Sunday, January 31, 2016

Twinning is Winning

We ran to Target on Friday to get diapers, and of course I wound up walking through the Junior's and Women's clothing departments. And inevitably got sucked into the sale racks. BUT I found two sweaters that were less than $6.00 each. One of them is camo print, and the big draw for buying it was because I could match Jonah! (hashtag cool mom)

I mean, who wouldn't want to match their child?

And not only did I match him (after I purposely washed his camo shirt so we could be twins the very next day), I matched Noelle on Thursday. My sister bought us matching sweaters from Old Navy for Christmas, and I finally convinced Noelle to wear hers.

I knew she'd be a tough cookie to convince since she has a thing against long sleeves. Thankfully she was willing to wear it as long as we rolled up the sleeves. And she was so excited to match, she convinced me to wear our matching Toms, even though it was entirely too cold to not wear boots.

I hope I can pull off this whole being twins with my kids for a long time. I mean, Noelle will still want to do it when she's 13, right?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mall Adventuring

Last Thursday, before the impending blizzard was scheduled to arrive, I took the kids out for one last adventure before we got stuck at the house. I know Jonah, and I know myself, and he and I especially need time not spent at home. I packed us a lunch, and we headed out to a local mall. The kids got to play in the little play area, we sat down and ate our lunches, we took a ride on the carousel, and then grabbed a treat at Panera before heading home. We ran into two different friends from church, including one with a beautiful brand new baby girl!

There is also a spot at the mall that has a couple of those quarter rides, but I never put money in them. Noelle and Jonah LOVE it though, and will just get in and out of the different rides, and push all the buttons. Even though they see other kids actually riding the rides, they don't ever push the issue when I tell them I don't have any quarters (which is actually usually true!)

Lunch was turkey and cheese sandwiches, which is a current food in the rotation that they will eat (protein, yay!). We also had cheese balls that I had picked up at the grocery store because Jonah exclaimed "balls!" when he saw them. And I knew Luke would enjoy them. The giant container is now hidden out of sight and have been forgotten about (possibly by everyone except me...)

Luke and I always question whether we should bring a stroller when we take the kids places. Rarely do they stay in it, but I like to have it at the mall so that they have the option to sit, and so that I have somewhere to store the diaper bag and coats. And sometimes, it's necessary to strap a cranky, non-cooperative Jonah in and rush through the mall to our car.

After the carousel, they both decided they wanted to walk, and I encouraged them to hold hands so that they would at least stick together. They both are pretty good about wanting to hold hands and I snapped some pictures as I walked (very s l o w l y) behind them. I love that they have each other, And it makes my heart so happy when Noelle says that Jonah is her best friend (granted, she also says that about Roxy, my parent's dog, and total strangers she meets at the play ground.)

Monday, January 25, 2016

Jonas Weekend Fun

This past weekend, Maryland got slammed with Jonas, one of the biggest blizzards in recorded history. And thankfully we all survived being shut in the house together for way too long!

being princesses together
Friday morning I took the kids to a Frozen event at the library, but similar to the morning of the Cinderella event, the littles were driving me bananas. After threatening to not go (empty threat because I needed out of the house for a bit before we were trapped!), we eventually got ourselves out the door to the library. There were quite a few little girls dressed as Elsa and Anna, which Noelle fixated on and complained that she didn't have a princess dress on. But once we got into doing all the crafts (Elsa and Anna puppets! a sparkly snowflake! and more!) she was a lot happier. Noelle was not a big fan of the hot chocolate, but Jonah had a chocolate mustache after chugging his down!

Luke's parents and Lydia picked up Chick Fil A and came over for lunch. Luke was working from home so we all got to enjoy one last social hurrah before the snow started. My sister also came to hang out for a bit and left soon after the flakes started falling. (And after a local policeman stopped outside looking at our cars still parked on the street.)

I don't know the official amount for our area, but I think we got a bit over two feet of snow from the time it started falling on Friday afternoon through the early A.M. on Sunday. Luke did some shoveling on Saturday, and then spent quite a few hours digging us out on Sunday once the snow stopped and the sun was shining.

We watched movies, made some yummy treats, and did some crafts. The kids went out for a little while on Saturday while it was still snowing, but Noelle didn't last too long. Jonah sat outside and ate the snow while Luke shoveled, and continued to eat it when we brought some inside to play with in the kitchen. After playing outside on Sunday, Jonah was more than ready to come inside after he lost his boot in the snow and got hit in the face with the shovel.

Today is a snow day (a.k.a NO SCHOOL!), and Luke is working from home again so it feels like the weekend has been extended. We've been playing with the neighbors and keeping ourselves busy!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Blizzard 2016

Dear Luke,

Thank you for shoveling the snow! Thank you for taking care of our little family, and taking the time to make sure that we'll be able to escape (eventually!)

Thank you for being willing to spend so much time out in the cold! This year especially, I have reached a high level of wuss and do not want to be out in the cold. Like at all.

Thank you for taking our littles out in the snow and tossing them into the piles and drifts bigger than them. They love it, and I can tell you do too!

Friday, January 22, 2016


This past Monday was Martin Luther King day, and it was a fun treat to have Daddy home with us! We planned for a fun relaxed day together with some fun thrown in for the kids. After a treadmill run (I've only run outside three times since the beginning of the year!), Luke and I did a 21 day fix workout (plyometrics is so much jumping!) with the kids running around us. Which involved lots of distracting them with goldfish and fruit snacks so that we wouldn't step on them. Parenting win right there!

We received a promotional from Chick Fil A for a His and Her free breakfast entree for January, February, and March, so we planned to head over once we were all showered and dressed so that we could get our breakfast and let the kids play for a bit. We got there around 10:40 and they were all out of breakfast foods! So sad! We contemplated leaving, but a) I knew Noelle would be upset if we left without some play time, and b) I was going to start getting hangry if I didn't get some food and caffeine soon! So we had a super early lunch, and it was delicious, as always! (Seriously, in the past 8 days, I've had CFA three times, and I'm not even close to getting tired of it.)

One of the employees, who has to recognize me and the kids by now, came over and discreetly asked me if we wanted ice cream for the kids. I figured why not- it would add to the fun. We hadn't ordered kids meals, so she brought over two kids meal books and I went and exchanged them for ice cream. What blessed, super sugared kids we have!

After playing for awhile, we had a surprisingly drama free trip to the grocery store to get our shopping out of the way, and then headed home to play. Jonah napped, Noelle watched some t.v., and then Aunt Lyd came over and cooked us some yummy Asian curry dinner. And then Lyd and I watched the first two episodes of season six of Downton Abbey while enjoying some ice cream. All in all, a fun family day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Last week we met some friends for a fun Cinderella program at the library. I had snapped a picture of the flyer when I first saw it back in December, and when I was scrolling through my pictures on our drive back from Hershey, I remembered to register Noelle for it. And told a few friends who I thought would enjoy it as well!

Noelle woke up ready to go to the library right away, and put on her Cinderella dress. Jonah was a bit cranky (we're working on some anger issues!), and then Noelle was getting impatient, so by the time 9:30 rolled around, I was ready to say forget it, and let them both sit in their rooms! BUT I knew it would be better for all of us if we got out of the house, and we had friends coming from a different county to meet us at "our" library.

Cinderella dress wearing at the mall
We went right to the train table at the library so Jonah could play for a little bit, and met one of our friends as we waited for the show to start. Once the time came, we followed everyone (including multiple little girls dressed in princess dresses!) into the room. The two women leading the program showed the kids different Cinderella books with multiple variations of the story, and then they did a puppet show of Cinderella with an assortment of animals playing the characters.

As soon as the puppet show started Jonah stood up, and started throwing a fit when I tried to get him to sit down. I didn't want him blocking anyone's view and gave up trying to get him to sit, so we headed to the back of the room. And then he started getting cranky there, so we went out to the lobby. He and I missed most of the puppet show, and I'm kicking myself for not bringing fruit snacks (his current most favorite thing!) to keep him occupied. But Noelle loved it and I'm pretty sure she had no idea I even left the room. (I also took NO pictures because I was dealing with Jonah!)

After it was over we all headed to Chick Fil A for lunch and some fun in the play place. I did almost leave when Jonah got angry and started throwing his chicken because I cut it up into smaller pieces. And Noelle wouldn't listen when I told her to finish her chicken before eating french fries. It was a fun morning, but it's also obvious I have two toddlers with strong wills of their own. I'm so thankful for my friends being understanding, and for walking alongside me in this motherhood journey!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hershey and a Half Birthday

Yesterday Jonah decided to wake up at the normally quiet hour of 5:20 a.m. Since my alarm was already going off at 5:30, I got myself ready for my run and grabbed him out of his crib. He was mostly content playing with toys in the basement while I ran on the treadmill, but I did have to hop off at one point to help him get his princess heels on, and then again to assist him with his Cinderella dress. Oh the joys of having an older sister and wanting to copy everything she does!

This past weekend, my roommate from college and her husband decided to fly into Harrisburg, PA at the last minute to visit us and our friend who lives in Hershey. It was so much fun seeing all of them, and catching up since I hadn't seen my roommate since her wedding. We went over to Hershey World to do the factory ride (and get our free candy of course!), and then grabbed treats in the Hershey cafe. Noelle was sick with a super runny nose, so she mostly kept to herself, and Jonah only took a short nap on the way there and on the way back, but considering all that, they both did really well!

Last week we had a MOPS play date at Storyville, which is a really cool play area for kids at a library. It's free, and they have so much! A pretend store with pretend food and cash registers, a play house with kitchen and dress up clothes, a little tree house, mailboxes with pretend mail, and so much more. Luke had taken the kids when I was on the women's retreat, and Noelle has always reminded me that she's been to "Stoweyville" with daddy but not me. It was fun, though a little chaotic trying to keep up with Jonah and still keep an eye on Noelle.

On Tuesday last week, Noelle got to celebrate her half birthday at school. All the kids with summer birthdays get the opportunity to celebrate sometime around their half birthday, and the parents and siblings of the child are invited to come that day during the special snack (provided by the parent) and to sing Happy Birthday. Because of allergies I was given a specific list of what was allowed, and Noelle decided she wanted Oreo's (as well as Elsa and Olaf napkins.) When Jonah and I got there, they were having their play time in the big muscle room (where they go when it's cold or rainy), and Noelle ran right over and gave me a hug. She was proudly wearing her birthday crown, and it was fun watching her class play. Then we went to their classroom, sang Happy Birthday, and she blew out four candles. I'm so not ready to have a four year old- thank goodness I still have over five months!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A Visit to the Gardens

Back in November, we took a meal to one of my friends who just had a baby. She lives about 45 minutes away, so after making the meal in the morning, I headed to her house to drop it off. After admiring her new baby girl, I took the kids over to the nearby Brookside Gardens. I hadn't been to the gardens since Luke and I were looking at it as a potential venue for our wedding, so it had been almost 8 years! It was a beautiful day, and I hoped the kids would be able to spend some time running around and then get Jonah home for a nap. They walked around for the first 10 minutes or so, and then Noelle wanted to be picked up. There was no way I was going to be able to carry her 30 pounds around the whole time, so we grabbed the stroller to walk around the loop.

It was beautiful seeing the sunshine reflect off the little lake, and walk around enjoying the fresh air. There were a few roses blooming, and there were unlit Christmas lights on some of the plants, as well as Christmas lights on bushes in the shapes of animals. We may need to go during the Christmas season at night to see everything lit up.

The kids climbed out of the stroller to play on a little bridge, dropping leaves over the edges and watching them float to the other side. This was when things started to go bad, and Jonah did not want to move on and head back towards the car. He wouldn't get in the stroller, so I started walking ahead and he sat down on the path to throw a little tantrum. An older couple walked past me going in the opposite direction and told me they would try to encourage him to follow me. The gentleman bent down to offer Jonah his hand, and Jonah just looked at him like "who are you" and got up on his own and ran toward me. At least he has stranger danger instilled in him, right?

We stopped to look at a monument that had been set up for victims of the sniper shootings back in 2002. I had never seen the monument before, but it brought back a lot of memories from my senior year of high school of school events being cancelled, being scared to go to the gas station, and the general fear that was felt in our area. It was a beautiful little spot, and seems like a good place for friends and family of the victims to go and honor their loved ones. 

I ushered my kids on, and we finally got back to the car after forcing Jonah back into the stroller. I had hoped that I could keep him awake for the drive home, but he fell asleep, and that short little car nap was his nap for the day. But we used that time after we got home to go to the play ground and played until it was dark. I love when Maryland weather is comfortable in fall and winter!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Our Little Ballerina

On Monday we got to start something I've been dreaming about pretty much since I found out I was having a girl- Noelle started ballet lessons! I was never a dancer, but picturing a group of toddler girls dancing around in leotards and tutus just seems like one of the most adorable things ever!

I found a cheaper intro to ballet/tap class for 3-5 year olds to do through our county's Parks and Rec program, and signed her up in November. When I told her about the class, she was super excited. And when we saw ballet slippers in Target, she insisted she needed them right then. We brought them home and she wore them around the house pretty much nonstop for the rest of the week. For Christmas, we got her a pink leotard, and thankfully we had some hand-me-down tap shoes for the tap portion of the class.

We talked up the class during the month of December, read Angelina Ballerina books, and danced around to classical music (which Jonah thoroughly enjoyed as well!) This past Monday was the day, and when the time came around for Noelle to get dressed in her leotard and tights, she threw a fit. Like all out thrashing around saying she didn't want to go. Oh. My. Threenager.

I dressed her and put her hair up as she wiggled around, crying like I was torturing her. Finally I calmed her down and told her we were going to go to the class but she wouldn't have to dance. She could just watch. We got Jonah up from his nap, grabbed fruit snacks for the car, and headed out.

As soon as we got into the room where her class was being held, she got so excited. She started dancing around saying she was a ballerina. She met her instructor, and other little girls started to trickle in all dressed in their little pink leotards and tights. The instructor sent the parents out to wait in the lobby so that the girls wouldn't be distracted, and me and another mom plastered ourselves to the window so we could watch and take pictures and videos. 

It was SO adorable! The instructor would model something for them, and then have each girl try it. I was cracking up at one point because Noelle had her heels together, toes pointing out, bending her knees (plies maybe??), and all I could think was that she looked like she was trying really hard not to pee. I tried to watch as much as I could, but Jonah was keeping me busy making sure he didn't get into anything. And at first he was so upset that he couldn't be in there with her. But thankfully more fruit snacks distracted him!

I have no idea if dance will stick for her, but she loved her first class and wanted to go back for more the next day!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas 2015

Another Christmas come and gone, and I think this was one of our best yet! It was the first year that Noelle really got into it, and Jonah enjoyed more than just the wrapping paper. I love sharing my favorite time of the year with my favorite people!

The week of Christmas, Noelle still had school on Monday and Tuesday, but instead of class on Tuesday, the kids did a little Christmas program that they had been practicing for all month. All the parents, grandparents, siblings, and others crammed into their classroom to watch as they decorated a little Christmas tree with ornaments they had made, sang songs, and rang little bells. After that, they sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and ate ice cream. It was absolutely adorable, and I loved that my mom and Luke's parents got to be a part of it.

holding flowers from Grandma

After it was over, I suggested heading over to our favorite- Chick Fil A! We grabbed some coffee and parfaits, and then sat and talked while the kids played in the play area. Jonah managed to fall and get a bloody mouth, but he then discovered his new favorite thing- eating ice. It didn't take long for him to be back to his normal self, and all was well.

Luke got to work from home on Christmas Eve for a half day, and soon after he was done, we headed over to my parent's house for our usual Christmas Eve fun. Jonah took a 15 minute car nap, and that was it for the day, but he did really well over all! We played with the train set, and with the aunts and Uncle Nathan. We ate our traditional spaghetti dinner, and then did our newer tradition of a white elephant gift exchange with everyone in my family, as well as everyone in my mom's best friend's family. It was a lot of fun and we came home with some little Christmas toys and a Veggetti, which hopefully I'll actually use!

After my mom's friend and her family left, we sat down to open presents from one another. Noelle was super in to opening presents and kept asking if there were more gifts to open. I think it was less that she wanted more stuff, and more that she just enjoyed taking off wrapping paper to see what was inside everything. The kids got spoiled by my family, including my extended west coast relatives, who each got a little something for Noelle and Jonah. Actually, the gift from my grandma to Noelle was (not little) a giant pink castle tent that takes up a good amount of space, but Noelle loves it!

Christmas morning, I got up when Jonah woke up and ran on the treadmill while Luke and Noelle slept in. Once everyone was awake, we made cinnamon rolls and then opened presents. Both Noelle and Jonah seemed equally excited about the easel we got for her and the train set we got for him. We spent the next few hours playing, and then headed to the Wiedeman's for Christmas with all the Wiedemans- which is now 11 adults, two kids, one baby on the way, and three dogs. It makes for a fun filled house!

We ate a yummy turkey dinner and exchanged gifts. There were a lot of Star Wars gifts floating around, which was especially exciting since everyone (minus me and the kids) were going to see the new Star Wars the next day. I got to catch up with Debbie (married to Luke's brother) who is expecting Noelle and Jonah's very first cousin NEXT month! I of course love talking pregnancy and babies, so that was fun!

A very busy, but very fun Christmas. I love that it was filled with family- nothing better than that!