Friday, February 27, 2015

Mommy Son Date

Lately I've been reading up on helping a toddler adjust to becoming an older sibling, and I really liked the advice in this article. She gives 8 different tips, and all of them are great, but #6 really stood out to me. As far as pregnancy hormones go, I haven't gotten super emotional at all this pregnancy, but then I read this, and it got me all teary-eyed:

6. Let the toddler still be a baby - Little Man still loves to be the baby. When he gets of the tub he asks to be swaddled and rocked like a baby. Every. Single. Time. I have chosen not to take that away from him, because he will always be my baby. I never want him to feel like Princess has replaced him in anyway. Even though he may not be able to put it into words, I feel like when he holds his arms up to me and asks to be the “baby” what he’s really asking is if I still love him the same way that I used to. He’s making sure my love has not changed. He’s my big boy, but he’s also my baby and he’s free to alternate between titles as much as he wants.

Part of me wants Ez to stay my baby forever. I'm sure all parents can relate. Of course I do want him to grow up and be independent and successful and happy, but I'll miss all the snuggles, and the cute toddler way he talks, and being there for all the major milestones of his life. So if he wants to stay my baby for a little while longer, even after baby #2 arrives, I'm all for it.

After reading that article, I realized I really want to cram in as much one on one time as possible in the next few months, before we go into the sleep-deprived, reclusive newborn phase this summer. And what better place for some one on one time than a mommy son date to Disneyland??

Love this boy so much!
Since we have season passes and we're only about 40 minutes away, I figured that'd be a fun morning outing for us. We got there, rode three rides, had lunch (aka, fruit and a cinnamon roll), and then headed home in time for Ez's nap. Added bonus: since we were only there for a few hours I parked at Downtown Disney and only paid a few bucks for parking, so it wound up being a super cheap date.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Why Moms Don't Get Anything Done

I'm sure you've all seen this video floating around the internet. If not, go watch it now, because I'm sure every parent (especially the stay at home ones) can relate. It's hilarious, and also slightly depressing because it's true. That video is pretty much reason I try to cram in any chores while Ez is sleeping, which means not a whole lot gets cleaned around here. A few chores Ez likes "helping" with are laundry and sweeping. He actually is somewhat helpful with the laundry: I hand him clothes out of the washer and he throws them into the dryer. But this is what happens when we try to sweep together:

In case you're wondering, that stuff you see flying through the air are the little bits of dirt and dust I'd already swept into a pile. And then, a few minutes later, while I was getting dinner ready, this happened:
Apparently Ez's armchair was a bit bland, so he spiced it up with the entire contents of a salt shaker he swiped off the kitchen table. First of all, when did he get tall enough to reach stuff off the table? And secondly, why is he the one crying about this mess? I took "his" salt shaker away and told him the salt doesn't go on the furniture. A complete meltdown ensued, which only got worse when I brought out the vacuum to clean the mess up.

By the way, you might have already seen that photo last night on Instagram, with the hashtag: #reasonsmysoniscrying. Going through all the other photos on instagram with the same hashtag was pretty hilarious and comforting. A few of my favorite reasons why these kids are crying:
- I pressed play on a movie he picked out.
- the "toothpaste tantrum" : He sure did think the toothpaste tasted good.
- He hated his Everglades outing because we wouldn't let him get down and play with the gators.
- I offered him a piece of cheese.

What are some of the funniest meltdowns your kids have had recently? Sometimes it's nice to know all moms have been there. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

San Diego Overnight Trip

We decided spontaneously to head to San Diego for an overnight trip last Saturday. We didn't have too much on the agenda other than to spend Sunday at the zoo. And, of course, no trip to SD is complete without a trip to Extraordinary Desserts. In fact we didn't even bother checking into out hotel first. We got a raspberry Danish and a creme brûlée bun. As always, they did not disappoint:

After dessert we ran off some energy at a park across the street - home of the bump tree ;) Ez had a great time collecting sticks, swinging, and trying to keep up with the bigger kids on the slide.

Afterward we checked in then walked around some shops by the water and got some dinner. No hotel stay is complete without testing out the bounciness of the bed.

On Sunday we walked to Little Italy for breakfast at this cute little cafe with really fresh food. Ez thought it was hilarious to pretend eating an orange rind and tried to feed it to Daddy.
And because I'm pregnant and it was vacation, we decided dessert after breakfast was in order: 

Our hotel promised a bayside view, and while we could see the water, Ez was most excited to be able to see the airplanes land. His little face was plastered to the window for a good part of the morning, yelling out airplane (ah-pa!). 

After breakfast, and dessert, and airplanes, it was time for the zoo. We got so lucky while we were there. Most of the animals were napping with their backs to us when we got to their exhibit, and then a few times Ez would make an animal sound and the animals would get up, turn around, and walk over closer to get a drink of water. The lion didn't turn around, but he did start bellowing (or whatever sound territorial male lions make) for a few minutes. I tried to get it on video, but all I got were people talking instead. 
Another way we were really lucky is that I left my purse at the table after lunch, and after walking (uphill) to the polar bear exhibit, I realized it was gone and we frantically rushed back, asked around, and found it turned in at a gift shop with everything still inside. I'm so so thankful to whoever found it. 
And then yet another way we got really lucky was with the weather. It was cool and overcast all day, with promises of rain. At one point Joe, Ez, and I stepped inside a family restroom to change Ez's diaper, and all of a sudden we heard a torrential downpour. We walked out and everything was soaked, there were puddles everywhere, and everyone had their hoodies on, but the rain had stopped. And that was it for the rain that day. So crazy how much water came down in such a short amount of time, and that we managed to completely miss it. 
Compared with all our previous zoo trips, Ez was definitely a lot more excited to see the animals and practice his animal sounds this time around. Elephant sounds and the elephants were by far his favorite, though he stared at the orangutans and the polar bear for quite awhile too.  My favorites were the red panda, who was being super adorable and napping with his paw draped over his head, as well as the otters, who paused to stare up at us for a little bit, and the mountain lion, which has never been out and about when I visited the zoo before. After a full day of walking at the zoo (about 5 miles according to Joe's pedometer) we headed home, got some takeout, and snuggled on the couch watching Walking Dead while it rained outside. Perfect end to a perfect weekend. Well, except for Ez's tiny little clothing issue, which I mentioned in my last post ;)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Pants-less in Toddlerville

It goes without saying that you pack an extra change of clothes pretty much every time you leave the house with a toddler. If you're thinking worst-case scenarios, you'll probably pack two. Not to mention clothes for whatever possible weather change might happen. Whenever my parents take Ez for a day trip to Disneyland, I usually send him off with a duffle bag full of "essentials" and they question how long I expect him to be gone for. This weekend we took a mini family getaway and spent one night in San Diego. One night and Ez wound up needing 5 pairs of pants. Five pairs! How is that possible, you may ask? (Though I'm sure you already know, if you've got a toddler.)

The first pair gets soaked in poo less than halfway through a two-hour drive. Along with the carseat, of course. After a make-do wipe down of the carseat, and a new pair of pants you're on your way again. Check into the hotel, smell poo, check diaper, and find poo creeping out the diaper and up the back. Now down 2 pairs of pants and 1 shirt. Not to mention having to handwash the carseat cover in the hotel sink and dry with a hair dryer. 

The next morning, while at breakfast, there's another poo explosion, which means we're on our last pair of pants for the trip. With the way things have been going, we don't want to gamble on that last pair of pants lasting the whole day, so we stock up on two pairs of clearance pants at Target. 

Next stop: the zoo. About twenty paces away from our car, on the way to the zoo entrance, Ez dumps a full cup of water all over himself. Now we're onto one of the emergency, recently-purchased pairs of pants, as well as another top. So, to sum it up: Ez has worn 5 pairs of pants and 4 tops in 24 hours, and we're down to our last emergency pair of pants. Thankfully the clothing catastrophes stopped there, but the amount of clothing changes that kid went through was unreal. We kept joking that he thought he was presenting at the Oscars or something.

Here's my basic list for Ez and I. I thought for sure I was overpacking on Ez's part, and it turns out we needed more!

Probably should also mention that parents are often caught in the crossfire with these poo explosions, so Joe and I should have brought an extra change of clothes as well. Live and learn. How much do you usually pack on a typical outing with your kid(s)?

Despite all the crazy messes, we really did have a great time! Expect lots of zoo and food pictures in the near future.

Monday, February 23, 2015

22 Week Bump Update with Baby #2

I had to take a bump pic next to this pregnant looking tree. We're both almost 5 months ;)  Joe actually spotted the tree first, and told Ez that the tree has a baby bump, just like mommy's. Then, in this picture Joe is asking Ez where the baby is, trying to get Ez to come pose with me. Instead Ez just kept looking back and forth between my belly and the tree. He wasn't falling for any trick questions. This kid cracks me up!

My cravings have been all over the place lately. Of course leftover Valentine's chocolate makes the list, along with grapefruit and mango (which Ez always steals!), and this amazing apple pie brittle my friend and I sampled at the farmer's market over the weekend. I kinda wish I didn't know about its existence because it's basically crack and I'm not sure my teeth can handle as much brittle as I want to consume. (Which is the entire bag. All at once. Right this minute.) I'm not even normally a big peanut brittle fan, but this stuff is just so good!

Baby has suddenly become much more active. Joe still hasn't felt him move yet, but Ez seems to have a knack for getting baby bro to throw punches and kicks. Not sure if that means they'll have a sweet playful relationship, or they're preparing to brawl. Probably a combo both, I'd imagine. 

As far as symptoms go, the itchy skin is back, and allergies are still going full force. Other than that I feel great, and even with this huge belly I manage to forget I'm pregnant half the time. My friend's mom asked me how I was feeling, and I was a little puzzled for a minute, wondering if I was sick the last time I saw her, then it dawned on me that I'm pregnant and she's talking about the baby. Whoops. Not sure if that counts as pregnancy brain or 2nd baby syndrome.

And since I haven't done this in awhile, here's a little side by side comparison of me at 22 weeks with Ez vs. now:

Friday, February 20, 2015

Foodie Friday: Cheesy Egg Breadbowls

This all started when I saw a picture of a deliciously cheesy, egg-filled bread bowl on Facebook. You may or may not already know I have an obsession with eggs. I think they're great, anytime, day or night. (See some of my other favorite eggs for dinner recipes here.) So of course I had to ask Google how to make it. Immediately. 

I reviewed a few recipes, and they all included sliced ham. After reading through the recipes to figure out the best way to make them vegetarian, I became convinced the ham was somewhat necessary, to prevent the egg from soaking into the bread, so I substituted it with sliced Tofurkey. For the bread I used par-baked mini paninis, and I used shredded lite mozzarella, both from Trader Joe's. And then I followed Recipe Tin Eats' instructions to the T. 

This recipe is ridiculously easy, takes less than 30 minutes start to finish, requires virtually no cleanup, and my pregnant self is already craving it again. Bonus: each bread bowl is under 300 cals (if you care about that kinda thing, which I do). We ate it for dinner, with a kale power salad from Sprouts, but I had leftovers for breakfast the next day, which I just wrapped in a paper towel and microwaved for about 30 seconds, and it was equally delicious. I can already tell this will be a go-to quick and easy post-partum dinner. 

What are some of your fave 30 minute or make-ahead meals?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Non-Maternity Favorites

I am definitely not the most stylish pregnant lady, by any means. I wear the same pair of maternity shorts or foldover yoga shorts day after day. During the brief cold spell we had, I lived in black leggings and baggy sweaters. I am, however, fairly thrifty about what clothes I'll buy while pregnant, and I wanted to share a few of my faves, all under $30 that I wore all through my pregnancy with Ez, post-partum, and have been living in again through this pregnancy. That's 3 years of constant wear, which is basically pennies per wear, if you wanna break it down ;)

My go-to favorite place to shop for non-maternity maternity clothes is H&M. They have classic pieces for fantastic prices, and a lot of their clothes are made of cotton or jersey, which makes them perfect for stretching with the bump throughout pregnancy. I own similar versions of all of these pieces, and I own a lot of them in various colors/patterns.

The jersey tank dress is great over leggings, or under tops that just aren't long enough to cover the belly anymore. A maxi dress is basically mandatory pregnancy wear. It's so comfy, and it looks like you put a little bit of effort in, even though you really didn't.

My pregnancy uniform: comfy dress + cardigan + belt

As you can see from the above photos, I have a bit of a cardigan obsession. The longer the better during pregnancy, because they cover pesky VPLs, if you know what I mean. The top three photos are all different colors of the same H&M long jersey tank dress. As you can see, that thing stretched pretty well throughout my pregnancy, and it snapped back in place after every wash. I still own and wear all of those. The bottom left and bottom middle picture are the same H&M deep plum pencil skirt. The photo on the left was at my baby shower for Ez, about 8 months pregnant, and the middle photo was this past weekend for Valentine's Day, about 4.5 months pregnant. It's a super-long skirt, that would come mid-calf if I wore it at my waist (I'm only 5'4), but it's perfect for pregnancy because I can pull it over my bump and it comes to my knees, and looks good both with a shirt tucked in + a belt, or with an untucked shirt.

Obviously, all of my picks are for warmer weather pregnancies. Since I live in So Cal, that pretty much covers 8-9 months a year for me. Sorry for all you East Coasters, I know you're probably living in leggings and sweaters right now. I would be if I were you!

What are some of your go-to pieces for maternity and post-partum? Any favorite non-maternity brands that you'd recommend?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

It's the Little Things: 1st Hike of the Year

We've been wanting to do a hike for awhile now, and this past Sunday we finally made it happen. Ez rode most of the way in Joe's backpack, and he seemed content to just wave his stick around Joe's face while humming his own made up tune. 
This is his patented "you're crazy, fool!" look
These two crack me (and each other) up!
I'm trying to snuggle him, and he's just eyeing that Larabar.
He wanted to put his feet in the water...
...then he decided it was way too cold!
Joe said ducking under this tree was the hardest part of the hike...
...but Ez thought it was hilarious.
Can we pause for a moment and talk about what a boy Ez is?
He's either climbing on stuff...
Or collecting sticks. 
The bigger, the better!
What were your favorite little moments from the week? Linking up with Jess for:

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

21 Week Bump Update with Baby #2

I'm feeling pretty good at 21 weeks. Ez and I have been walking a few miles a day, there's heart-shaped chocolates everywhere, and our house is 90% unpacked and organized. The only downside lately is that my allergies have been acting up like crazy. Sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose...I know it's not a pregnancy symptom, but it's definitely spring around here, and as much as I love flowers, I'm ready for them to all go away now. 

We got to see our new babe in 3D last week. The pic is kinda creepy because it looks like there's an alien head in the top right corner, plus my friend pointed out that it looks like he's wearing a wig, but a head-on shot is pretty rare with these Craig babies, so we were excited this baby actually gave us a decent glimpse of his face. According to the ultrasound measurements, baby could be born anywhere between June 28th (my original due date) and July 6th. Three July birthdays in one house would make for one busy month.

As far as getting ready for this baby, we haven't really done much (read: anything). Things that still need to be done:
- wash & sort all of Ez's old clothes
- research and buy a new carseat
- eventually research and buy a double stroller (I'm thinking we'll wear this baby for the first few months, like we did with Ez, so I'm not too concerned about the stroller just yet.) 

Then there's the little issue of picking a name. We don't have any strong contenders yet, and I've read through half the baby name book. I'm pretty sure this is how Juniors come about ;)

In big brother news, Ez has been pointing at my belly and saying baby. He has also been bringing his baby doll out to snuggle more. Not sure how much I should read into that, but I'll take it as a good sign.

In case you want to look back at my other bump updates:
18 weeks

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine Recap

Valentine's Day came a little early for me when I got a sweet, chocolatey delivery on Friday afternoon. Joe knows me too well. As you can see below, Ez helped himself to some chocolate covered Oreos as well:
On Saturday morning, after breakfast, Ez got to open his gifts. ALL of them. We got him that cute plush Lightning McQueen for $5 from Kohls - a total steal since I've seen similar ones for $20 at Target. We also got him two books, a balloon, a sippy cup and a heart shaped cookie. Then he got a ton more goodies from the grandparents. Shirts, chocolates, a toy car, heart-shaped rice krispie treats - that is one very loved boy!

Joe got a scrapbook from me. During the move I found a bunch if ticket stubs and mementos I'd saved since we started dating. I decided what better time to actually organize all those than for Valentine's Day? It was so much fun to look back over the past three and a half years at all the fun stuff we've done together.

The grandparents all got handmade cards from Ez:

On Saturday afternoon Ez was invited to his very first Valentine's Day party. We met some friends at a park, ate some cupcakes, decorated treat bags and exchanged Valentine's. Ez loved it!

Saturday evening was just for us parents. Ez had a date with his grandparents while Joe and I went out to a fancy, delicious dinner. We saw two other kids in the restaurant, and no offense to Ez, but I think it would have been a far more rushed, less enjoyable meal had he been there. I'm sure the feeling is mutual and Ez had a better time running around with the grandparents than he would've had in a dimly lit restaurant that didn't feature mac n cheese on the menu. 

The restaurant had a special Valentine's menu and Joe and I split everything we ordered. We started with lobster bisque and this hilariously tiny chopped beet dish. We were a little worried when we saw that huge plate with two bites of food on it, and were wondering if we'd need to get second dinner afterward, but thankfully the rest of the meal redeemed itself. The lobster bisque was the best I've ever had, the Chilean seabass was perfectly cooked, and the mushroom risotto was fantastic. For dessert we had Nutella bread pudding, which was alright, but the highlight was the vanilla bean cake with ice cream. It sounds super simple, but it was seriously the best cake I've ever had. Joe let me finish that one off, which is why he's my Valentine ;)

After dinner we went to get coffee and browse books at Barnes and Noble. The perfect end to a perfect evening.

How was your Valentine's Day? Do you love the holiday or find it cheesy? I'm somewhere in the middle, I do love romantic cheesiness, but I don't necessarily love the prices and crowds on Valentines Day.

Here's a little look back at some of our past Valentine's Days:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ez at 21 Months

Almost-two is so much fun and so exhausting, all in a single hour. The wheels are constantly turning. At 21 months Ez, you're a little sponge, soaking up everything and mirroring it back to us. But at the same time you're also a willful little person all your own. Any request on our part is often followed by a sly smile and a mini rebellion.

Ez you are quick to laugh, you love putting on a show of silliness to get our attention, you thrive off of applause (which you like to lead), you hate being told no, you are quickly turning into a tickle fight champion, and recently you have been showing the first signs of temper tantrums. Aka lying on the floor crying in public places. And at home you throw your toys and yell when they don't do exactly what you want. See what I mean about fun and exhausting?

It's been one of those weeks. One that involved a certain boy sliding across our new hardwood floors on his toys, flying feet first into the air, and slamming his head down on the ground. Hard. And more than once. One of those weeks involving a grape and the Heimlich maneuver. My heart still stops when I think of that. Thank God Joe was there and reacted quickly. Lots of nap-less days. Also, one of those weeks that involved poop. In the bathtub. So to sum it up: lots of tears, a ban on grapes, militant mommy demanding every toy get picked up off the floor right.this.minute, and bleach. Lots of bleach.

There's also been a lot of new milestones. Ez is not only learning tons of new words, but he's also pointing stuff out all on his own, without being prompted. He'll ask for water ("bawa"). He excitedly points out every bus we pass ("baa-a!"). And the other day we heard a dog barking and he said doggie. He still loves practicing animal sounds. Elephant impressions are the current fave.

Ez is in a super snuggly phase right now. He was completely content to sit on my lap cuddling through an entire episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, which is practically an eternity in Toddlerville. He's also gotten really great at entertaining himself with his cars or trains for decently long periods of time. But on the flip side, when he wants us to read his Cars books, he means NOW. We've had plenty of battles over not reading books during meal times. 

Every day there are moments I want to bottle up and save forever. And everyday I ask, when is this phase going to be over?? Any other mamas been there/going through this now? Any tips for dealing with a toddler drama king? 

I managed to catch lots of random little moments of silliness over the past month, so here's a short two minute clip of some of Ez's finer moments for ya!