Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Great Uncles

Johnny and Hank are fortunate to have a lot of extended family. And even more fortunate that a lot of their extended family lives near them or if they don't, they really enjoy coming to visit often.

Last month, Uncle Bobby and Uncle Tommy (of the great variety) came to visit from New Jersey, so we got to spend a little time with them at John's parents' house.

Learning the ways of Mr. Potato Head with Aunt Lisa

Spelling with Aunt Julie

This was Hank pretty much all afternoon and evening.

Aunt Lisa with cousin Jack

The only picture I got of the uncles. From inside.

Jack putting numbered bowls in order. I asked Lisa how crazy it is that we both have boys obsessed with letters and numbers. She's more inclined to think it's not by chance, it must be genetic. She has a point.
When we came over on Friday night, neither boy had napped and thus, they were NOT inclined to be friendly, preferring to snuggle with John or me. Our evening at Grandma and Grandpa's house ended abruptly when Johnny started melting down, crying to go home. So we went. Which is why I don't have any pictures of the boys with Uncle Bobby or Uncle Tommy.

The next day, we only came by to say a quick good bye to the uncles since they were leaving on Sunday morning. So of course the boys wanted to stay for HOURS. Luckily, John's parents were completely accommodating (which is how they are normally), thus there was enough food and space for all of us. And it was at this point that the boys decided the uncles were cool enough to play with. And of course I didn't have my camera. Damn the luck.

But the uncles made a lasting impression on both Johnny and Hank and to this day, weeks later, Hank will say occasionally "Fun with Uncle Bobby! Fun with Uncle Tommy!" and Johnny will add, "It's nice to see you, Uncle Bobby!" Adorable.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Backlog: Johnny's birthday party

Johnny's birthday party was nearly two months ago. And I'm feeling the need to blog about it RIGHT NOW before it gets too much later.

I am not the best party planner/thrower. I struggle with making food at just the right time so it will be fresh and warm when everyone is ready to eat. I have a hard time getting the house clean enough for company and then keeping it that way with two kids to entertain. Plus, our house is not well-suited to entertain hordes of toddlers with the backyard being a pool and with our long steep flight of stairs that just beg little ones to fall down them. And then when it comes to decorating said house for a party? Totally NOT my thing.

So. I opted to have Johnny's party at his favorite park (at the time), Hilltop Park, which is known as "the bumpy slide" in our household and to serve burritos from a local taco shop. I also kept the "theme" simple: orange and turquoise, inspired by The Orange Shirt. Throw out some orange and blue tablecloths and maybe a streamer here and there. Done.

And the party was a success! The toddlers had a lovely time at the park, the parents enjoyed (I think) watching their kids play and talking to other adults. The food was warm and delicious (despite the hoops we had to jump through to get it... argh) and the cake was good.

The cake. I made the stars myself.

The birthday boy!

Blowing out the candles with Daddy.
All photos above courtesy of my mother-in-law. Thanks, Gail! I'm not exactly sure where mine went... I have way too many memory cards to go through and if I wait to publish this post until after I find them, it will never happen. So, hopefully these will suffice. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My week in iPhone photos

I pretty much use my iPhone for most picture-taking these days. Which is great, since I can look back on our week and go, "Oh yeah... THAT'S what we did this week." It makes me feel like less of a bump on a log when I can see that the boys and I left the house and actually DID something... even if it wasn't something productive like folding laundry or cleaning the bathrooms.

Eating some dinner at Smashburger
Hank's building towers out of everything these days. Salt and pepper are not immune.

Waiting for dinner. Not so patient, these men of mine.
"Kid sandwich! Kid sandwich!"

We go to Sea World so we can jump off concrete walls. Because there's no where else we can do that.

Naked nap time in the play room.


Johnny is now spelling words by making letters out of Duplo blocks. That says "orange" in case you couldn't tell.

There's a girl under all those balls. She entered the ball pit, laid down, and demanded Johnny to bury her. To my surprise, he did.
Enjoying the M&Ms, but not the fro yo.

My shoes aren't too big, Mommy. Look! I can go up stairs in them!
Spelling words, as usual
Playing with fire engines is way more fun with Uncle Scott
Reading books with Uncle Scott

Playing on a fire engine in Tierrasanta on Daddy's lunch break

Shoveling rocks at Hilltop park


Laughing at Daddy's hula hooping antics at Target
Trying on the party favor from Jacob and Lucy's birthday party

And that was our week! Looking back, I guess it was kind of eventful. Throw in some early mornings, late nights and nap refusal and I guess I had my hands full.

I'd like to make this a weekly thing, not only so I can review our week, but also so I can dump photos off my phone. I had 1,495 photos on my phone yesterday and it finally refused to take another one since the memory was full. I think this would be a good thing to get in the habit of (if at all possible) so I can keep my phone clean! And also clutter my computer! Yay!

BTW, I'm linking up for the first time with one of my favorite bloggers, Suzanne at bebehblog for this weekly wrap up thing.

Friday, February 1, 2013

The trouble with 4am

Some Many of you know that Hank wakes up between the hours of 4am and 4:30am every day, and if you don't, it's because you don't follow me on facebook or Instagram (@mamadurso on IG... if you're interested). I do an awful lot of complaining about Hank's rooster-like tendencies on various social media. At least I used to. Now I'm just kind of used to it. That, and I upped my caffeine intake to five cups of coffee a day.

Even though I'm used to it doesn't mean it doesn't still suck. Yes, four o'clock is early and I do feel tired getting up that early, but there are other reasons why waking up so early is a bummer.

1. The day is reeeeeeeally long. Waking up at 4am and then staying up until Johnny goes to bed around 8 or 8:30pm makes for a 16 hour day. 16 hours of feeding, changing and entertaining children. I love my job, yes, but 16 hours of it is exhausting. And that doesn't even include after-hours clean up time.

2. Nothing is open that early. Typically I like to get out of the house in the morning while the boys are (relatively) rested. It makes for fewer meltdowns and they always get hungry for lunch, giving us a reason to go home. Well, at 4am, or even 5am when Johnny gets up, nothing is open. The indoor playareas we frequent are closed, the zoo is closed, SeaWorld is closed, and all of our local parks are out of the question because it's still FRIGGING dark outside.

3. Morning play dates are rough. Most play dates start around 9:30 or 10am. Well, by that time, Hank and I have been up for nearly six hours and he is jonesing for a nap. So I spend a majority of the play date keeping Johnny from stealing toys from other children (or them stealing from him) while holding a really heavy Hank. We usually leave when Hank starts melting down over something silly from lack of sleep.

So there you have it. The three major issues (besides exhaustion) of waking up super early with your toddler. There is one major positive though, and that's that most play areas (indoor and outdoor) are DESERTED in the afternoon since most normal children take naps at that time. After Hank has his 45 minute nap (unless I can hold him the whole time, then it's 2 hours) we try to get out of the house again to burn some energy before its time to come home to make dinner.

Oh, I guess I should note that getting up extra early with Hank means I get some quality alone time with him.. but to be honest it's not all that quality since I'm pretty much a zombie that early, regardless of coffee intake.