Julia || 23 Months

We are deep, deep in the thicket of planning a SECOND BIRTHDAY for this feisty little lady. Before we jump the gun - momma's not quiet ready for a two-year old just yet - let's focus on this month. Month 23!
Height: 34 inches
Weight: 26 punds
Teeth: 17 1/2 - we're stilllll working on those two-year molars (super fun)
Marcus - most of the time. If she's up before him (which is usually), she'll go ask for Marcus as she heads into his bedroom.
Her baby dolls.
Her playhouse, which she received as an early birthday gift.
Disney - Mickey and Minnie are her favorites.
Bubble Guppies.
Being outside.
Running - usually away from me.
Marcus - sometimes.
Wearing shoes that she hasn't picked out.
Having a runny nose, though she's not much good at actually blowing it.
Strangers who come up and abruptly engage with her.
Hair brushings and any attempts to tame her wild mane with clips, bows, or hair ties.
I completely overlooked this last month, but Julia started calling Marcus by name, and it's freaking adorable. The "r" is difficult to pronounce, so it comes out sounding more like "Mar'tis." Julia also love to sing the ABCs, and count to 10, both with assistance to successfully complete. Julia has also learned to say things like, "No, stop it, mommy," when she doesn't want me to interfere with whatever she may be doing. Very recently she's taken to saying, "Yummm, that's 'licious," when something tastes exceptionally good to her. She will also admire an outfit and tell me, "prettttty." 
Her words and sentences are exploding, and it's been pretty fun to hear the new words and phrases that have been coming out of her mouth.
Notable Moments
We wound up in the ER for another round of croup with Julia. This was perhaps one of the more severe cases she's had, and was a bit scary for a bit (at one point her heart rate was about 300 beats per minute). 
Sleep has been severely interrupted thanks to both teething and croup. I'm desperate for a night where no one wakes. 
While Julia enjoys seeing/talking with both grandmas and grandpas via FaceTime, she is particularly fond of seeing both grandpas, both of whom she refers to as " 'pampa."
On our last Disney trip Julia spotted Minnie Mouse and was insistent on seeing Minnie. We stood in line for 10ish minutes. When it was our turn to see Minnie, as we approached Julia became quite excited. But, the second we actually stood next to Minnie Julia closed up like a clam. 
For the photos in this post I really wanted Julia to be eating an ice cream cone. But. She hasn't really figured out how to master that task, and I just knew there would be more ice cream on her than actually consumed. So, picked flowers it was.
As I alluded to in the beginning of this post, we're (I'm) full throttle with her second birthday planning. I've picked up several items for her party, as well as a few outfits to complete her theme the week leading to her birthday. The outfit pictured may have a little something to do with her party. 
And that's it. The next time I knock one of these out she'll be two. It's so crazy how time works!! 
Cheers to 23 months, and on to TWO YEARS!


Fix #15

It's time for another round of pseudo fashion blogger, courtesy of Stitch Fix!

For my 15th fix I asked Raquel - whose been my stylist for at least a dozen of my fixes (hiiiii, Raquel!!) - for a Fourth of July inspired fix. I was hoping to see reds, whites and blues. I specifically asked for a pair of Kut From the Kloth jean shorts, as well as tank tops and maxi dresses.

If I'm being completely transparent, I've been just so-so with the last few fixes. I've kept a piece here and there, but I haven't really been wowed. When this fix arrived my expectations weren't too terribly high.

And, when I opened the box I was a bit underwhelmed. The shorts I'd requested were in there, but the three tank tops and one maxi dress just kind of had me going, "meh."

But. Raquel was clutch with this fix. She knocked it out of the park. Let's take a little look-see.

Le Lis || Deria Woven Back Knit Top
Kut From the Kloth || Lonnie Distressed Cuffed Denim Boyfriend Short
The tank is one I had pinned on my Pinterest board, and when I pulled it out I wasn't totally sold. However, the mix media print was a complete and wonderful, surprise. I loved how flowy the tank felt without leaving me feeling boxy, and the fact that the back is longer than the front is always a plus in my book.
The jean shorts were everything I was hoping for in a staple pair of shorts. Per the Stitch Fix magic, they fit like perfection, the length was just right, and the distressing isn't too overwhelming. I was so smitten with the shorts that after trying on everything in my fix I left them on for the day. 

Deria Woven Back Knit Top - KEPT
Lonnie Distressed Cuffed Denim Boyfriend Short - KEPT

Skies Are Blue || Kelsie Eyelet Halter Top
Out of the box, this one didn't wow me. I'm typically not a big fan of halters. But, when I put this on I immediately fell in love. I LOVE the eyelet pattern, the halter portion doesn't seem to choke me like many halters do, and I loved how breathable and roomy the top felt, yet, I didn't look like a red balloon. The color is very different from anything I have in my closet, and I was instantly drawn to it. This ensemble, complete with the Kut From the Kloth jean shorts, is pretty much my perfect summer outfit. 

Verdict - KEPT

Renee C || Reyna Knit Maxi Dress
When I pulled this out of the box I turned up my nose. I wasn't feeling the print, at all. However, Stitch Fix did it again. The very second I put this on I knew this piece was going straight to a hanger in my closet. I was so surprised at how much I loved the print on me. I absolutely love the way the tops is fitted, and a little roomier than the bottom. The cinched waist is a fabulous touch, and the thicker straps means I can wear a regular bra (hallelujah). The length is exactly what I want in a maxi, and the fabric is so incredibly soft. I cannot wait for the next occasion to wear this.

Verdict - KEPT

Skies Are Blue || Atilio Cut Out Detail Top 
At first glance I thought, "It looks kind of... geriatric." But when I put it on and saw the cut out detail in the back, and felt how light and flowy it was it started to grow on me. After going back and forth on whether or not to keep this piece I called in reinforcement. My mom. She gave an immediate thumbs up. And, momma knows best. Not to mention, after I did the math, keeping four pieces and sending this one back didn't make any sense. Essentially, this piece - with the discount for keeping all five pieces (25%) - was free. 

Verdict - KEPT

Raquel knocked this one out of the park!

Soooo.... did I make the right choice in going five for five with this fix? Let me know in the comments!

To get started on your fix be sure to click HERE!


The Broad Experience

Is this thing still on?
Going in to this summer I didn't come up with a bucket list for the kids and me. This is likely the first time since Marcus was born that I've just kind of decided to do summer with a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants kind of approach.

To be fully honest, I love it.

That damn bucket list always left me feeling like we had to be out doing a million things, and if something didn't get crossed off by summer's end I'd somehow failed our... fun? Failed our summer? I don't know, but the list was always looming and left me feeling so much (self-induced) pressure.

This summer we're still doing so many things, but at a pace that's conducive with a 5-year old and almost 2-year old. We've kept busy with a capital B. Most of the stuff we've been up to is stuff we do often (Disney, tide pools, parks, science centers). Stuff I've blogged a hundred times over. *yawn*

But. (You knew that was coming, right?) This week we did something that's been on my personal Los Angeles Must-Do List for some time now.

Back in April I snagged tickets to The Broad Museum in Downtown L.A. The exterior of the building alone begs to be photographed. Which, naturally happened.  And, somehow, I convinced Liz (who lives much farther from the museum than me) and Mason to brave horrendous week-day commuter traffic, and join us for some fun.
Ticket entry was at 11:30. I'd done some research on the museum, and an exhibit I was dying to check out was the Infinity Mirrored Room. We got in line immediately to put our names on that list. Only a 137 minute wait. Woah.

We used that time to check out the museum...
Liz and I have both agreed we need to do the museum just once without kids. So, you know, we can take our time looking at each piece, reading up on the artists, the works. The stuff you can't quite do with kids in tow. Because, while everything was amazing to view, I couldn't tell you a single thing about any thing. 
For some reason, the artwork pictured below really drew Marcus in. He went to this room a couple of different times. At one point he walked up to this frame and just stood there looking at me. I finally asked, "Do you want me to take a picture of you with this?" And he got this shy little grin on his face and nodded his head. He didn't have to ask me twice!
I think it's safe to say our favorite piece while walking around the museum was this massive figure of a balloon dog.
Marcus' expression perfectly sums up how we were all feeling about the no-touch policy. Everything was hands off. Which was next to impossible to explain to Julia. So, strapped in the stroller she stayed (and not without a valiant fight on her end).

After a proper look-through of all the great items within The Broad we headed out for a quick lunch and a little time for the kids to stretch their legs and run around.

Then it was our time to head to the Infinity Mirror Room.
The room itself is only 12x12, but the platform to stand on allows only two to three people. With it being such a high demand exhibit we were only allowed 45 seconds. How does one know when their time is up? Someone stands at the door, with a stopwatch, and times your time!
That said, the 137 minute wait was beyond worth that quick 45 seconds.
It was cool, quiet, and absolutely magical. Both kids were on their best behavior. All of us in awe. The hundreds of lights, the  mirrors, the water on the floor to reflect everything. It was completely surreal to experience that with the kids. Next to saying, "Isn't this SO cool?!" The only other thing I could think to do in there was sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" to my babes.

I have to say, we've made a lot memories, but this one may be my favorite so far.

After our time at the museum I had a spot in mind that I knew would be a hit with kids and moms alike.

Enter Little Damage.
Nestled in the heart of Los Angeles (and I mean smack dab downtown), this ultra hip ice cream shop was what all of my sweet tooth dreams are made of.

The ingredients are all pulled from local sources, and all organic. Not to mention, the ice cream flavors had names like Unicorn Tears (pictured in the boys black cones), Salted Covfefe (the one Julia's going to town on), Dark Cinns (I want to try that), and Avocado Dreams.

It was the cherry on top of our already fantastically epic outing (minus the traffic, but we'll over look that minor detail).


The Year of Color {Purple} Edition

It's June! Can you believe we're already this far into the month? Madness. June is also the official start of summer. Can I get an amen. Another June notable is that the month has three birthstones, one of them being alexandrite, which happens to have a beautiful purple hue. And, purple just so happens to be this month's color prompt!

Over the course of this past week the kids and I have been busy with all things purple.
Smiles from everyone! Now, could someone tell me how to get Julia's hair out of her face without needing, oh, you know, a comb, a clip, or a hair tie?
Purple also just so happens to be the colors of Scott's Alma matter, Kansas State University, which means there is no shortage of purple attire to be found in the kids closets.

I was thrilled when I found quite a few books that were based on the color purple. We selected a few and couldn't wait to crack them open.
Purplicious - a sweet book that tackles the issues of bullying. I'd highly recommend this read to young boys and girls alike.
Purple, Green, and Yellow - Main character Brigid loves to color, but gets into some serious trouble when she uses markers to color herself. Marcus was really intrigued by the sequence of events with this one.
Mr. Pine's Purple House - Mr. Pine lived on a street with fifty white houses. He couldn't tell which house was his. So he solved his problem in a very unique way. I think this was the favorite from all of us. Bonus points for being a classic!
Since the temps have been quite warm around here many of our afternoons have been spent at the pool. Our reading time has been the perfect way to relax after all that sun and splashing. Usually, this is a time dedicated for Marcus and me, as we cozy up while Julia takes her afternoon nap. However, after I snapped a few pics and started in on Mr. Pine's Purple House, Julia woke and joined us for our story hour. I wasn't sure how Julia would do with books that didn't have things to touch, or flaps to flip, but she sat through each book. And, I loved that peaceful, book-filled time together.

Due to the summer heat I've been trying to avoid turning on the stove or oven at all costs. So our "baking" was more just making. And each treat was ridiculously easy to create.

The healthy one: purple grape and cheese skewers. We had these after a morning spent at the tide pools, and it was the perfect snack.
The not-at-all-healthy one: Purple Flurp - a delicious concoction of grape soda and ice cream blended together to make the prettiest purple shake.
We don't really let the kids drink soda, and the few times they've taken sips they always express a huge dislike (not a bad thing in my book!), so I was a little leery with how this would go over. However, the ice cream blended with the grape soda really took the carbonated kick out of the drink and left us with a creamy, smooth, delicious treat. This isn't something we'll have often, but it was fun to have a special little snack.

Yet another experiment involving baking soda and vinegar. I mean, what kid doesn't love to see things fizz and "explode?" 
This Fizzing Cloud Dough was super simple to make, and it was such a great sensory activity. 

We started off the experiment while Julia was napping. This gave Marcus some time to play around with the cloud dough, which reminded me a lot of Kenitic Sand.
Just before we pulled out the vinegar Julia woke from her nap to join in the real experiment fun. Making the cloud dough fizz!
We played around with how much we made the cloud dough fizz. We first used a pipette to see just a little bit of fizzing. 

Then, the grand finale. We poured so. much. vinegar. on the mass of cloud dough, and we had a pool of cloud dough fizz on our counter. Each time the fizz would taper out the kids would both excitedly shout, "MORE!" 
All throughout I encouraged the kids to feel each part of the experiment. Both Marcus and Julia were a bit hesitant to put their hands in the pool of fizz, but once they tested the waters they both found the texture and feeling of the fizz on their hands fascinating. 

After all our purple fun I needed a craft that was super simple and took less than five minutes to knock out. Insert purple hand print art for the win. 
Each time we do hand print art I always chuckle at how differently the kids react to the paint on their hands. Marcus wants to wash the paint of immediately. He becomes pretty upset if we don't wash right away. Julia, on the other hand cannot wait to get paint on her hands, and would leave it on all day if I let her. Girl friend could care less if her hands were a wet painted mess.

Grandmas and Grandpas may or may not be receiving these butterflies in the mail in the very near future.

Whew!! That wraps up anther fun color prompt. 
If you've added some purple to your June be sure to link up below!


Julia || 22 Months

This month I thought I'd have my act together and keep things documented in a timely manner. Turns out, not so much. Just a week late in getting the little lady's update done #secondchildproblems, but, as the saying goes, it's better late than never.
Height:: Totally guessing, but maybe 34 inches?
Weight:: Another shot in the dark, but 26/7ish pounds?
Clothes:: Pretty comfy in 2T bottoms, but 3T tops are becoming more standard.
Teeth:: 17, that I can see. A 2-year molar popped through, which could explain some rough nights we've had this month.
Marcus, usually.
Her stuffed animals and babies. Her preference of each rotates daily.
Her blanket.
Shoes off. BUT! She's started taking an interest in wearing some of her shoes occasionally (see photos).
Being outside.
Getting absolutely filthy.
Playing with the big kids.
Snacks. All. the. snacks.
Cheese. Most fruits. Asparagus tips.
Water. She blows through so many ounces each day.
Swimming. Bath time.
Dancing. Singing.
Gymboree. Yet, she doesn't love dancing or singing at Gymboree, just climbing all over the equipment.
Marcus, sometimes.
The garbage truck. But, if she's in my arms while we're outside when the truck collects trash she insists on watching it empty the bins.
Having her hair brushed or styled. I've yet to get a pony tail in her mess of curls.
Most veggies and meat.
The shower.
Julia's vocabulary is expanding by the day. She will try and repeat most things she hears us say. There are several 2- and 3-word sentences happening.
She loves to "sing," which is really just kind of a mumble of the harmony.
Julia also loves to try and recite the ABCs and counting 1-10 on her own. She's doing surprisingly well with both. With the alphabet she get get to about E or F before things trail off. And, counting, she can usually get to 4 before she skips right to 8, 9, 10.
Colors. Most things are still blue or black. But occasionally pink will be tossed in the mix.
Notable Moments
Cabo with Julia was a lot of fun and a little nerve-wrecking. She absolutely loved spending everyday at the pool, and going down the water slide. She even went down the water slide, totally solo, and handful of times. The girl can be so fearless.
Scott has been logging some serious work hours, so there were several nights where I was flying solo. Many nights Julia woke inconsolable (I'm guessing this was the molar to blame?). Rather than try to get her to go back to sleep in her bed I'd bring her to bed with me. This went on for a solid month, and the habit was totally my doing. As much as I loved waking to a snugly toddler, I really wanted my bed back. So, the past few nights we've been sleep training to get Julia sleeping soundly in her crib all night long. 
Julia, when she wants to wear shoes, will more often than not put her shoes on by herself, and on the correct feet. 
When we leave the house Julia has an artillery of things she often thinks we need to bring with us (aside from the snacks and water). Often our list includes, but is not limited to shoes she may or may not wear, a purse, a stuffed animal, and other assorted toys. As if the diaper bag wasn't full enough already. 
Julia is totally unaware, but her birthday party plans are in full swing. I'm working around the idea of all things ice cream, and we're slowly picking up little things here and there for the party. I'm pretty excited with the plans I have, and I'm hoping they'll come to fruition even better than I'm imagining.
With Julia there is a who lot of stubborn, a heap of non-stop motion, a healthy dose of sweet, a dash of fierce, and an immeasurable amount of love. 
On to month 23!