High Five - The Pre-Move Edition

This week has been something else. I don't know what Marcus' deal has been, but he's been waking up earlier than usual (5:15AM? Ugh, no thank you), he has thrown several epic tantrums, and has just been SUPER crabby. I suspect either A) he's getting the cold I had two weeks ago or B) we're battling the 2-year molars. Either way, zero fun and momma is tired.

It's Friday, and for that I'm thankful. There are a few great things to highlight from this week, so let's get crackin'.

1) We have a closing date on our place. Looks like March 13, or possibly earlier (fingers crossed!!), we will have keys to a place that is actually *ours*.
2) Because of the quickly approaching move, I have been going through the house and purging crap we don't use/need/want any more. If we haven't seen it, used it, or worn it in the last year it is time to get rid of it. This week I've been to Goodwill four (FOUR!) times and dropped off an average of three big, FULL bags per trip. Getting rid of all the unnecessary excess has been fabulous.
3) Along with cleaning out the house, I have started boxing things up. I'm hoping this will make our lives a lot easier in the next few weeks. Feeling rushed to get packed up is the worst.
4) While I've been diligently cleaning, purging and packing, I've also been thinking of ways to give our new place a fresh look. Both the guest bedroom and our bedroom are going to get a little face lift. New bedding for the win!
5) While we wait for the keys to our new place we have been busy working on planning a full kitchen renovation. A design has been drawn up, cabinets have been picked, and we have begun our search for countertops (who knew there were EIGHT BILLION different colors of granite to choose from?!). I cannot WAIT to see everything come together.
Left: Kitchen floor plan
Right: Slab after slab of granite
Cheers to the weekend!


Pour, Paint, and Peacocks

By no means am I very artistically talented, but seeing several people I know participate in painting classes made me want to give paining a try.
Groupon was offering a pretty awesome Paint and Sip deal, so I rounded up some of my favorite ladies and got them in on the fun as well. 
We went to class prepared. And by prepared I mean we each brought a bottle of wine. Because what goes better with a paint apron and paint brushes than a good glass of vino? Basically nothing.
We started with blank canvases and a picture of what our intended subject should semi-resemble by the end of the night. 
In the beginning my friends and I were all a little leery that our pictures would turn out less than satisfactory. We were all novice painters. For that reason alone I'm sure that is why class participants are encouraged to bring wine. Two glasses into the class and I thought I was freaking Van Gogh. 
Thankfully our instructor was great and lead us every brush stroke along the way.

My intention was to snap photos of the painting in progress, but I didn't get too far with that plan. After the first 'coat' of paint I was too busy drinking, laughing, and creating a pretty peacock.
Two quick hours (and approximately 5 glasses of wine) later our class sadly came to an end.
It goes without saying my girl friends and mom had a great time. Most of us are going back soon to try our hands at painting again.
If you have a similar class near you I would strongly urge you to grab a few friends, a few bottles of wine, and give this a try. It was easily one of the most fun evenings I'd had in a long time. 
To the ladies who joined me, thank you! It was a blast and I can't wait to do this again in a few weeks!


Grandma Goes to the Beach

For five days we were lucky to have Grandma D visit. The main reason for her visit was to prep for Marcus' birthday (I still can't believe we are planning a 2nd birthday). But, we did manage to fit in a little bit of fun while Grandma was here.

We had never taken my mom to one of our favorite beaches, Redondo Beach. *GASP* So, Marcus and I made sure to remedy that problem as soon as my mom arrived.

The minute our toes hit the sand we took the obligatory stand-by-the-ocean picture. Marcus was not interested in the slightest, he was ready to play.
Marcus showed Grandma the ins and outs of the sand sifter.
Then Grandma had the little man hunting for sea shells.
There was a quick break for some scooping and filling.
I convinced Marcus to chase the waves, and then be chased.
He is seriously the happiest when he's outside. 
Marcus has never had the opportunity to make a snow angel. What's the next best thing? A sand angel. Grandma demonstrated the proper way to make said angel. Marcus tried his best to make one, too. However, his little arms and legs couldn't quite figure it all out.
No trip to the ocean is adequate without a stroll down the beach.
We couldn't have asked for a better day of surf and sand and sun. My heart could not have been any more full.
Grandma, thanks for another wonderful visit. We hope you enjoyed every minute as much as we did!


23 Months Old!

Dear Marcus,

Here we are, another month in the books. You are *almost* two. How is that possible?! When did that happen?! I'd be lying if I told you a wasn't a tiny little bit sad that you're no longer a baby, but a little boy.

Each day your dad and I watch you in amazement. So often I'll say, "Marcus is just so awesome." Because, well, you are.
Unofficial Stats
Height: 35 inches
Weight: 32.5 pounds
Clothes: 2T/3T
Shoes: 7
Diapers: Size 6(!)
It's almost as if one morning you woke up and decided to repeat everything we say. Everything. More often than not, if we ask you to say a word you oblige. There isn't much you won't say, except "please." You REFUSE to say please. You go around saying, "Thanks, Mom," "Thanks, Dad," all.day.long. But, ask you to say "please"? Forget about it. There may have also been the time in Target when something was a bit upsetting and I mumbled "Damn" under my breath. You were quick to chirp up and announce "DAMN!" as we made our way through the check-out. Yikes. The filter has been noted and applied.

Not much has changed here. You prefer to be outside, and if we are going to get specific, you love playing in the dirt and getting dirty. You are mildly obsessed with your football and bring it with you where ever you go (even to bed). It seems as if you're thisclose to figuring out the pedals on your tricycle. We'll keep working on that.

I've completely stopped making you any special meals. You are served what we eat and it's amazing how much your palate has expanded. You aren't a huge fan of meats, other than hot dogs, and you always love some mac and cheese. But, it's nice that you're getting into edemame, peas, chicken nuggets, rice, and pudding. Buddy, you would live off pudding if I let you.
You have completely given up on eating with spoons and forks made specifically for toddlers. You will only eat with the real deal. It also seems as if the food on our plates is more appetizing that what is on yours - even though it is always the exact same thing.

We haven't dealt with sickness for awhile, thank goodness. For that, your sleep has been great. You're in bed by 8PM and up between 6:00 and 6:30AM.
Each day you nap after lunch for anywhere from two to three hours. There are days you have a difficult time transitioning out of your nap to fully awake. On those days our afternoons can be kind of rocky.

Although we are still a month out from you turning 2 you have already displayed you are aware of the Terrible Twos. Thankfully, you are generally in a good mood most hours of most days. You are aware of things you should and should not do. When you are caught doing something you shouldn't you give me this stinky little grin (see below). It comes as no surprise that the thing that makes you happiest it the outdoors.

These last 23 months have been such a ride. You've shown me more in two years than I ever thought possible. Little man, you are seriously so cool.
You are my world, Monkey, my whole world.

I love you to the moon and back. Twice.



My Heart May Have Exploded

Aside from a nasty cold I'm trying to shake (and hopefully haven't passed along to Marcus) it's been a pretty good week. But, as usual, I'm more than ready to get this weekend started.

Moving right along to this week's high five moments:

1. Easily the best Marcus/Mommy moment of the week was when Marcus uttered those three words I've been waiting 23 months to hear… "I love you" (It comes out sounding kind of like "wuv you").
The first time he said it out loud I literally screamed in excitement, and then my heart instantly exploded. Best. Moment. Ever.

2. Grandma D sent Marcus a little Valentine's package last week. Inside was an Aquadoodle. This thing is GENIUS! Marcus can draw his little heart out, and there is ZERO MESS! ZERO. Beat it Crayons, it's Aquadoodle for the win in this house.
3. Speaking of Grandma D… Guess who is visiting us for the next few days?!
4. Per the norm, Grandma brought a bag of goodies upon her arrival. One of those goodies just so happened to be a little something Grandma whipped up for Marcus to wear in about a month.
5. A group of girls, my mom, and I are headed out for some fun this weekend. Wine and painting all in one. I can't wait to see how this shakes out for all of us. Because Lord knows none of us will stop with one glass of wine.

Have a great weekend!


A Day in the Life

For the longest time I've been meaning to do a 'day in the life' of Marcus post. But, each time I think I'll get around to it I don't. Though I wish I'd done more of these in the last 23 months, I now know why I don't do these. They're a lot of work. On any given day I've got a camera in my kid's face at least once. But, try to document an entire day? That's a lot of camera. 

At any rate, this is primarily for me (and Marcus someday), just to see what our days look like right at this moment.

Note: please bare with the excess of pictures. I figured they could do a better job telling the story of our day than I can in words. 

Between 5:30-6:30AM, wake up!!
Immediately upon waking it's straight to the milk.
It takes both Marcus and me some time to fully wake. When he shows interest in educational iPad games I fully oblige in his requests to play them while I gulp down my pot of coffee.
7:00AM - breakfast!
I've never been a huge breakfast eater, so Marcus generally gets something simple, like a bowl of Cheerios and some sliced fruit.
Brushing those pearly whites.
8:00 AM - Marcus and I head back upstairs. I get myself pulled together (i.e. change from pajamas to workout clothes and hair goes up into a pony tail) while Marcus happily plays with the toys in his room.
8:30 AM - After a quick change from pjs to every day wear, we head outside to let Marcus to blow off some energy and take Drake out.
Most of our mornings continue outside. Side walk chalk on the back patio. Lifesaver. Our kitchen opens to the patio, so I'll send Marcus out there to get dirty play while I get things done around the house.
Sometimes if Marcus doesn't think I'm paying attention he'll get the animals in on the fun. And then he colors them, as well as the cement.
10:00AM - Gymboree. We attend class once a week, generally on Tuesday or Wednesday.
11:30AM - lunch! Nothing fancy here. Just a PB&J, edemame, and some clementines.
12:30 - 2:30/3:00 PM - NAP TIME!!
3:00 PM - Snacks and sips while catching a few clips of Mickey Mouse Club House while fully waking up.
3:30 PM - Guess where we go? Outside. Naturally.
4:00 PM - Collect the mail.
More outdoor play. If there's a puddle within a 20 mile radius Marcus WILL find it.
5:00 PM - Marcus insists on helping feed Drake.
5:30/6:00 PM - Dad's home!!!! By this point in the day Marcus and I are both more than happy to have Scott home.
6:00 PM - Supper. We've been diligent in serving Marcus the same food we eat at mealtimes. So far his palate has expanded exponentially.
6:30 PM - We're back outside to blow out the last bits of steam before the day ends.
7:00 PM - Bath time. Splish splash, pretty sure this is Marcus' favorite time of day. 
7:30 PM - Squeezing in as much play as possible.
7:45 PM - Books and prayers.
8:00 PM - Lights out!

Phew! Tired? Me too. And, then we repeat it all again in less than 10 hours.