The rest of LA

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Rob flew out Thursday I joined him Friday and we left Sunday night. It was a quick trip but we got our sightseeing in. Friday morning we went for a hearty breakfast and to see the Chinese Theater. If we’d timed it better – and not had a baby – I would have loved to seen a movie in the theater, as it is pretty awesome. Instead we took the tour and Rob rubbed the good luck shoulder of some statue in the theater. I took no pictures of this, but it paid off. We did take some photos outside.10371207_10201556371626171_6896800126336801062_o

photoFriday afternoon we hit up the pool for awhile. Caleb didn’t hate it. Friday night was the awards show.

IMG_1851Then Saturday we met up with a bunch of friends who have migrated west. A nice long brunch was great.

IMG_1884But before brunch, we went out for first breakfast because east coast time, and baby who doesn’t care that you were up late. Our only requirement was that we could walk there because getting the car out of the hotel was kind of a pain. We found Eggslut at the Grand Central Market and were there the moment it opened. There are no walls or doors, just giant garage doors that open and stay open. Our first comment to each other was “how does this work in the winter” then we remembered, California. No snow… Delicious eggs.


IMG_1883After brunch we went to the Planetarium, on the solstice. Had we timed it better we would have been there for the evening festivities. Instead we took the requisite picture with the Hollywood sign, then went back to the hotel for an early dinner and cable. We ate at the hotel a few times just because it was easy.

Sunday morning we got up, ate a hotel breakfast and then lounged around the room watching cable.

IMG_1886Then we drove to Santa Monica to see my cousin who moved west about a year ago. It’s funny that I hadn’t seen him in about 18 months and then twice in a week, since he also flew to Indiana for Emily’s wedding.


IMG_1895Then we decided we were tired and headed to the airport. For the first time there was no traffic so we had time to kill. We got our snacks and changed Caleb into pjs and me to yoga pants. Another great gate attendant and I was able to carry the sleeping baby on in his seat. And the Red eye to [Mom's] home.


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At his birthday party, July 9, 2014.

Simon is THREE. Three is just so big, he’s really a kid now. Not a baby or a toddler even. But a real kid. Even since 2.5 it’s amazing the changes. I was watching the videos of him from when Caleb was born and he was so little in how he talked. I’ve become Mom most of the time instead of Mama. Simon has demands and knows what he wants. His communication is amazing and also frustrating. Because with understanding comes having to learn patience, and “no.” There is lots of negotiation happening in our home right now. I have to be the strong one to not give in. And he knows when I’m weak and exactly when and how far he can push. It’s already getting old when he screams at me, but we’ll get through it. The drop down all out tantrums don’t happen that often anymore.There are so many feelings that come with being three. It’s sometimes almost funny to watch him navigate trying to verbalize how he feels, he never knows and it’s always changing. And the answer to “Why?” is always, “But because I did/do.” It is an awesome responsibility parenting a three-year-old.

IMG_2071 IMG_2055 IMG_1794Simon has also earned a lot of independence that is granted to the preschool set of city kids. We’ve been working on stopping at corners and waiting for the “walking man” to cross since he could walk, but really the last year. And over the last six months Simon has earned the privilege to run ahead down the block having proven trustworthy to stop. And the consequences of not stopping halfway (if he’s gone a bit too far from me) or turning a corner without a grown-up are swift and severe. Buckled in the stroller, or hand holding the rest of the walk. There have been three times I can recall where this has happened in the last few months and all are from not listening (not stopping or “hiding” around the corner) and not a real fear that he wasn’t planning to stop at the corner. I’m kind of amazed at the independence he’s earned. He and the after school posse run to the playground together most days after school. I can almost see the future where they do this without the parents trailing along behind.

IMG_2088 IMG_2087Simon also got a scooter and helmet for his birthday, so he’s on wheels. After about a day and half he was doing tricks, like holding one leg to the side. And so fast. We’ve just started scooting to and from school on days he doesn’t ride the bike seat with Dad.

IMG_1669 IMG_1774Somewhere in the last month Simon has learned to identify almost all of the letters and numbers and the sounds they make. I thank the Leap Frog videos on Netflix for the sounds.

IMG_2111We started watching movies this year. The second half of Finding Nemo (the first half where he gets lost and the sharks was too intense, but we might be ready to try again), Rio, and Peter Pan were the first movies. We added in Ghostbusters, Toy Story (1, 2, &3), Marry Poppins, Robin Hood (Disney), A Turtle’s Tale, Frozen, Tangled, Brave, How to Train Your Dragon, Monsters Inc., Kung Fu Panda 2, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (1 &2) and Rio 2 was his first movie theater experience. I list that out and ummm we watch a lot of movies. But that is kind of what happens when your parents work in animation.

IMG_2189As a big brother, Simon is doing pretty good. We are just now getting to the point where Caleb can roll and grab his stuff, and sharing is definitely going to be an issue. But that is to be expected. Mostly he loves his brother and loves to mess with him and touch him all. the. time. Unless of course he wants him to go away and stop crying.

IMG_1993 IMG_2185He still has a love of all things train, but is also in to Monster Trucks and cars and fire trucks. His Duplo building skills are expanding. And so much time spent outside running and climbing.

IMG_1657 IMG_1694At three Simon’s favorite foods are definitely sweets, of which he probably gets too many. But he also likes sausage and bacon, hot dogs, eggs, peanut butter, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, and apples. He’s not so in to vegetables, but will eat at least one bite per meal in order to earn a desert. He also seems to eat more veggies when with anyone other than Mom and Dad.

IMG_2054He loves his “friends” and every one is his friend. It’s so fun to watch him befriend any new kid at the playground if we aren’t there with someone he already knows. It is going to break my heart the first time a bigger kid (or even one his own age) tells him they don’t want him to play with then. Until then I will enjoy his openness to include everyone – unless of course they want his toy and he doesn’t want to share… Ah, three.

DSC05471 As we go through this next year I hope Simon continues to keep his sense of adventure to come along to wherever we drag him in or out of the city. He’s gotten so good at not being scared of new things – like the beach or the carousel. I hope he stays fearless to try new things. The good days are amazing. The not so good days are…difficult. But Simon will keep us on our toes and we love him so very much.IMG_2171

Stats: 36 inches, 28 pounds, size 2T/3T shirts, shorts 12months – 2T (he’s skinny!), diapers size 4 – moving to underwear slowly.


Coffee Chat: let’s talk about make-up

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This is for Hannah. It’s almost like we are having coffee for real, except not. I’ve had it on my to do list to make another video for months. A response video seemed just the thing. So here is seven minutes of me talking about the make-up I use. Or don’t use as I also talk about how I lost the bag for FIVE WEEKS and didn’t notice it was missing. Enjoy! And join us for some coffee chat. What’s in your bag?

And sorry I cut off rather abruptly, my phone ran out of recording space mid good-bye.

Indiana: a few more

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I booked an 11:30 flight out because getting to the airport around 10 seemed doable. Getting there at 7 for a 9:30 flight did not. But then we decided a cab was worth it (I was by myself with them) and we did TSA-pre. And the part I never counted on is that Simon was SO excited to go to Me-maw’s yellow house that he got up and dressed and packed his bag with none of the usual shenanigan’s that he was ready like this for nearly 2 hours. Next time we’ll do the early flight.


He picks his own clothes.


At the airport.

Simon was a dream at the airport and on the plane. He ate his snacks and got to order his own apple juice. He watched a show on the ipad and even wore headphones for part of it. CalebĀ  mostly slept. At the end of the flight though we had some of the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. I honestly thought the oxygen masks might come down. People screamed. Lots of things fell. Simon did NOT like it and said he didn’t want to be scared. I told him it was just bumpy wind and I would keep him safe. I will say it is quite difficult to clean up your mess for proper storage when you have to use one arm for the baby and the big kid is hanging on the other one. But we made it and he was so so happy to land.


On the plane.

The first thing we did upon landing was take Simon for a haircut. It took him awhile to calm down, but he did ok.


Post hair cut.

That night after dinner we did an early birthday present so Simon could have his scooter. Then I went to LA. Simon had a great time with the grandparents. They rode scooters, and took the bikes out, they went to a Day Out With Thomas, and ate a LOT of ice cream. He had a great trip.

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When I got back we were go go go. We did pick up a bouncer for Caleb to have somewhere to put him down. And we spent a day with each of my cousins, Haley and Grant, who came over to play. We went to the pool, which is really a water park. I was so proud of Simon for jumping in and going UNDER. We got to spend a morning with Sara and Charlie and Kaitlyn. We spent a day at Lake Monroe on a boat. Simon was terrified. I later learned it was because he was sick with a fever of 101. So we got some Tylenol.

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The sick boy flew home and the combination of not feeling well and the turbulence on our flight out made him clingy. But he slept on one of us for a bit of it and listened with his headphones for the rest. Caleb ate or slept. And we were home and DONE with travel for a few weeks. We were still overstretched in July, but also playing catch up. We’re getting there.

Indiana: campus edition

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Since we were in Bloomington we had to see some of my favorite places. We ate lunch at Mother Bears Pizza. Then after we checked in to the hotel I took the boys on a walk to Showalter Fountain and the Art Museum. Saturday morning we went to breakfast and walked through the Sample Gates. Simon was excited to eat breakfast at the Village Deli in his pjs. How did we go to breakfast before a day of wedding stuff – kids are EARLY risers. We actually got to eat at the Village Deli twice and ate a post wedding breakfast with Dad and my brother.

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