April 2014
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Lilian’s First Easter Egg Hunt

They recently opened up a fancy new outdoor mall not too far from our house. It has a bunch of clothing stores, a Whole Paycheck Foods, as well as a barre studio and one of those blow-dry salons. Basically, it’s a place where women with much nicer hair than mine go to wear yoga pants and drink iced caramel lattes from Starbucks.

(I kinda love it.)

(Shhhhh.)

The merchants’ association organized a kids’ easter egg hunt on Saturday. Kristian had to do some off-hours work, so we decided that Lilian and I would have a little girls outing. We figured we’d get a few plastic eggs, pay our respects to the Hilltop Steakhouse cows , meet the Easter Bunny, and then pick up a gallon of milk on the way home.

It was their first ever easter egg hunt (like a I said, it’s a fairly new shopping center), and it wasn’t super organized. I might be a stickler about these sorts of things, but I don’t think that the line for people who pre-registered should be ten times longer than the line for people who didn’t.

But, hey, festive hay bales!

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There were a lot of people there. A lot of people there. So many people, they had to expand the area that they used for the 0-3 year old egg hunt. Unfortunately, an awful lot of those people weren’t so good at following directions, and they all rushed in before the hunt had officially started. Lilian and I waited until they gave the actual go-ahead…. and there were no more eggs left by the time we got in there.

“We put out 1500 eggs! 1500 eggs!” the announcer kept saying. I guess they were a little surprised by the capacity for some three-year-olds to fill up their baskets. They had a few extra eggs for kids who didn’t get any, so Lilian didn’t go home empty-handed.

And, let’s be honest here. I’m not eating any candy these days. Kristian is not eating very much candy these days. Lilian doesn’t exactly need a lot of chocolate in her life. Two eggs was plenty enough for us.

(I gave her exactly one hershey kiss to eat.)

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(She was ecstatic.)

Lilian will have her own easter egg hunt next week, and we had a nice morning outside together. Eggs shmeggs, I say.

Plus, hey, we kinda met the Easter Bunny.

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Well, I met the Easter Bunny. Lilian was too busy clinging to me in terror.

(Best. Mom. EVAR.)

They also had a dance party. And, if you know me, you know I looooove a good dance party. Lilian is apparently a chip off the ol’ block. So, we boogied for a good long time. I even won a free burrito from Boloco for my dancing.

(Lilian won an eraser.)

(I deemed it a choking hazard and took it back.)

(Like I said… Best. Mom. EVAR.)

We’re having so much fun with Lilian these days. I miss being able to soothe her with some gentle shushing, and definitely I miss having her fall asleep on my chest. But, I sure do love being able to take her out and do stuff with her.

 

The Cursed Slide

I drove onto our street the other day, and the first thing I saw was Lilian playing on a little plastic slide that one of our neighbors had put out on the curb.

(Kristian and the dog were supervising her, don’t worry!)

It’s a pretty sweet little setup. It’s just the right size for her, plus it has a basketball hoop on it. Plus, free .

(Kristian will probably power wash it this weekend, but it’s otherwise in fantastic shape).

Lilian loved her new slide so much, she didn’t want to come inside to eat dinner. She threw an epic tantrum about it. Crying, screaming, snot streaming out of both nostrils… the girl went all boneless , knuffle-bunny-style. Kristian and I just stared at each other like “who replaced our baby with this toddler???”

And then he poured himself a glass of wine. And then I started to wish that maybe I hadn’t made that diet bet with my sister .

Things got marginally better after LJ remembered that rice isn’t actually poison. At which point she asked for seconds. And thirds. There was some vegetable consumption in there somewhere.

She happily went back outside after dinner. And then there was another epic meltdown when she had to come inside for bath and bedtime. She screamed all the way through her bath. Kristian looked so flustered, I ended up taking over for him.

I think she was just having an off night, but Kristian and I were joking that the damn slide was cursed.

You’ve got a week, slide. Trash night is next Tuesday.

Good thing Lilian loves you so much.

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World’s Best Carnival

I had to do some work on Saturday. It was… rough. Any work on a Saturday tends to be slightly less than fun. This work? Was done at Ikea. With an angry toddler in tow. Why? Because it was our last chance to return $150 worth of crap that we bought by accident. Also? I am a crazy person.

By the end of it, I was frantically coding in the cafeteria while my child screamed and threw meatballs at my head, and Kristian glared daggers at me.

(Ok, the meatballs are an exaggeration.)

(A  slight exaggeration.)

After all the screaming and crying (mostly Lilian, a little bit me), we decided that we needed to do something fun. So, we decided to head on over to the annual carnival that sets up a half mile or so from our house. I mean, what’s not to love about a carnival camped out in a movie theater parking lot across the street from a strip club?

Besides for carnies that take a rather, ummm, liberal view on height restrictions, that is.

We knew we could ride the merry-go-round and see the petting zoo, but we got to go on a whole bunch of other rides as well. Including the ferris wheel, which I actually tend to find rather terrifying.

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I am doing a cracker-jack job of teaching her how to go “wheeeeeee!!!!”

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“Look at that, sweetie! It’s a strip club! And a grocery store! And some housing projects! Aren’t you glad we went on the ferris wheel?”

We even got to go on the world’s tiniest roller coaster. I was excited to go on my first roller coaster in years. I love roller coasters, but they don’t tend to mix well with pregnancy. Or infants. Or my husband, for that matter. So I didn’t even mind that this particular roller coaster actually slows the cars down as they go down its (tiny, oh so tiny) drops.

(Let’s get real, this thing was shaped like a roller coaster, but it was basically a glorified go kart ride around a circle.)

Lilian mostly just wanted to bury her face in the protective padding. Which, come to think of it, was probably the most dangerous part of the whole experience.

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“Woo hooooo!”

I think she had fun? She seemed pretty nonplussed about the whole experience. I figured she’d either love it or hate. But… she didn’t hate it. I’ll take it.

(Mommy needs a little buddy to take to Six Flags in a few years when she’s big enough for real roller coasters.)

We saved the carousel for last, because we know how much she loves them. I think her hands were a little cold, but she still enjoyed herself.

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Our last stop at the carnival was the petting zoo. I didn’t expect big things from a petting zoo in a movie theater parking lot, but it was actually pretty decent. I mean, it had little itty bitty baby goats. And lambs. The lambs were all sleeping (I sure hope they were all sleeping!) but, still. Itty bitty goats!

Lilian approved.

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We had so much fun, I almost forgot how much I wanted to inhale and entire plate of fried dough. :p

Lilian’s Art Studio

The side table in our living room was becoming a clutter magnet, so I convinced Kristian that we should get rid of it and make a little art area for Lilian. I even managed to convince him that we should all go to Ikea together on a Saturday afternoon to pick everything up for it.

Clearly, my husband loves us very much.

We bought a little desk and chair, plus an easel and some chalk and paper. We put everything together before Lilian woke up, and then it felt like Christmas morning!

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Lilian’s eyes lit up when she saw the desk and chair. She loves chairs in her size, so she made a beeline over to them and climbed up. When I opened the desk up to show her that I’d put all of her art supplies in it, she was even more excited. I think we spent most of the morning drawing and painting.

(And eating chalk, but we’re working on it.)

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That little book turns colors when you paint water on it. I highly recommend it as an activity to pack along when visiting friends and family that have a lot of white walls and nice furniture.

Lilian can only reach about a quarter of the way up the chalk board. Halfway up if she stands on the stool that Kristian’s mom bought for her. But she sure does love drawing on it.

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The other side of the easel has a roll of paper attached to it. We pulled it out and let Lilian go wild with the finger paints. I would post a picture, but fingerprinting is a nearly naked activity in this house.

We replaced our lamps with some more modern looking Ikea lamps, did some de-cluttering, and moved things around a bit. I think the living room is looking much better now. Which is great, because we spend a lot of time in there these days.

Lilian has been drawing on her chalkboard every night this week. She would probably have us bust out the fingerprints every night as well, but I’m way too OCD to make the post-paint cleaning a nightly occurence.

At some point, we might move Lilian’s studio upstairs to my craft area in the attic. That way, she can color while I work on my craft projects. But, for now, I like that she has a little area where she can be creative right where we all hang out.

Parenting is a lot of hard work, but it sure is fun!

Here Comes the Sun?

I have been sick for the past three weeks.

I know people say things like this, when what they really mean is “I’m sick and it feels like it’s been three weeks.” But trust me on this one. I looked it up on a calendar and everything. It got to the point where I went to the doctor last week, because usually when you’re sick for three weeks, it means that something has gone badly.

(They listened to my heart and lungs, made me say “aaaaah” a bunch of times, and then diagnosed me as being the parent of a toddler. I probably had the good fortune to come down with 2-3 colds in a row.)

When I get sick, I like to remind myself that I won’t always feel this awful. But, we’ve been sick off and on since October . So now it feels more like, well, I probably won’t feel this awful forever. But, then I’m going to get another cold and feel all awful again. Aren’t I just a ray of sunshine? That’s why I really needed a weekend like this, where I actually felt like I got what I needed in order to recharge. For the first time in recent memory, Sunday night came along and I felt better than I had on Friday.

(Some of this might be all the Sudafed and Ibuprofen I started pounding, but we’re all going to pretend I’m on the mend, ‘kay?)

It was Pepper’s birthday this weekend, so our friend Josh came up from NYC for the weekend and the whole gang (Pepper, Josh, and Yogurt) made plans to get together. We didn’t have any plans set for Saturday morning, so Kristian sent me back to bed right after we all woke up. I slept until noon, guys. Noon! That’s the parental equivalent of going to bed on Friday night and waking up on Monday morning. I have never been more in love with my husband.

It also meant that I had to energy to join the gang for a walk along the river. It was gorrrrrr-geous out there.

Not bad for an iPhone, eh?

Lilian enjoyed the walk as well.

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Kristian saw this and said, “she’s running away because she’s scared of my exploding head.”

(Photo by Josh)

We all got to cheer on Pepper as her hockey team won their game 2-1. Then we headed back to Yogurt’s place for a fancy birthday dinner. It was at this point that I realized all of my drugs had worn off. I hung out on the couch for a bit as I waited for a new round of Sudafed and Ibuprofen to kick in. Lilian didn’t mind, because she had some new friends to play with.

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I texted this pic to another friend, and she wrote back “AHHH WHAT’S CUTER”

After we put Lilian to sleep in her Pack and Play in the other room, one of those kittens took a little nap on my shoulder. Best. Feels. EVAR.

We ended up eating dinner around 10pm, which is when I usually go to bed these days. Which is why it was so nice that…

Kristian let me sleep in on Sunday. That’s right, my husband let me sleep in both days this weekend . That’s some Grade A Mommy Porn right there. Does anybody remember that episode of 30 Rock where the Tina Fey watches Porn for Women, and it’s all handsome men asking you about how your day went? Well, the enhanced version for moms is when your husband says, “why don’t you sleep in?” and then takes your toddler to the grocery store to get brunch supplies. Because that happened.

There are no pictures of brunch, but imagine a bunch of happy friends munching on oatmeal, fruit, pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon  while Kristian claims that it was a very simple meal, no really.

We took it easy for the rest of the day, but we did drag ourselves outside for a walk along the bike path at the end of our street. Lilian has apparently reached the phase where she has no interest in being conveyed in her stroller and wants to walkwalkwalk but who cares, because OMG sun sun sun did you notice that the sun is out???

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This weekend was just what I needed. I caught up on sleep, we got to spend time with dear friends that we wish we saw more of, and we all got some much needed vitamin D.

(And then this morning we woke up at what felt like 5am, looked outside, and it was snowing.)

(This winter is NEVER GOING TO END AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.)