Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Benture Bag

Recently, we had some pretty severe storms that were threatening to come through our area.  They were supposed to be coming through on and off all day, so I prepared first thing in the morning.  In our area, a bad thunder and lightening storm can turn dangerous pretty fast.  There are lots of trees, so obviously them falling is a danger.  If winds pick up, tornado watches and warnings start.


I mean,  I don't know many people that enjoy them.  But they are my number one fear. Spiders I can deal with.  Snakes don't  bother me. Tornados are the one things that totally freak me out.  So I packed a survival bag early in the morning.  Flash lights, waters, food, diapers, phones...and I added things all day long.  The storms didn't end up coming until nighttime, and hitting badly RIGHT when Hubby walked through the door (yay for prayers being answered!). 

I set up a basement sanctuary during these types of storms.  We usually lose power anyway, so there's not much else to do, so we hang out in the basement to be safe.  I laid out blankets, and set up a pack and play so I could just grab the girls and go downstairs if it came on fast. Problem is, Reilly picks up really easily on my mood.  I didn't want her to be scared of storms forever because of me and how I was acting.  So my mama told me to have HER pack a bag and try and make it fun for her.  So we called it her "Special Adventure Bag" and I told her to put things she would want for her adventure to the basement.  She called it her "Feshial Benture Bag", and man was she excited.  She is not usually allowed in the basement.  So we put on her Elmo slippers, and headed downstairs. 

Also in Mommy and Daddy's bag was some Solo cups and wine.  Just for good measure.

So apparently, Reilly had the time of her life.  Ever since the storm, she is constantly saying "I need to get my Benture Bag and my Elmo slippers and go to the basement!"  She especially asks to go down if:
1. Either Hubby or I go downstairs. ("I will come to! I will get my Benture Bag!")
2. It is raining. (She says "I hear thunder!  We go to the basement!")
3.  Lights are turned off in the room we are in. ("OH no!  What happened to the lights?! I will get my Benture Bag!")

It's like she's trying to trick me into thinking the power went out so we can go down there.  I can't tell you how many times I have turned the lights on to reassure her that we still had power.  It was sure an eventful night/ next day (no power all day!)  But we had a memorable time, and actually had so much fun.  Luckily the storm wasn't as bad as it seemed like it was going to be.  And now Reilly thinks storms are the funnest thing ever!  :)

This picture has nothing to do with the post, this is one morning was Reilly insisted that Reagan sit with her to watch Elmo.  Just let me melt right now. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Memory Marks

To a new bride, a couch is a big deal.  I remember picking out the couch for our house - we went to so many different places.  I knew what I wanted - comfort, simplicity, neutral colors.  But this was a big deal!  Such a huge piece of furniture, in the middle of the house.  It had to be perfect.

To a mama, a couch is a casualty of toddler fun, full of memory marks.  I have come to realize that we can't agonize over every stain that appears on the couches - yelling about every strawberry-soaked hand that falls on it's cushions in a fit of giggles.  I mean, I'm sure some people do that.  But  I just can't.  Don't get me wrong, I do not encourage food on the couch, or stain-making.  I will certainly correct and get angry when markers are being wielded about, in order to make the little one understand proper behavior.  But I don't care about the couch, not really.  That's not what it's there for.  It's there to be lived on. 

In our most recent couch staining experience, there was a paint brush involved.  A paint brush covered in paint, and very enthusiastic painter wearing a beret.  As I tried removing the stain, I thought about the couches in my house that I grew up in.  I thought about the memories I had associated with them.  I remember sitting on the love seat and reading the 10 library books that we would get each week, which were kept on the table by the couch so we didn't lose them.  I remember that it was blue with little dots, I remember the way it felt.  I remember little ruffled pillow that were perfect for little heads.  I remember the spot where our puppy loved to sleep while we weren't home.  I remember the arm where she used to prop up on to see us out the window.  I remember making forts with the cushions.  I remember jumping on the loveseat to the Cookie Monster song until my mama told me that jumping wasn't allowed.

Know what I don't remember?  Any stains.  I'm sure they were there.  But they didn't matter.  They didn't affect our fun.  They didn't affect our memories.

So today, as the couch cushion is packaged up and ready to go the dry cleaners, I'm not caring.  And not because I am careless, because I do care about keeping belongings nice. But because I don't want to look back on today and have the memory be of the stain, or of yelling at Reilly for making it.  I want my memory to be what I know Reilly's memory will be: that hot summer day when Mommy and I painted pretty pictures.  She won't remember making the stain, or the Memory Mark.  With every stain, there is usually a face like this that made it.  And if I agonized over every stain, I would miss the fun this face was having.

So if you come to my house, the couch will have stains, because it is a couch that is cuddled on, lived on, snuggled on, read on, taught on, shared on, slept on, giggled on, tickled on, breastfed on.  And I wouldn't trade a clean couch for that any day.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Multi-Tasking on a Saturday Morning

Thank you God, for our girls, and our mornings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Blueberry Pickin'!

This past weekend we went to a blueberry farm that is right here in our town.  I can't believe we have never been - it will definitely be an annual trip for us!  Everything about it was cute - the little country store, the ice cream shop...even the fact that the kids who worked there were Hubby's students.  I love family-run places. 

Here is Reilly posing with her blueberry bucket.  She literally posed like this. Knee out, hand behind her back, waiting for me to take the picture.  The kid kills me.

Below is a sign that I did not understand, because "beyard" is not a word.   But then Hubby explained it to me.  I thought the bee yard was there to keep the bees off of the fruit while people were picking, because we had no bugs around us AT ALL!  But apparently the bees are there for pollination, because when I told this to the workers they said that the fact that we didn't encounter any bees in the fields was a freak occurrence.  Oh well, we totally lucked out!

Pretty girl in the berry field.

When we first got out there, one of the first things she said was "Ew Mommy. I ate a green one."

There are 18 varieties of blueberries at this farm!! Craziness!

Daddy lifted her up to get the big ones on top!

Mommy chased her in the open field when we were done pickin'.

Here she is straight up going to town, eating berry after berry by herself from the trees.  She was hilarious, and pretty much in heaven.

And then came the best words a Mama can say, "Let's go get some ice cream!"

Reagan Kate was a little angel bean in the stroller, and we used her as our cue to leave.  When Reagan gets hungry, we're done!  So she started yelping and telling us she was ready for some milk, so we enjoyed our ice cream and breast milk in the little shop. :)

Okay, I'll say it again.  I'm just in love with everything about her.  I could eat her up with a spoon.

So that was our super fun blueberry outing!  It was about 95 degrees at least, but the heat doesn't really bother us as long as there is ice cream.  Farms and ice cream - doesn't really get much better!

Daddy's Girls (and our weekend)

 Daddy sure loves his girls!

These are some fun people to have around, let me tell you.  I really can't get enough of how hilarious Reagan's faces are compared to Reilly's.  As ecstatic and excited Reilly looks, that's about how nervous Reagan looks in every picture. :)

We had such a fun weekend.  It was the perfect mix of accomplishing and relaxing, with lots of quality time mixed in.  We had a date night on Friday, which was so much fun to just have some "us" time.  I love how we laugh and talk the whole time - and we even talked about other things besides the kiddies! :)

Then Saturday we woke up and went to a local blueberry farm!  Pretty much the cutest place ever.  Blueberry picking, and then the cutest little gift shop and ice cream shop, which put it over the top.  The whole place smelled like a blueberry muffin.  And of course, they had homemade blueberry ice cream (among other flavors).  I couldn't get over the genius of the place for kids:  Picking blueberries (read: EATING blueberries) right from the tree as they please, running around in glorious fields, then just when they get tired and hot, you go and get amazing ice cream.  I was convinced that the sentence, "Reilly, let's go get some ice cream!" was the ONLY sentence that would have gotten her out of a blueberry field.  Girlfriend loves her blueberries.

Saturday afternoon everyone took a nap.  "Everyone", when referring to naps, means everyone except mom.  I'm not sure why, but it just does.  Mama needs to clean, make dinner, take advantage of all the peace and quiet!  Mama laughs in the name of naps. HA. Who needs 'em.  Okay, I maybe I do.  But my family needed dinner more than I needed a nap. ;)

Saturday night we decided to have a date-night-in.  We looked at the movies we have, which is very very few.  We have acquired like under 10 over the years of being married - we're not big movie collectors.  But someone at Hubby's work was giving away movies for free - so he thought this was our chance to become big movie collectors.  And so we watched one, his choice.  He picked 10,000 BC.

Let me tell you about this movie.  There are cavemen.  There are wooly mammoths.  It takes place in the tundra, and then somehow they walk back and forth to Egypt throughout the film.  There are only 2 females in the whole film, and they are both kind of witches.  There is fighting and battling.  And there is a narrator the whole time, because it is that hard to figure out what is going on, so you really need this random guy telling you what to think.  Oh, and Hubby never stopped reminding me, there was an "underlying love story".  (A man and a woman would look at each other every 20 minutes from across the desert and/or tundra).  This movie was horrible. Awful.  I got up and made homemade brownies during the middle portion.  But for some reason, we watched the whole thing.  And for some reason, making fun of this movie with my man was funner to me than watching the last 5 great movies I have seen.  We had the funnest time laughing and making fun of this movie, it was the most unexpected date night fun!  And the brownies were to die for. :)

Sunday we had our monthly get together with Reilly's adorable little friends.  I love watching them together, they have been friends since they were just a few months old!  We look forward to our dinners together so much.  Cutie little kids we have. :)

Monday, July 16, 2012


 I love dressing up the girls in coordinating, festive outfits!  We had a lot of red, white, and blue ones for some reason.  Here are some of our fun outfits :)

Love me some sister pictures!  I think I'm going to make them recreate this position when they are older.  Reilly always wants to "hold her", and then grips her for dear life with both arms.  And maybe I'll make Reagan recreate her looks of fear that she always has.  :)

Friday, July 13, 2012


When spending time with Reagan Kate, I find myself thinking, she is just so precious.  I can't imagine her being any cuter.  She couldn't possibly get any cuter than she is right now.

And then she falls asleep.  And she looks like an angel. 

Then there are days like yesterday, when she cries all day and can't even sleep for long - thanks to a squeely sister she has!  (We think she might be getting teeth!)  But goodness, that face - you just can't resist it! Even when crying, she's a darn cute one. :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Morning Time!

 This is Reilly in the morning time.  Although her face looks cranky, she is such a sleepy, cuddly little sweetheart in the morning.  She talks in this high pitched voice and says, "Can I please have Mommy cereal?" (Which is cereal with milk, from my bowl. Clearly magical.) And I can't get enough of her morning hair.

 This is Rae Rae beans in the morning, with Mima.  Both in PJs.  Both beyond beautiful.

 Bubbles with Papa in our PJs!

 I love when this baby wears white.  She almost glows, she looks so angelic.  She should always wear white. I will faint on her wedding day.  And then cry.  And then die.  Wait, who brought this up?!

Okay, good she's still a baby. :)  Papa makes her smile every time!

Reilly coloring with Mima on the deck. :)

And speaking of morning, if you happen to color early in the morning, and then go into have breakfast, let it be known that all of the crayons will melt into liquid all over your beach towel.  BUT, douse it in Goo Gone, throw it in the wash, and the wax will come out like magic.  Just in case this happens to you.

I love summer mornings. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Fourth!

  You may think I am writing about the Fourth of July, which I am in a way.  On the fourth of July, my babygirl celebrated her FOURTH month with us!  She is the cutest little four month old bean you ever want to see.  Spend a little while with her, and I promise you will become obsessed.

Let's be honest, just look at this face, and you will become obsessed.  Her personality is just as precious as she looks.  She's just such a sweetie little girl.

 She cuddles.  She locks eyes. She laughs.  She giggles. She smiles.  She sleeps. She observes.  She is just so good, so quiet, so serene, so happy.  We went out to dinner the other night, and she just up on my lap and observed the room and stared at the table full of family, while I ate with the other hand.  She is such a little blessing, such a little dream.

 She just started doing raspberries this morning!! I love how one day babies just start doing something new, out of nowhere.  Especially cute little things like that.

She is a little laughing machine!  They other day, she started laughing and giggling in so many different ways, making so many new sounds.  She scrunches up her whole face when she is really laughing.  It's the best thing ever. 

She LOVES to be held and cuddles.  She could be crying to eat, and I'll pick her up and she'll be content to just sit in my arms with me.

 Our biggest development would have to be that girlfriend officially SLEEPS THROUGH THE NIGHT!!  She'll sleep a solid 11 hours every night.  She's such a good little sleeper.  I'm not even starting her on cereal yet, since the breast milk is sustaining her so well, I figured why not keep it all natural for a little bit longer!

She laughs at Reilly all the time now.  Reilly loves it, and announces "RAE RAE LAUGHING!"  Reilly will go over and say, "Reagan how are you?!" Then she'll run over to me and say, "Reagan says she's good."  It cracks me up. 

I call Reagan "Rae Rae Beans" all the time, and Reilly has started calling her "Rae Rae Bean Bean Salad".  I love that she makes up nicknames for her. :)

Reagan says, "Mama, I'm tired of these photos, are we done yet?"

Happy 4 months, to our pleasant little beanie!  We love you, Reagan Kate.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vacay Part Two!

 After our day at the beach, my BFF since childhood Kate and her boyfriend drove down from Boston and met us for dinner.  I just love getting to spend time with them.  We always have so much fun.

 It is so much fun to get to experience another phase of life with a friend you have had since you were kids.  Seeing Reilly adore her as much as I do is something special.

 This beautiful beach was right across the street from our restaurant, so we strolled while our table was getting ready.

 This restaurant decided it was not yet the time to turn on the air conditioning.  It was SO. SO. HOT.  Until one of us realized there was a window behind me, and I opened and felt like I was breathing for the first time in my life.  It was all pretty comical.

The restaurant had a little ice cream stand attached to it, so obviously we indulged. Reilly was beyond hilarious.  She was running around the deck and laughing hysterically and screaming in delight while spinning in circles.  She was definitely on ice cream induced over tired vacation high!

 If we thought our beach day was hot, this day was HOTTER!  We couldn't even go down this slide more than once because of how hot it was!  I thought my leg was going to actually get burned!

 We strolled to do none other than find water, and throw rocks.

 Gorgeous girl of ours!

After another ice cream trip, both girls fell asleep in the car.  We weren't sure what we should do, since we wanted to stroll around, but they also needed their sleep.  It was also quickly becoming way to hot to stroll around.  Then, I saw the most amazing signs.

One said, "Cape Cod Art Museum".  The other said, "Wine Bar".  And thus, we found our days activities!

This was a movie theater.  How amazing is that building. 

 I consider myself a master at the sleeping-baby-in-the-car-to-stroller-transfer.  In minutes, both girls were in the stroller snoozing away.  We enjoyed some beautiful art.  Hubby almost drop-kicked the lady who worked there who wasn't getting the WHISPERING and SLEEPING CHILD signals we were giving her, and explained the museum's displays in a voice fit for a ballgame.  It was like going to a library and having the librarian screaming at you.  It was so odd!

I got inspired to paint boats, and we laughed together at really odd nude artwork.  I'm all for nude artwork, I mean, I get it.  But this was ODD.   I would have taken pictures but it "wasn't allowed" and Hubby insisted there were cameras.  I like risking it and playing dumb if caught, but I played it safe this time.  Can't breastfeed from art museum jail, you know?

 The second part of our trip, we spent at our great friends house.  They are the most amazing hosts, and make us feel so welcome even though we had toddlers and babies and cribs and enough bags for a week.  I love the kind of friends that you can not see for months, and then spend all night talking and laughing and drinking.

I also love the kind of friends who have ridiculously comfortable guest beds.  These friends fit both categories, so we are keeping them. :)

 This last one is of both girls looking at their Daddy.  I just love it.

 Reilly, loving life with 2 dogs and 2 cats!

 Beautiful Michelle snuggling Rae beans.
 Reilly was thrilled to pick some flowers and give them to everyone!

 "Mama, for youuu!"
I love God's artwork.

We left our vacation relaxed and refreshed and rejuvenated, feeling blessed to have so many amazing friends in our life, and the opportunity to spend such quality time with them.  And such quality time with each other.