During the day Dan and I got stuff done and prepared to leave straight from Damien’s preschool. We went to pick him up fifteen minutes early, so we could sing to him and eat cupcakes with his class. Birthday boy was excited to see us and went straight to the inside tables and sat down (it was raining, otherwise we’d be at the outside picnic tables) but he handled the rest of the birthday festivities with his traditional stoicism (in other words, if it seems like it should be exciting, it’s actually Serious Business. Then he’ll talk about how much fun he had for days afterward, even though in all the pictures he won’t crack a smile.)

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From the preschool we drove straight to the nearest Chuck E. Cheese for Damien’s promised birthday dinner. It was about an hour away and perhaps would have been quicker but it was raining sooo hard I could barely see. On the trip over I was second-guessing my decision to take him to another town for his birthday, but as it turns out we had a great time and it was totally worth it. The best part was my parents were able to get away from the afternoon and meet us, since the Chuck E. Cheese was about halfway between our two houses.

Bapa, Mimi, and boys!

Bapa, Mimi, and boys!

It had been many a year since I set foot in a Chuck E. Cheese – I think the last time I was there was for Kassi’s birthday sometime in elementary school, in 2003 or earlier. I was surprised that in this particular location at least, the place was classed up – the place was clean, neat, and organized, the games were upgraded (there weren’t as many rides and there was no playground at all though, which was a bit disappointing), and the menu was much larger (the salad bar? Amazing.) The semi-creepy animatronics remained, but they lent a bit of fun nostalgia to the evening, and no one was scarred for life or even scared at all. :)

IMG_20141216_191626297The pizza package I bought came with drinks and tokens. It was just enough for one three-year-old kid to run around and play basically to his heart’s desire, while his parents stole a few tokens for an epic Guitar Hero battle (we actually played co-op because Dan is waaaay better than me. It was really fun; I miss Guitar Hero! And we totally beat the pants off all the ten-year-olds playing, haha.)

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Damien playing… something.

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Rowen & Mama

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Guitar Hero – bringing you back to 2006! (Was it 2006? I have no idea. Time has no meaning to me anymore. I’m officially old.)

Did I mention that Dan and I had fun? Because we totally did. We might have had as much fun as the birthday boy.

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I grew another little me, made out of just legs.

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This picture makes me laugh every time.

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Taking the picture from an angle didn’t really work… I was trying to avoid being in the picture but instead I’m just a swirly blob with feet.

We also sat down at our table (which was held down by our jackets and a (small) pile of presents – there weren’t very many people there so it’s not like people were clamoring for our spot) and ate at some point. My verdict: pizza okay (but actually better than I remember it), salad bar amazing (they had sooo many options for everything! It’s way better than the college cafeteria salad bar I occasionally subject myself to.) Dan thought the pizza was crappy but he’s eaten much worse (read: on sale frozen pizzas that are on sale for a reason) so I don’t know why he was complaining.

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We were sitting in a photo booth that distorted your faces, waiting for our print. This one came out a lot better than the one we paid for, haha.

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Nursing On the Go: Chuck E Cheese Edition. (I should make a collage of these pics at the end of the year. Oh, the joys of being the second child.)

Damien opened his presents before we went home. Most of his present-opening would take place at his actual birthday party, scheduled for the Sunday after his birthday, but we wanted him to have something to open on the actual day so we brought them. I didn’t take a picture of the wrapped presents (which is too bad; they were cute) but here is Damien with his favorite present:

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His smile was SO BIG. He saw this in the store and played with it adorably for quite a while, which is when I decided it was going on either his Christmas or birthday list.

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Time for an impromptu concert!

(We also got him a few other things but none received this reaction. They were more appreciated at home though.)

And, last but not least, Damien cashed in his tickets for exciting (cheap and crappy) prizes and met Mr. Chuck E. himself.

Many, many photos were taken before Dan got a nonblurry one with Damien smiling. But, here it is!

Many, many photos were taken before Dan got a nonblurry one with Damien smiling. But, here it is! (Shh, it counts as a smile, just a very small one.)


2014 Year in Review

(as of writing this I still have a bunch of posts to write from November and December… But, I am writing this on real-life-actual-New Year’s Eve, so that has to count for something.) (Not that I published it then… but at least I started it!)

January:
Little scrunched up baby!

February:

Breakfast time! (Ripley is already in position for fallen food.)

March:

If I wasn't already pregnant, this would make me want another baby!

April:

easter

May:

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June:

Sitting on one of those random concrete balls in front of Target

July:

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August:

Tummy time is more fun with brother entertainment

September:

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  • Memorial Day weekend – we went with my parents to a car race (Rowen’s first and the first that Damien remembers) – we also took a shopping trip to Vacaville where Damien first got lost in the mall (cue mom panic) and then had a great time playing and riding a train (cue happy kiddo)
  • Damien started preschool
  • Dan and I re-started college (I wrote about the first day and linked to it on Damien’s line… That pretty much represented the entire quarter, which was the hardest thing ever and I’m still kind of amazed we made it through in one piece)
  • Rowen’s first babysitter (that wasn’t family)
  • Rowen turned two months old
  • We went to the last Giants game of the season – Rowen’s first out-of-utero baseball game. Damien got to run the bases! :)

October:

The cutest pumpkin in the patch!

  • Kaeli & Jay got married! It was beautiful and romantic and fun and exhausting. :) Damien was the ringbearer and I was joint Maid (technically Matron) of Honor with Kassi.
  • Went to Damien’s preschool Fall Festival
  • Dan, Rowen, and I went to Game 4 of the World Series!
  • Rowen turned three months old
  • Halloween! Both boys were pumpkins and had a great time trick-or-treating in town.

November:

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  • I passed my second TPA – two more before I’m a certified teacher! (Plus more classes, another teaching lab, and a quarter of student teaching. Yeah, there’s a lot to do still, but this still felt like an accomplishment.)
  • Celebrated an early Thanksgiving at Dan’s dad & stepmom’s house
  • First big road trip with both boys – we drove up to Southern Oregon to have an early Thanksgiving with my family at my grandparents’ house, then we went to Dan’s mom’s house for a late Thanksgiving
  • Took the boys to ScienceWorks in Ashland
  • Rowen turned four months old

December:

I’m still working on the posts for this month… Hopefully they’ll be up soon and I’ll link to them!

  • We attended Damien’s preschool Christmas program (which was the cutest thing ever)
  • Damien turned three! We celebrated with mini cupcakes at his preschool, and dinner at Chuck E. Cheese with my parents.
  • Damien’s train party was held in  Sacramento – we ate pizza, went to the train museum, and all around had a great time!
  • Visited snow! Damien was excited; Rowen, unimpressed.
  • Celebrated five Christmases (one at home, one with my family, one with Dan’s mom & family, one with Dan’s dad & family, and one with Dan’s stepmom and brother) (Dan has like seven parents, which makes everything complicated, haha)
  • Rowen turned five months old
  • We moved Rowen into the study, giving him more of a nursery and giving Damien a bigger play space in his room
  • We celebrated a very exciting (ha, ha) (actually it was nice, albeit quiet) New Year’s!

I have to say, this past year has challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before. On more than one occasion I thought (or said) (or screamed) “I can’t do this”, and yet somehow I – we – did anyway. I’ve been in survival mode for almost half the year (and definitely not feeling normal before that) and yet here at the end I finally like I’m starting to come out of it. So many great things happened in 2014, most importantly the birth of my amazing little guy, but it was also a really, really tough year. I know 2015 will also be tough, but I’m hoping and praying I can at least feel like myself and enjoy life amidst the chaos. That’s pretty much my one and only resolution for this next year.


Preschool Fall Festival

Sunday, the day after our World Series game adventure, was Damien’s preschool fall festival. We went to it last year, so it was fun to compare how much more comfortable he was with everyone once he actually attended the school. My parents were both still in town and able to go – Damien was very excited to show them his school, especially the playground.

Both Damien and Rowen started out wearing their costumes, though Damien didn’t make it very long before he wanted to take his off. (To his credit, it is a little bulky.) I at least got a few pictures outside, before we went in:

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When we were talking about costumes back in September, Damien insisted he wanted to be a pumpkin. I showed him lots of pictures of other costumes on the internet but he would not budge. It’s difficult to find a pumpkin costume in a toddler size (they’re all baby-sized) but I managed to find one on Amazon that is very cute and looks nice. The day it arrived in the mail, Damien announced “I want to be a firefighter!” Sorry kid, that ship has sailed. Rowen’s ‘costume’ is actually just a jumper with a pumpkin face on it from Walmart, although it did come with a ‘pumpkin’ hat. I didn’t find any costumes smaller than 12 months so I decided it was good enough, and he looks cute in it. Oh, and I found a cheap pumpkin faced tshirt for myself so I can be pumpkin-y with them. (Dan refused to play. Well, I never actually found a men’s shirt, although I could easily make one, but he wouldn’t wear it even if I did.)

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Damien’s favorite place on the playground is the playhouse, which during the fall festival was the cookie decorating station, so he decorated several cookies just to get to hang out in there. He also liked playing in the sandbox, jumping on the water pillow (which is actually a water bed mattress), and playing in the rented bounce house (a little one for the under five set.) Last year Damien was always in danger of being trampled in bounce houses; this year I have to remind him to be careful so that he doesn’t do the trampling! (He was fairly good around smaller kids, which I appreciate, but I’m still a worried mom keeping a close eye on them.) He participated in exactly one craft and then was pretty much ready to go, so we did.

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Damien’s chair, attached to the tiny table

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Damien’s coat hook – I hung up his Halloween costume when he got tired of it :) (I erased the other kids’ names on the computer; they’re not normally blank like that)

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He didn’t want to stop snacking to take pictures, haha

For fun, here are some comparison pictures from the fall festival this year and last year. It really makes it look like Damien has grown up! I feel like he still had that baby look last year, but now he’s all little boy – still adorable, but there is no baby left. *sniff*

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Tiny Zoo + Bridal Shower

Lo on many weeks ago (three of them), when Rowen was just a wee lad (four weeks old), we took the trek to my parents’ house for my sister’s bridal shower. (Well, the shower was actually at her inlaws’ house, but the original trek was to my parents’.) I knew I wanted to be to Kaeli’s shower nice and early with lots of time to spare, so I decided to go up the day before, and I dragged my whole family along with me, even the dog (mostly because we can’t leave alone overnight.) We decided to have some fun on the way and stop at a combination animal sanctuary/zoo in Fulsom.

We decided to save money and take the Prius, but we were SO crammed in there that Ripley had to ride at my feet... You can see she didn't really mind!

We decided to save money and take the Prius, but we were SO crammed in there that Ripley had to ride at my feet… You can see she didn’t really mind!

Unfortunately I wasn’t thinking ahead (still in the newborn fog no doubt) and didn’t give us enough time to drop Ripley off at my parents’ house (a half hour outside Fulsom) and then come back before the zoo closed in the afternoon. My original backup plan was to park in the shade and leave her in the car for our short visit (with water, windows down, and regular checks), but of course the weather went from 70s to 90s as soon as it sensed my thoughts and that plan went out the window. So instead Dan walked around the park with Ripley while I pushed Damien and Rowen around the zoo in their stroller. Kassi drove out to meet us so at least I had some nonbabien companionship.

Damien isn't as big as a bear...

Damien isn’t as big as a bear…

The Fulsom Zoo is really cute and little. The exhibits are set up really well, but unfortunately the heat (and the time – it was late afternoon) drove all the animals inside so we didn’t see very many of them. I felt bad because I promised Damien a trip to the zoo and it turned out to be such a bummer, with hardly any animals and Dad doing laps around the park outside. Oh well… I think Damien had fun anyway. We did get to see some really cool animals, including a wolf (and his wolf/dog hybrid friend), a mountain lion, several bears (holy crap, bears are huge up close!), and lots of birds (owls, hawks, eagles, crows, and parrots.) Oh, and there was a feral cat exhibit, which was pretty cute (and smart – I mean, what else are you going to do with feral cats? I used to petsit for people who set up a feral cat hangout in the back part of their backyard, and that was pretty cool too.)

Bear family!

Bear family!

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Aannd this is what Rowen was doing. (This and sleeping.)

After we went through the zoo we met up with Dan by the train, in a slightly different part of the park. Dan, Rowen, Ripley, and I watched Damien and Kassi go for a train ride, then we all headed back to my parents’ house.

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Rowen and Dan don’t seem that interested in trains

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Train ridin’ with Auntie Kassi

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Checking out the caboose (or ‘caboosey’ as he calls it – thanks Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)

We hung out at my parents’ house until they returned from a school activity, then the female portion (and Rowen) began shower planning. It involved several stores, printing, cooking, and staying up until 3am. Poor Dan was martyred again as the guest bedroom doubles as the office, so he couldn’t go to sleep until we were done printing… and Kassi had to print all the shower games, plus I had to print labels for the food.

The next day we woke up early and I was greeted with a bunch of texts wondering if I was okay. I had no idea what that was about, so I consulted the internet and discovered that we’d missed a 6.0 earthquake in the Napa Valley. Reading what other people from our town said on Facebook, I determined that our house was probably just fine (it was; there was nasty sediment in the water knocked off the pipes for about a week so we had to drink bottled water, but our belongings/house was fine) but it was still odd to not be there and see to make sure. My mom drove Kassi, Rowen, and me to Kaeli’s inlaws’ house up in the mountains, and we listened to news coverage about the earthquake for as long as we had reception. It took a little more than an hour to get there, but the scenery was absolutely gorgeous! If I ever head out that way again I’m taking a camera and stopping along the way.

We met Kaeli’s future mother and father in law, along with her sisters-in-law (I had previously met one of them; we were both pregnant and trying on bridesmaids dresses a few months ago) and they seem like a really awesome family to be marrying into. Kaeli’s other bridesmaids were also there decorating and making/bringing delicious food. I was so impressed with what everyone did; it made Dan’s and my work on the invitations seem kind of paltry… Sadly my phone was so dead it took thirty minutes of charging to even get it to power on (there’s no reception up in the mountains, and phones run down their batteries trying to function at all) so I didn’t get pictures. If I ever get some I’ll post them, even if it’s super late, because of how cute everything was.

I hope Kaeli enjoyed her shower; I know I had a lot of fun. The food everyone brought was delicious (and even the stuff I made turned out pretty good, which I was semi-terrified about) and I had fun talking to everyone there and introducing them to Rowen. There were actually three other babies there – a boy a month older than Rowen, another boy (Kaeli’s sister-in-law’s son) two months older, and our cousin’s daughter who was eight months old. The best part was when I was surprised to see my cousin and dear friend Daylene there – she lives in Australia with her husband and I knew she was in the states for a bit, but I didn’t know she was spending part of her precious family time traveling to the middle of nowhere to see us. Rowen got lots of Daylene-cuddles, and actually was perfectly happy being cuddled by pretty much everyone there (except when he was hungry and then suddenly Mom is irreplaceable, haha.) I’m sure it’s stressful for Kaeli to think of how soon the wedding is happening, but after the fun I had at the shower I’m excited for the wedding, especially because even more family is going to be there! (And I’ll actually take pictures then too.) (And if I don’t, a professional photographer will do it for me.)


July 4 + Baby Sprinkle

(I just realized I never posted this! Oops! Well, here’s a flashback to over a month ago…)

I had a Grand Plan for the Fourth of July weekend. On Thursday, we were going to leave right after my mom’s class/Damien’s swim lesson/Dan’s work and drive to my parents’ new house. We would then go visit my sister Kassi at summer camp and watch the rodeo (she’s a counselor at Cowboy Camp so it’s kind of her deal) and come back to their house that night (they live 35ish minutes away from the camp.) We’d find fireworks to go see on Friday, and on Saturday a bunch of family would be coming over for a Baby Sprinkle (like a baby shower, only much smaller because it’s for a second child) (this wasn’t actually MY plan; my mom and sister surprised me with it because they’re nice like that.)

Well, I forgot to factor in a few things. Mainly one thing: holiday weekend traffic. We left only a few minutes after I had originally planned, but every freeway we traveled on was gridlocked. I only stopped twice – once for Del Taco/bathroom break, and once for gas/bathroom break (we also ran into the Target next door to buy baby wipes because, in a Mom of the Year moment, I forgot them) and the normally 2 hours 15 minutes trip took close to six hours. Ugh. (Thankfully my mom sat next to Damien and kept him happy, and Ripley is probably the best traveler out of any of us, so at least the littles were taken care of.)

So, we completely missed the rodeo (sorry Kassi! We were very bummed) and ended up eating dinner late at my parents’ house. Ripley was very excited to see her old pals Molly and Jethro for the first time since Christmas, and Damien was excited to have a few more furry friends to cuddle (especially the cat, who is pretty much the only cat in the world who’ll allow it from him.)

Cuddling with a blanket blob (aka Dada)

Cuddling with a blanket blob (aka Dada)

On Friday we ran some errands and ended up at the El Dorado Fourth of July Family Blast. There were lots of kid activities and contests; Damien had fun going through the hay bale maze (well, going over it, like most of the kids were) and playing with hula hoops (there was an actual hula hooping contest at some point.)

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He even wanted to ride a pony, which is something he’s never showed interest in before. My dad walked right next to him while I alternated between being amazed he was so grown up and worrying that he’d somehow fly off (he wouldn’t hold on but actually rode really well, probably better than me, haha.)

Getting buckled in

Getting buckled in

Ridin' the pony!

Ridin’ the pony!

We ate sandwiches and picked up a few treats from the vendors (which sadly included the world’s longest wait for garlic fries – they somehow lost Dan’s order) and waited for the fireworks. Damien went hyper and crazy trying to stay awake post-9pm, but once the fireworks started it was worth it – he was so amazed and excited. This was his first fireworks show (not like he’d remember an earlier one) and though he was quiet through the show, he couldn’t stop talking about it in the days afterward.

So, the next day was our mini shower, or as I call it a ‘sprinkle’. :) My mom and sister invited some family over to my mom’s house for dinner on Saturday; most people couldn’t come but at least all my immediate family was there, plus Dan’s mom and her boyfriend. Kaeli and Jay even brought their dog, Shawnie, so the four dogs (who at one point all lived in the same house) had a little reunion in the backyard (they seriously had a great time; it was like a doggie party! Haha.) Despite my parents’ propane tank running dry midway through food prep (talk about great timing, right?) (since my parents just moved in the propane company hadn’t come to refill it yet) the food was amazingly yummy and I ate way too much. Dan and I – and New Baby, of course – were blessed with adorable and super useful baby gifts. Marcia gave us this cosleeper, my parents contributed the carseat, and Kaeli and Jay bought us a swing – so basically, all of the most important things Rowen will need! (Despite parents and a family who will love him like crazy, of course – although I guess they’ll help contribute that too!)

Somehow my family and I managed to take exactly zero pictures, so here are some from Ray (thanks Ray!) –

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I needed something red and I would have been patriotic!

Someone was being very silly with the glow sticks from his Fourth of July basket... (thanks Auntie Kaykay for the basket!)

Someone was being very silly with the glow sticks from his Fourth of July basket… (thanks Auntie Kaykay for the basket!)


Year 6

Or Year 9, if you prefer.

That’s right, Sunday the 3rd was Dan’s and my anniversary (wedding anniversary; we started dating at the beginning of July in 2005.) Between the stresses of new baby + moving we didn’t plan a thing, but luckily for us Kaeli had the day off and came to our house Saturday night through Sunday evening. Not only did she help clean (both houses, even) but she spent a bunch of time with Damien. Dan and I really should have worked on the old house all day, but we took the afternoon to go out to an anniversary lunch and run a few errands. Rowen tagged along, and slept the entire time.

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Rowen… and my iced mocha

For lunch we decided to go to Sogni di Dolci. They have espresso and gelato all day, and serve meals for a few hours. For lunch Dan had (AMAZING) tomato soup and something not technically called grilled cheese but that’s totally what it was. :) I had a chicken Caesar panini and an iced mocha, which just may have been the best iced mocha I’ve ever had. I’ll definitely have to come back for the coffee! We also got gelato, which was yummy but I unfortunately had to relearn the lesson of “they’re in tiny containers because you shouldn’t eat that much” and I made myself a little sick… Oops. Maybe I’ll remember next time (but I probably won’t.)

All of this was amazing

All of this was amazing… and I know, because I stole bites of Dan’s too :)

Maybe, when the dust settles from New House/New Baby, we’ll get to celebrate a little more (or at least go on another date), but even a sneaking away for a little bit helps us remember that hey, our love for each other is what started this whole family thing and is pretty darn important. (Plus, I’d rather spend time with my husband than pretty much anyone ever, and we don’t always get a chance.)


Mother’s Day/Birthday 2014

This year my birthday fell on Mother’s Day Sunday, which happens every few years (well, every six or so.) This used to be frustrating as a kid (“Can you come to my birthday party?” “No I have to spend the entire weekend with my mom”) (seriously though, I think your mom would LOVE a two hour break where you’re out of the house!) (or maybe I’m just speaking for myself, lol) and then got even more frustrating when I realized that the two days of the year that were About Me were going to be smushed into one celebration for the rest of my life. I think that bothered me quite a bit my first Mother’s Day after Damien was born, but two years later I am totally over it. And here are the two main reasons I will never again publicly complain about my joint birthday/Mother’s Day: 1) my mom spent all of Mother’s Day 1987 in active labor (and then ended up having to have a C-section at 2am anyway) so really, no Mother’s Day I’ll ever spend will be as hard as that, and 2) Damien’s birthday is the week before Christmas, which is really just inconvenient for all involved and is completely my fault (although to my credit I certainly didn’t plan it that way.)

My birthday (and Mother’s Day of course) were on Sunday, but we spread out the celebration a little bit. My sister Kaeli came on Saturday afternoon, both to visit us and to ask Kassi and me to be her co-maids of honor in her upcoming wedding (technically I guess I’m a matron, which sounds like it’s because I’m old but is totally because I’m married I swear) (actually, I think most of Kaeli’s bridesmaids will actually be bridesmatrons; is that a thing?) I’m very honored and excited and simultaneously scared that I’ll do a crap job. (Also hoping that I don’t look TOO terrible twoish months postpartum. And that lots of people want to hold a baby and/or wrangle a toddler.) (One of Kaeli’s other bridesmaids is currently pregnant, due in June, so maybe we should just hire an official Baby Wrangler.)

After we all talked weddings for awhile, Dan and I went out to dinner in Calistoga while Kaeli and Kassi watched Damien at our house. We decided to go to Checkers, a restaurant I hadn’t been to in years, and found it totally remodeled cutely. I didn’t take pictures of our food because I am not Instagram-y enough for that apparently, but it was very delicious – I had the soup of the day (lentil) and the rigatoni con broccoli with chicken added and it was amazing (amazing enough for italics!) The atmosphere was also laid back enough to take a fairly well-behaved babien, so we may be able to go back with Damien and maybe even Newbaby someday. It was getting late so I called Kassi to find they had already finished dinner and were getting Damien ready for bed, so Dan and I decided to take the opportunity to go to the grocery store for flowers and an ice cream birthday cake. We were out until a little past 9pm and it’s literally the latest we’ve stayed out without Damien since he was born, lol. Living crazy!

On Sunday my one request was to be able to sleep in a bit. Of course Damien woke me up at 8am like normal, but I convinced him to cuddle with me for a little bit and when he was done, I sent him downstairs with Dan to play with his aunties. Kaeli had spent the night AND made breakfast for everyone (because she’s awesome like that) (seriously, when we were kids and I was babysitting everyone she’d be the one to make dinner, even though she’s three years younger than me…) I didn’t think I would but I managed to go back to sleep for a bit and didn’t get out of bed until 10am, for the first time since Damien was born. It was awesome. After we all ate delicious breakfast (more like brunch at this point, I guess) Kaeli had to go home and Kassi had to go to work, so we all said goodbye.

Hello child. Thanks for triggering my fear of heights. Please know I'm not tall enough to catch you if you fall.

Hello child. Thanks for triggering my fear of heights. Please know I’m not tall enough to catch you if you fall.

I had been planning a picnic lunch for the day before, but that didn’t work out so I thought it would be fun to have a picnic for dinner at the park. The one problem with picnics in parks with playground is that Damien wants to play the entire time and doesn’t want to eat. So Dan and I ate while occasionally reminding Damien that climbing a ten foot ladder by himself probably wasn’t the best idea, and then we played with him for a bit before going home. The cutest moment came when Damien started piling bark on the play counter under the playground equipment, and told Dan: “Come in here. You can buy stuff from me, Dada!” And sure enough, he had set up a little play store where he was selling… shredded bark.

Yup, Dan actually bought two pieces of bark for a dollar, and Damien was SO EXCITED to get that dollar. He carried it around all day (it eventually ended up back in Dan’s possession, although if Damien remembers we’ll let him put a dollar in his bank.)

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Oh, and when we got home we ate the ice cream cake. It was delicious! I love that normal grocery stores sell ice cream cake now, because having to pay $3o at a specialty ice cream store is a little hard to take, but $10? Sold! (And ice cream cake is pretty much my favorite thing. Always has been – I remember how excited I was to get an ice cream cake to bring to school for my eighth birthday. I know it’s just cake and ice cream together but it’s SPECIAL darn it!)