Currently, Family

A Love Letter to My Town

I was sitting on the couch earlier this week, completely spent from a series of hard days. It was 7:00pm and I had put the kids to bed early. Lately, everything with the toddler has been a revolving script of “NO” and “WHY.” I settled into the couch with my dinner at my side, reaching for the remote to scroll through my recorded shows. My phone chimed with a text from a new Mama friend. We chatted for a moment and I felt myself smile. She suggested an activity for us to do the next morning and I happily agreed. I needed something to pull us out of this funk that had taken up residence in the threenager.

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Last week was my 31st birthday. Yay. My husband was out of town working, and I was flying solo with kids and dogs and life. I’m not big on MY birthday, but I love celebrating. Anything that brings people together is a win in my eyes. A group of friends I’m affectionally starting to call my “Mom-Gang” offered to take me out to brunch after our favorite Barre3 workout. Brunch is my love language. Brunch with friends at a restaurant is next-level to me. We had just seated and settled when I hear my name over my shoulder. I turn, as I’m shoving puffs into the hands of my toddler, and I see a new Mom I’ve met that recently moved to town from Seattle. We exchange some small talk, she introduces her husband who’s with her, and they wish me a happy birthday. I turn back to my table-mates and they look at me wide-eyed – how long have you lived here? how do you know so many people? I shrug and laugh, as I rip open a bag of fruit snacks for my seemingly still-famished child.

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In the Fall I joined MOPS. I was a healthy mix of nerves and excitement at our first meeting. I met all the ladies at my table and we exchanged contact information. After the meeting we all parted ways and I remembered that night we had dinner plans with my sister-in-law to attend the grand-opening of her friend’s new restaurant, a chicken and waffle place, and they were offering free waffles for dinner. I pulled out my phone and plugged the info in my MOPS group text, thinking all moms want a free meal their kids will eat that they don’t have to cook, right? I hit send, and never hear a word back. Later that evening our family is  gathered around a corner booth with our tribe of kids, cutting waffles and managing syrup use – when I hear my name. I turn around to see a MOPS mom and her family finishing their meal, thanking me for telling them about dinner. 15 minuets later another mom from MOPS comes through the door – her husband is out of town, and she’s so relieved to not have to cook another meal. As we’re finishing our dinner the youngest mom of our group arrives with her husband and 3 month old baby. They slide into the booth next to ours with a shy smile and a nod. I wave and thank them for coming. My sister-in-law is laughing and completely flabbergasted, you guys have lived here what, like 2 months, how do YOU know more people in here than ME?!  I smile and shake my head, equally surprised.

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I was loading the dishwasher the other night, collecting the last of the kid’s plastic cafeteria style plates to rinse. I suddenly felt so thankful and happy. It hit me in a massive wave, right as I scraped mac n’ cheese into the sink. I like it here. I’m happy. I have friends. It’s working. Last night I told my husband that I haven’t met a single person here that I haven’t liked. From the grocery store cashiers to the preschool teachers to the random fellow sleep-deprived Mom in the Target – I haven’t walked away from a single interaction with anyone, with anything less than positivity.

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I got an email last night from a friend that moved to town with her family at the exact same time we did. Just about 8 months ago. She paid me the sweetest compliment and said how thankful she is that we met. And it made my heart burst. I’m equally thankful for having her in my life.

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I’m just brimming with gratitude. For everything. Not all day, every second of the day, but it’s the overarching theme in my life right now. And I have my town to thank for that. All this magic, and these people and the friendships. It’s not me. It’s bigger than me. Thank you, Flagstaff.

Family

Riley is 2.5

We celebrated his 2.5 year birthday at Disneyland! I actually didn’t even realize it until we were headed home.

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Another 6 months has passed since I last did an update, and we’ve had Charly around since then!

Size: 38lbs?  I really have no idea, we should stick him on the scale here at home. Height, 41.5″ we measured him before we went to Disneyland. He’s wearing 5T/6 clothing. Size 9 shoes. We’re on the verge of the season changing back to warm again, so I need to buy him some summer gear. He’s one of the biggest kids his age I’ve ever met. When we meet new people they always ask how old he is. They are shocked when I tell them.

Health: He had the real full blown stomach flu over the weekend after Thanksgiving. It was gnarly. He tried to tell us he didn’t feel well, and we didn’t understand him until he got sick on the living room floor after refusing breakfast. When I went into his room I found out he’d probably gotten sick during the night, but we never heard him make a peep on the monitor. He spent the rest of the day laying on the couch, using the “barf bowl” and looking miserable. He got sick all over me multiple times when I would hold him, no warning. By the end of the day he would say “mess!” every time he was going to get sick. His fever spiked that night and after treating it he was much better. I read a lot about vomiting and got much better at managing when and what to give him. I slept on the floor of his room half of that night, and he was back to himself the next day. We thought he may have had the chicken pox after Christmas and were frantically texting everyone we thought might know. We ended up taking him to the Peditrician just to be safe. They ruled it an isolated allergic reaction, and the only thing I can pin it to is the ALL Free And Clear Detergent we’d recently started using. The bumps on his face still haven’t 100% cleared up
Sleep:  Kid NEEDS his sleep. I have a feeling he’ll be napping for a good long time. I think he’s like his Daddy. He takes an 1.5 – 3 hour nap and sleeps from 7:30pm – 6:30am. If we’re off our routine for too many days in a row he doesn’t handle it well. He’s not a mess, he’s just so so much happier when he’s gotten the right amount of sleep. He’s always been like that. If he misses a nap, or doesn’t sleep long enough I pull up his bedtime to offset it. Still happy in his big brother room, and wakes up calling for us. If he’s taken a good nap he wakes up so chatty and just rambles on about all kinds of things.
Eating: I’m a little frustrated with the pickiness that’s appeared recently and the “yuck!” faces I get when I offer him new foods. I try to give him 2/3 things he will for sure eat (grain or any kind of fruit or dairy) and then offer 1 new thing. Sometimes he eats the new thing, sometimes he doesn’t. He loves green smoothies, which is the only way he’s eating green veggies. Breakfast foods are still his favorite. He’s just started grabbing a whole apple from the fridge and eating it for real, it’s so cute and funny. He ate one today and got it all the way down to the core! I’m trying to get him into more veggies and new kinds of foods, but I think he eats pretty well for a toddler so I can’t be too upset. I do kind of repeat foods (I do it for myself too) so that’s part of it.

What Riley is up to: His personality is coming through and he’s a funny, organized and focused kid. He can be very particular about how he wants something done. He likes routine, and will remind me if I’ve missed a step. He has a great attention to detail and really good fine and gross motor skills. He can throw a ball, do a floor puzzle and he’s learning to dress and bathe himself. I think he’s pretty typical when it comes to behavior and energy. He’s moderate energy, and tantrums have gotten so much better. We rarely have to count to 3 and get him to time out. Times we do are often for pushing boundaries, or hitting the dog. Poor Betsy. His speech is coming along, and he’s saying new words every week. He’s also counting to 10 on his own and starting to identify letters. He cannot go outside without his sunglasses and a hat.

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BFFS. Doing the Long Distance Thing.

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Loves rain puddles!
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Helping me celebrate 30
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Same age. 1 day apart. BFFs for Life!

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Stomach Flu Day

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Halloween 2015

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“Ma Boat!!!”

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Cars in a line – TA-DA!
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Big Brother

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Toys + Activities: Hotwheels, park trips, stroller walks, walking Betsy, stacking, lining up cars, cooking, helping with tools, painting, Playdough, Curious George, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Thoughts: It’s a sweet chapter in parenting. Sure, it’s hard and totally exhausting. But it’s so cool to see him becoming more of a little human, and have his own style and personality. I love how happy he gets when he can communicate something to me and I understand him. Being a toddler must feel like being in a foreign country where you have a limited grasp on the language, and you don’t understand all the unnecessary (in your mind) rules for everything. I love that we did Baby Led Weaning with him, he’s very careful when he eats and doesn’t make a huge mess. I’m also glad we encouraged solo play since he’s happy to do something on his own for a while before inviting me to join in or see his finished project. We don’t have any plans to send him to preschool, and I’m pretty happy with that plan. I’d like to homeschool, so we’ll see where it goes.