Independence

2-year olds are funny creatures.  One day they want to be independent and do everything for themselves.  The next day they want to be a baby and have you carry them around and do everything for them.

This week Julia has been very much into doing things by herself.  She tells me when we’re leaving the house in the morning, “I do it myself,” meaning that she wants to walk down the stairs all by herself, not holding hands with me.  She looks like such a little kid when she walks all by herself.  11.12.2014(2)

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11.12.2014In addition to walking down the stairs by herself, she has figured out how to take her pajamas off by herself (the footie pajama kind, not the shirt/pants kind) and she’s even figured out how to get her diaper off.  She often takes her shoes and socks off at the worst possible time (in the car, 5 minutes before we get to school) and she’s also figured out how to take off her zip-up sweatshirts.  As far as feeding herself is concerned, sometimes she wants to do it herself and sometimes she wants you to do it for her.  And you never know from one minute to the next which it will be.

We have started asking Julia what she wants to wear each morning.  Inevitably, her answer is “a tutu.”  She calls all dresses tutus and she loves to wear them.  Kind of like my mom’s rule when I was growing up, I’ve decided to implement a rule that Julia can pick out what she wants to wear and as long as it’s weather appropriate (or can somehow be made weather appropriate), then she can wear it.  So we go through a lot of dresses.  In the winter we can put leggings or pants on underneath and if we need to add a long-sleeved shirt, we can do that, too.  The other day she got to wear her black & gold tutu for the Saints! 11.13.2014

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Gagee is sending Julia some new winter hats to wear so we can keep her head nice and warm when we head outside, too.  I can’t believe that winter is already upon us.  It’s supposed to be in the 20’s overnight tonight and there’s a possibility of snow on Sunday night.

Last winter was really emotionally draining because there were so many snow days.  After a day or two at home we started to feel very cooped up and bored.  I made a bin of arts and crafts supplies and this year we have a Toddler Activity book that I think will come in handy.  It has a bunch of ideas for things to do with minimal supplies/money/planning.

It was really frustrating last year because if Julia’s school closed for snow, I couldn’t go to work but this year we have a “drop-in” daycare we can use if they’re open but Julia’s regular school is closed so hopefully that will allow me to work as many days as possible.  The winter is just so depressing though, so I hope this winter is not as bad as last year.  I have heard predictions that this winter is supposed to be just as cold and just as snowy so I’m not feeling hopeful.  Luckily though, we have lots of things to do… we’ll have music class on Sundays starting in January, we just joined the Aquarium as members, we can always go to Storyville and the JCC is opening a new Jewish version of Storyville called J-Town, so we will be sure to take advantage of all of those this winter when we don’t feel like playing outside.  Last year Julia did love the snow so I’m curious to see her reaction to it this year!

We may even see some snowflakes before we leave for California next weekend!

 

Low-Key weekend

I’ve said this before: I always find it ironic that it takes Ken being on call for us to have a quiet weekend at home.  When Ken’s not on call we always make lots of plans since we feel like we should take advantage of his not being on call to spend time together as a family.  So we make brunch plans, play date plans, dinner plans, etc. but when he’s on call, since he could potentially get called in to the hospital at any time, we really don’t make a whole lot of plans.  We might have one or two tentative plans that are always dependent upon Ken not getting called in, but for the most part we stick around at home and wait to see if he gets called in.  So ironically this past weekend, we had a very quiet, low-key weekend at home, which was exactly what we needed!

Friday night Ken got stuck at the hospital helping out a patient for about 5 hours so he didn’t get home until close to midnight.  Julia and I went to Chabad for Shabbat dinner, where she had a ton of fun running around with the Rabbi’s kids.

Saturday we had no plans!  We went to the Farmer’s Market, played at home, I got some laundry done, Julia and I made a run to Target, and we just kind of enjoyed some quiet time as a family.  We showed Julia her first Disney movie (Dumbo) and relaxed a lot.  It was lovely!  11.10.2014(9)

We did get a new bedding set so I was excited to make our bed with the new covers and pillows.  I love how cozy our bed is with all the pillows and I’ve always thought a bed with lots of pillows looked more “grown-up” so I’m excited to have a grownup bed, finally!11.10.2014(8)

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Sunday we had Julia’s soccer class and then Ken went to watch the Arsenal game with our friend Pete, while Julia and I had a playdate with Sarah and their son James.  The kids had lots of fun playing together and Sarah & I were able to catch up a bit.11.10.2014(2)  11.10.2014(3)

11.10.2014(4)After Julia’s nap, Ken made Red Beans & Rice for dinner for the first time, with beans we got at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday.  Then we were able to go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep in our new cozy bed!11.10.2014

After soccer we played at home–Julia put all her animals to sleep on the table and had a lovely snack of apples and peanut butter!

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Next weekend will hopefully be another quiet one at home and then the following weekend we are leaving for San Francisco for my best friend Julia’s wedding and for Thanksgiving!  I can’t believe the holidays are here and winter weather will be here before we know it!

Halloween & A Visit with Bubbie & Zaydie!

Friday was Halloween!  I have such wonderful memories of Halloween growing up and really want to make sure Julia loves the holiday as much as I did.  This was probably the last (or maybe second-to-last?) year that we can decide what Julia dresses up as for Halloween since I’m sure by next year she’ll be telling us what she wants to wear each day.  We decided to dress her up as Minnie Mouse this year.

When she was just a month old she had a cute little pumpkin hat from my mom and then on Halloween Day she was a skeleton and last year we almost didn’t go trick-or-treating but at the last minute decided to put her in skeleton pajamas and go out but this year was the first year she could really go out and have fun with it.  photo

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Bubbie & Zaydie flew in on Friday so we went trick-or-treating with them and with our friends Sam & Mark and their little boy, Lincoln, who coincidentally was dressed up as Mickey Mouse!  We also met up with our friend Gretchen and her daughter Lily (the lion!): 10.31.2014(2)

10.31.2014(4) Julia was a little skeptical at first:

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It took a while for the kids to warm up to the idea of approaching strangers at their front door and ask for candy but once they started to realize they got candy in their pumpkin baskets, they had such a grand old time!  10.31.2014(8)

Julia was a little afraid of some of the houses with scary decorations that moved or made noise, but for the most part she had a blast.  After trick-or-treating they had us over for dinner, which was just lovely!

The rest of the weekend was fairly relaxing: we spent most of the day Saturday at home–Mona, Julia & I played at home while Robert and Ken got some things done around the house and Ken & I finally spent some time cleaning up his study, his desk, my desk and making things a little more organized and presentable in our bedroom.  We have too much stuff and clutter seems to accumulate very easily on surfaces in our house so sometimes we need an extra push to get things cleaned up but we’re so glad we did since it looks so much better.  The biggest challenge will be keeping it up now that we have it cleaned up but hopefully if we are sure to spend some time every Sunday cleaning up from the week, we will manage to keep it all up.  Saturday night we had a lovely time going out to dinner and then Bubbie & Zaydie read Julia her bedtime stories: 11.3.2014(2)

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Sunday Julia had soccer class (she got to wear her new soccer shirt from Dana & Liam), and then we met up with Cousin David for brunch before going home for naptime.  11.3.2014(4)

Julia also discovered over the weekend that she can climb into her old bouncer which she used to love as a baby.  Only she’s way too big for it now and looked like a giant in it! 11.3.2014

After nap on Sunday we got a few more things done and then went out for dinner before it was time for Bubbie & Zaydie to head back to the airport.  Luckily, we’ll be seeing them in Florida for New Years!

October/November Stitch Fix Review

Friday afternoon I received another Stitch Fix box.  I think this was my 5th (?) time getting a box from Stitch Fix.  I’ve chosen to get boxes approximately every 3 months so as to add a few new pieces to my wardrobe each season.  It’s so convenient and fun, especially as the mother of a toddler who is a PITA to shop with.  For this month’s fix, I was a little more specific about what I wanted… I said a pair of pants, a jacket, a sweater and no more horizontal stripes!  I also mentioned that I was willing to go a little more casual this month than I had been going.

This was the first time that I almost considered keeping everything in the Box because my stylist got it so right.  As always the logistics of getting a box worked out great.  The box arrived the exact day they said it would.  sf6

The items inside were beautifully packaged and wrapped nicely, and there was a lovely little note from my stylist, Liz.  sf7

I am going to request this same stylist again for my next Fix since she got it so right this time!

In this month’s box, there was a shirt, sweater, pair of pants, scarf and a jacket.  And if the shirt had fit a little bit better and the pants had been a little less expensive I would have kept everything.  I loved everything in this month’s box!

First up I tried on the shirt and jeans: sf

The shirt was a little bit tight across the chest and I had specifically asked for no more horizontal stripes but I still liked this shirt.  I liked the colors and the material and I liked the style a lot.  The styling card suggested a couple different outfits and I could see wearing it for work or for casual weekends.  sf11

The jeans were also lovely… they fit great, could be worn with flats or boots (I even tried on my boots over the jeans and they were great since the legs of the jeans aren’t bulky like some skinny jeans are).  The material was very soft and had the perfect amount of stretch.  The only problem was that the jeans were $98… a bit more than I wanted to spend right now.  Of course they suggested two lovely outfits to create with the jeans–one more casual and one more dressy.  sf8Next up were a sweater and scarf, both of which I tried on with the jeans as well.  sf2

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The sweater is lovely–I love the color, the fit, the softness of the material and the fact that it’s so versatile!  Here are the outfits they recommended putting together for the sweater: sf9

and for the scarf, they had a little card showing how to wear it! sf12

And last but not least was a jacket: sf4

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The thing I love the most about this jacket is that it’s so unlike anything I already own and it’s not something I would have picked out on my own to try on.  But I love that about it.  It’s a little different.  It was very comfortable, was made of a lovely material and has a hood!

With Ken’s help I decided to keep the sweater and the jacket.  I really loved everything this month but I just couldn’t justify spending $188 on clothing right now when we are trying to save money.  The jeans were $98 which is a little more than I can spend right now.  The scarf was lovely but was just too warm for Baltimore winters, and I already have plenty of scarves and the shirt was a little too tight in the chest, making it not quite perfect.

If you are interested in signing up for Stitch Fix, here is a referral link you can use:

http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3042303

I do get credit added to my account if you use my referral link.  It really is such a wonderful service.  It’s like having your very own personal stylist!  I highly recommend it!  Enjoy!

 

Birthday Party & Quiet Weekend

It’s been a while since I’ve written!

Last weekend, Sarah & I took James & Julia to a farm to do some of their fun fall activities–we went on a hayride out to the Pumpkin Patch to pick pumpkins (which Julia calls “cumpins”) and then we went to their little petting zoo before getting lunch at the “Farm restaurant.”  10.20.2014(3)

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As is usually the case with Julia, she had absolutely no fear going right up to the sheep and petting them, sticking food in their mouths, etc.

The next day, we had Julia’s birthday party!  It was very nice and low-key, which was exactly what we were hoping for.  We just had people gather at the little playground near our house, and we provided a fruit tray, veggie tray, cupcakes, juice boxes and bubbles.  Julia had tons of fun and the set-up and clean-up were very easy since we didn’t have a million people in our house.  10.20.2014(9)

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It was especially nice that our friends Phil & Sabrina came up from Gaithersburg with their little boys since we hadn’t seen them in quite some time.  It was really nice to see them and Julia had lots of fun with Koren!  After the party we went and grabbed dinner at the Diner with them!

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Julia’s favorite birthday present is probably the Leap Frog laptop that Phil & Sabrina got her.  She calls it her “puder” (aka computer) and she loves the music that it plays.  She had so much fun with it the other day at dinner! 10.27.2014(9)

During the week I had the pleasure of visiting with two friends who we knew in New Orleans!  Kathleen & Justin were on the East Coast for Justin’s sister’s wedding so I got to meet up with them for lunch.  10.27.2014(8)

and then on Friday I took the train down to DC to meet up with Larissa for lunch!  10.27.2014(4)

Even though we only had a short visit together, it was so nice to see her and catch up!

This past weekend, despite Ken being on call, we ended up having a fairly low-key and quiet family weekend at home.  Friday night we went to Chabad for Shabbat dinner and we ended up being the only people there so it was just the Rabbi and his family and us.  It was so nice since Julia is really able to run around and play with their kids now and we were able to enjoy some time without any undergrads around!

Saturday Julia & I went to a Tot Shabbat service at the DBJCC and then we spent most of the rest of the weekend relaxing at home.  Julia had a bit of a cold yesterday, so we didn’t want to expose her to other kids but she did get to try on her Halloween costume!  10.27.2014

and she had lots of fun playing with her “doctor toys.”  10.27.2014(2)

She likes looking in my ears and eyes, taking my temperature and listening to my heart!  Saturday night Ken & I also went over to our next door neighbor’s house for her annual Halloween party.  We didn’t really dress up but Ken had fun with these eyeballs! 10.27.2014(3)

We have a lot of excitement coming up in the next few weeks… Bubbie & Zaydie are coming to visit this weekend for Halloween.  We’ll be going trick-or-treating with our friends Sam & Mark and their son Lincoln.  Ken is on call the following weekend, then we have one more weekend in town before we head to San Francisco for all of Thanksgiving week!  My best friend Julia is getting married the Saturday before Thanksgiving so we’re flying in on Saturday and staying until the Saturday after the holiday.  Ken & I are also going away to Wine Country for two nights while we leave Julia with my parents overnight for the first time ever.  We are definitely looking forward to having some time together just the two of us and to sleeping in (hopefully!) past 6 AM!

For now though, it’s time to get to work on this beautiful fall Monday!

Sweet moment

The other night, after Julia’s 2-year checkup, we had a very sweet moment at home.  I want to make sure we remember it so I figured this is as good a place as any to write it down.  Julia got 3 shots at her checkup, and one of her legs was feeling sore from the shots.  I noticed that she was limping a little and the area around the shot was a little hard and warm to the touch.  She also complained once or twice about it hurting, so we gave her Tylenol.

While Ken & I were putting her pajamas on, she said to Ken, “Daddy, I hurt” in the most adorable little girl voice you can imagine.  He asked her if she wanted him to kiss her booboos and she said yes, so he kissed one side and then she said very sweetly, “Thank you, Daddy!”  Then he kissed the other side and she said “All better!”

Melted our hearts!

 

A Whirlwind Weekend Away

We just got back last night from a whirlwind weekend away!  We left Friday right after work and drove up to Jon & Sara’s house in New York.  Julia fell asleep in the car, so when we got there we put her right to bed, then watched the end of the (very disappointing) first game of the ALCS between the Orioles and the Royals.  The Orioles came so close to catching up and winning but they just couldn’t quite make it.

Julia tends to wake up verrrrrrrrry early when we’re somewhere new and unfamiliar so she woke up at 3:30 AM (despite our having given her Benadryl) and she didn’t go back to sleep until about 4:30.  Then she was up for the day by about 6:45.  We had a quick breakfast with Marlee & Jonah before hitting the road again. 10.13.2014(12)

Julia is so cute with her older cousins–she follows Marlee around like a little puppy dog and she clearly thinks Marlee is the coolest thing since sliced bread!  She looks up to her so much and I really think that Marlee could get Julia to do just about anything… whatever Marlee does, Julia wants to do, too!

The drive through Upstate New York and Vermont was absolutely beautiful.  The trees are all changing colors and we drove through some very quaint little towns.  When we got to Middlebury, our hotel room wasn’t quite ready so we had to change in the bathroom to get ready for the wedding.

Julia looked adorable in the dress my mom knit for her, and Ken and I wore orange to represent the Orioles! 10.13.2014(2)

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Dana and Liam’s wedding was at a barn in a little town called Ferrisburgh, Vermont.  The ceremony was outside with the beautiful foliage behind them.  10.13.2014(4)

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I’ve known Dana since we were in kindergarten so I knew a lot of the folks at the wedding, too.  There were a lot of parents of kids we went to school with and I had met most of Dana’s bridesmaids and other friends from high school.  10.13.2014(8)

It was great seeing them after so long.  Julia had tons of fun running around during the cocktail hour.  She made friends with a little boy named Elliott, who happened to be sitting at our table during dinner, and they were quite adorable together! 10.13.2014(7)

Julia was also very excited to hold Dana’s beautiful bouquet, though we tried to make sure she didn’t pull it apart, which she loves to do when she sees flowers! 10.13.2014(6)The reception was inside a big old barn, and was very simple but beautiful.  10.13.2014(9)

We really had a wonderful time!  Julia hadn’t taken a nap all day so she ended up sleeping during dinner but once the music started she was so excited to dance the night away.  She loved dancing with a little 3-year old girl.  The two of them were so cute together.  Eventually Julia started to get very sleepy and we decided it was time to head back to our hotel for bed.  Julia ended sleeping in bed with me and Ken moved to the other bed half-way through the night since she was kicking him.

Sunday morning after breakfast we all packed back into the car to head home after a quick lunch stop at Jon & Sara’s house.  We also stopped at a place in upstate New York where we got some Apple Cider, Donuts, apples and pumpkins!  We picked out one big one for ourselves and Julia got to pick out her own little pumpkin. 10.13.2014(10)

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The way Julia says the word pumpkin is absolutely adorable… sounds like “Cumpin” but it’s so cute.  She loved walking around and saying “my cumpin, big cumpin, little cumpin… Daddy’s cumpin, Mommy’s cumpin, Julia’s cumpin!”

We eventually made it home and went right to bed!  Monday mornings after a long weekend together are always hard… but I’m sure Julia will have a great time at school today with her new friends!

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JULIA!

Today is Julia’s 2nd birthday! It’s so hard to believe that this tiny little baby girl is now two years old!10.8.2012

You have come a long way from being a little 6 lb. 7 oz. bundle to being a talkative, creative, energetic, loving little 2-year old.  Every day I am grateful that you gave me the gift I always wanted: motherhood.  Thank you, Julia, for making me a mother!  You give me so much joy just watching you learn about the world around you and I am so proud of the little girl you are becoming.  I can’t wait to see what this next year holds for you!  10.8.2014

Happy Birthday to you, Julia!

Julia is a very lucky little girl since her Gagee is visiting her for her birthday!  My mom flew in late Friday night, so she was here when Julia woke up Saturday morning!  They spent the day playing at home while Ken & I went to Yom Kippur services. 10.8.2014(8)

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After services we played at home for a while, put Julia to bed, and then Ken & I went out to dinner to break our fast.  After dinner we went to see Corey’s band play a show at a little bar in Parkville.

Sunday morning, my mom & I took Julia to her soccer class.  This time she wasn’t really into playing the games and going along with the rest of the class but we still had fun.  After soccer we stopped at Starbucks for a little coffee date.  10.8.2014(6)And then we all went to brunch with my cousins Rachel & David.  10.8.2014(13)

 

After brunch we went home for a nap and some iPad time!10.8.2014(5)

Then we went back out to Parkville to watch the Orioles game with our friends Chris & Joylene and their two little boys.  The Orioles won and clinched a spot in the ALCS!  It was very exciting, though Julia did not like all the loud cheering and jumping that took place at the end of the game.  She did have fun playing with a doctor kit while we were there! 10.8.2014(2)

Monday Julia went to school but Gagee picked her up a little early so they could have some Gagee and Julia time.  They came and met me at the hospital and then we went to visit Daddy at work, too.  Julia loves having Ken look in her eyes and she likes all the toys Daddy gets to play with at work!  10.8.2014(3)I joked that she’s the best Pediatric Ophthalmology patient since she plays along with having lights shined in her eyes but she doesn’t actually have anything wrong!  After playing doctor, my mom and I took Julia to the grocery store.  It was her first time going in one of the fun car shopping carts, which she thought was pretty cool.  She kept saying “Beep beep!  Honk honk!” the whole time we did our grocery shopping! 10.8.2014(4)

Tuesday Julia went to school for a regular day at school while my mom stayed home to relax and today they are home together for a Gagee & Julia day.  I’m sure they are having LOTS of fun!  Ken & I went out last night to pick up some balloons for Julia for this morning (but sadly, they were already starting to deflate by the time she started playing with them this morning).  We also got some cupcakes which we will have together tonight.

My mom leaves tomorrow morning and then Friday after work, we will be driving up to NY and then to Vermont the next day for my friend Dana’s wedding.  Dana is a friend I’ve known since Kindergarten so I am very excited to see her get married!  Somehow we will have to decide what Julia should wear… I’m sure we can find something fun in her giant wardrobe of cute clothes!  And even though we won’t be there this weekend, we’ll be thinking of our Orioles and cheering them on as we listen to the game on the radio! Go O’s! 10.8.2014(9)

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New beginnings!

It seems very appropriate to me that today, this first Monday of the Jewish new year, is Julia’s first day at her new school!  I have my fingers crossed that everything goes well.  I just called to check on her and so far it seems she’s having a great day!

After the chaos of last week, we had a lovely few days at home for Rosh Hashana.  Wednesday night we were invited to the home of some friends in Pikesville for dinner.  We put Julia to sleep right away when we got there and then we were able to enjoy the meal and some adult conversation.  We had a wonderful time!

Thursday we went to services at a new-to-us Shul in Pikesville.  They had babysitting for the holidays so we got Julia dressed up and took her with us.  She wore a dress that my mom made for me when I was little and she looked absolutely adorable! 9.29.2014(37)Julia did great playing with the other kids downstairs and Ken & I were able to enjoy services.  The Shul is very small, with a cozy and intimate feeling like the one we belonged to in New Orleans so for now we are thinking we may start to get involved with their community, hopefully going at least once a month for Shabbat.  They apparently have babysitting for weekly Shabbat services too, so we’ll be able to bring Julia with us without a problem.  Our friend Rebecca, who we knew from New Orleans, invited us for lunch after services so we got to meet her husband and some of their friends from the Shul.  We had a great time!

Thursday night we decided to stay home for dinner since we were out late on Wednesday night and we knew we’d be out late the following evening.  We made Cholent for the first time and it turned absolutely perfect.  And of course now Ken is saying we should make it every few weeks!

Friday I decided to skip services (not so much fun to go by yourself!)… instead, Julia and I had a lovely day at home.  We ran a few errands in the morning, had lunch with Miss Steffi and then went to the playground in the afternoon!  9.29.2014(38)

When Ken got home, we all got ready to go out for Shabbat dinner at my boss’ house! 9.29.2014(33)

It’s pretty special to be invited to dinner at your boss’ house, especially when you have a very active 2-year old!  We made sure to bring lots of toys and books to keep her occupied.  She didn’t really eat much at dinner but she had lots of fun playing with all the stuffed animals they pulled out for her.  And everyone thought it was adorable that she and I were matching in black & white stripes!

Saturday, Uncle Adam & Miss Jenn were in DC for a wedding so we went to spend the day with them!  We met up with them at the Zoo, which neither Ken nor I had ever been to.  It’s much better than the Baltimore Zoo, and one big bonus is that it’s free!  The older Julia gets, the more fun she’s able to have at the zoo but I think this time the best attraction was Uncle Adam!  She had so much fun with him.  It was great to see him.  9.29.2014(35)

Julia also got to go on a carousel for the first time!  She went once with Mommy & once with Daddy! 9.29.2014(34)

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And of course she asked to hold Daddy’s and Uncle Adam’s hands so they could swing her in the air! 9.29.2014(31)

After the zoo, we all went to grab lunch at Chipotle.  While we were there, we saw two of the Duggar girls from the show “19 Kids and Counting”!  Jenn & I were so excited to meet them so we took our picture with them.  They were just as sweet in person as they seem on the show.  9.29.2014(36)

Apparently they were in town for some very conservative republican conference with Sarah Palin as one of the keynote speakers.  I may not share their political views but they seem like a lovely family.

Sunday morning Daddy & Julia went to soccer class while I cleaned up around the house and then we went out to buy a new carseat to replace the one that was in Ken’s car.  Technically speaking our carseat was probably fine since the accident was fairly minor and according to the website for the carseat manufacturer, the seat should be fine after a minor accident… but insurance companies don’t like to mess with carseats so they agreed to replace ours.

After lunch and nap, we went to beautiful Sherwood Gardens for a 2nd birthday photo shoot with Miss Steffi!  She took photos last year for Julia’s 1st birthday and I loved the way they turned out so I asked her to take some again this year for her 2nd birthday.  She sent me just a fraction of the ones she took but I absolutely LOVE them!  Here are some of my favorites: 9.29.2014(25)

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And, for comparison, I made a couple of collages to compare the photos Steffi took last year with the ones she took this year.  It’s amazing to see the difference in Julia between her 1st birthday and her 2nd birthday.  She’s gone from baby to little girl.  And her personality has just continued to blossom! 9.29.2014(29)

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Here’s wishing my little munchkin a very happy 2nd birthday next week!

“When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good!”

9.18.2014

The title of this post comes from a Daniel Tiger episode.  Daniel Tiger is Julia’s new favorite show to watch.  I like this show much better than her previous favorite, Bubble Guppies.  Each episode of Daniel Tiger talks about a feeling and there’s a little song that goes along with each one.  One of them talks about how if something bad happens, you should try to look on the bright side and find the positive aspects that can come about from a negative situation.

“When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good.”  

Yesterday was a very bad day but I’m trying to keep that little song in mind and look on the bright side of things.  Yesterday, around 11:30, I got a call from Julia’s daycare that she had bitten yet again.  The director asked us to come in to speak to her in person.  So around 4:30, Ken and I went to meet with her and she informed us that she’s made the decision that things just aren’t working out anymore and she asked us to find another child care arrangement.  (Less than a half hour later, when we were leaving the daycare, we were rear-ended in a hit-and-run accident.  The driver of the car got out to look at the damage, got back in his car and then drove away.  When the police looked up the plate number that Ken read them from the other car, it was registered to a truck, which means we’re dealing with stolen plates or something… and probably an uninsured motorist.)

Luckily, I had been anticipating this very thing happening so I had already been in touch with another daycare director.  He’s aware of the situation and basically already had a spot open for Julia.  We just had to fill out some paperwork to put things into motion.  So today is Julia’s last day at the daycare s she’s been at since she was 10 months old.  I figured she would want one last day to say goodbye to the friends and teachers she’s had.  I’ll be home with Julia the rest of this week (I have an appointment tomorrow morning and Thursday and Friday both daycares are closed for Rosh Hashana) and then Monday morning she’ll be starting at her new daycare.

Even though Julia is not yet 2, I think she understands a lot more than we sometimes give her credit for and I’m afraid for her that she’s going to feel like she did something bad.  I’m afraid she’ll be sad that she won’t get to see her friends anymore.  She was very close with the other two girls in her class and I’m sad for her that she won’t be seeing them every day.  But at the same time I feel relieved that Julia won’t be in a stressful environment anymore.  I think that the more Julia bit, the more the teachers felt helpless and unable to control her behavior.  They started to get anxious and feel guilty about the whole situation and I think that stress was palpable in the classroom and probably caused Julia some anxiety herself.  That, in turn, probably contributed to the biting problem.

At the same time, I’m excited about Julia’s new daycare.  I have no doubt that she is resilient, as children tend to be, and that she will make new friends.  She will have new wonderful teachers, and she will make new memories in her new school.  I have a lot of hope and optimism right now that the simple change of scenery will be good for Julia.  She’ll be going into a new school where she doesn’t have a reputation for being a biter.  The teachers do not have anxiety about her being there, and they will treat her like they treat all the other kids, not as the “biter” in the classroom.  Parents will not have preconceived notions about her being a bad kid and she will hopefully start fresh, with a clean slate.

Another little “golden nugget” from Daniel Tiger is the little song “When you do something new, let’s talk about what we’ll do.”  This morning I tried to give Julia a little bit of warning about what’s about to happen.  We can’t really sit down and have a heart-to-heart with her but I tried to explain that today would be her last day at her school with her friends but that on Monday she’s going to go to a new school that will be so much fun, with new toys and a new playground, new friends and new teachers.  Her answer? “No.”  That stung a little… but hopefully after a few days at home, Monday morning will go smoothly!

This morning when I brought Julia into her classroom, one of her teachers, who’s been with Julia from the beginning, started to tear up.  They’ve all seen Julia’s good side and I think they really love her and her good qualities and they’ve felt so guilty this whole time about not being able to stop her when she does bite.  I think they will miss her and her spunky personality a lot, but hopefully we will stay in touch with the ones Julia’s become close with.  They can still babysit and see her periodically. 9.12.2014(2)

9.12.2014(4)Sometimes Jim and my mother-in-law are right that everything happens for a reason.  We will make the most of this and find something good!