Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Layla is 2!

Dear Layla, Layla Bean, Lala, Beaner,

I can’t believe you are two! I have to remind myself daily that you are now older than Mason was when you were born. You are so big, yet still so little. So independent, yet so reliant. So loud, yet so shy. So frustrating, yet so lovable. In a sentence, you are a regular two year old.

Several of your tastes have become apparent this year. The first is shoes. You LOVE shoes. I might have something to do with that. I can’t stop buying shoes for you. They are just so adorable when they are so tiny and pink and sparkly. You love to wear Converse and tell everyone you are wearing “Boma’s (Grandma’s) Shoes”. You love to play in our closet trying on all of Daddy’s and my shoes. And you especially love your red sparkle Jessie boots.

You also love monkeys. You adopted a small red/brown/purple (our family disagrees on his color) monkey from your classroom named Manny. You br

ought him with you to the playground, snack, specials, and even Shabbat. He napped with you and even came home every weekend for a bath. And even though there is a big “F” on his tag stating he belongs in Room F, your teachers knew he belongs with you and let you take him when you moved to your new class. Now, Manny goes with you to school every day in your backpack. But besides Manny, we acquired many other monkeys. There is New Monkey and Mason’s Monkey. You love to read books with monkeys, especially Caps for Sale.

We sometimes call you Monkey, as in Monkey See, Monkey Do. You copy EVERYTHING Mason does. When he kept telling you not to copy because copying isn’t allowed, I told him that you just copy him because you love him so much. So now he’s okay with it. But it’s true. Anything he does, you do. Anywhere he goes, you go. The most rewarding thing about having the two of you so close together is being able to watch your relationship unfold. You really do love him, and he you. For the longest time you called him "May-mays" and then one day all of the sudden it became "Mason". That day you said his name about 100 times. I think you were so proud that you could finally say it right!

At your end of the year party at school your teachers passed out awards to the children. You got the “Mother Hen” award. And it’s true, you love to take care of others, clean up after them, and bring them an ice pop when they are hurt. You love all your baby dolls at home. You’ve been playing with a doll house for almost a year already – murmuring to yourself as you play, just like I used to. I love to watch you be a little mommy to these dolls.

A few months ago you decided that you were not going to sleep in the crib anymore. If we tried to put you in you would scream bloody murder “OUT! OUT!” So for a few nights you slept on a mattress on the floor. We had to put a baby gate at the door to your room to keep you from falling down the stairs (and from sneaking into Mason’s bed, which you did once). When you decide something, it is the law. No ifs, ands or buts.

Your strong-willed personality is all new territory for me and Daddy. Mason never went through the tantruming and daily battles that you put us through. But without this time, you wouldn’t be you. And our world wouldn't be so fun! I am sure that you will grow into a smart, strong, independent woman. But please, do it slowly – time is marching by too quickly already!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Talking to God

This morning as we turned onto Maitland Blvd. Mason noticed the clouds. They were very high up, and really just a sprinkling of white over a perfectly blue sky. Very unusual and very beautiful. We had this conversation:

Mason: Mommy! Look at the clouds!
Me: Oh yeah - they are beautiful this morning.

Mason: Who made them like that?

Me: Uh, God I guess?

Mason picks up his pretend phone, dials, and has a conversation with God.

Mason: God? I just wanted to tell you that the clouds look awesome today! Ok bye.

I swear, this kid cracks me up all the time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Elephant in the Room

A few months ago, one of the two beloved elephants at the Central Florida Zoo died. The story in the paper said that the fate of the other elephant was now in limbo because elephants need companionship and she shouldn't be left in the zoo alone.
Mason goes to the zoo a lot with Grandma and his favorite part is the elephant show. I didn't know how to tell him about Mary's death, so until last night I just didn't. And he didn't go to the zoo.
But then last night we were talking about a book he has with an elephant in it and in the book the elephant is afraid of a mouse. He said, "When I go to the elephant show at the zoo, the elephants there aren't afraid of mice!" And so I decided it was time to tell him.
This is how the conversation went:
Me: I'm not sure if they have the elephant show at the zoo anymore.
Mason: Why not?
Me: One of the elephants went away.
Mason: Where did it go?
Me: It just went away.
Mason: Why?
Me: It got very old and had to go away.
Mason: I've got to tell Grandma! (Sad faced, picked up his pretend phone, dials and puts phone to ear.)
Mason: Grandma - one of the elephants at the zoo is dead.
Me: I didn't say it was dead!
Mason: Grandma - sorry, he's not dead, he just went away.
Me: Well, actually he is dead.
I was in shock that he got "dead" from my saying "got old and went away". I was trying to be all euphamistic with the "went away" and he totally got it. These kids are way smarter than we give them credit for!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Maybe Mom Wasn't So Wrong After All

I recently wrote a post about how liberating it is to do laundry my way instead of my mom’s way. My mom was very specific about her laundry. Each family member’s laundry was done separately, darks were always separated from whites, and towels always separate from sheets which were never mixed with clothes. Even each color of towels was done separately. I started out doing our laundry this way, but pretty soon I realized I was doing about 15 small loads a week. So I started mixing colors of towels together. Then I started mixing the kids clothes with each other. And then the kids and ours. And now, laundry is pretty much a free for all. Whatever is closest to the washing machine when it is turned on is what gets washed in that cycle. And this was all working out well.

Until yesterday.

When I picked my daughter up from day care her teacher told me there was a “laundry surprise” for me in her lunchbox. My first thought (as a mom of a kid in diapers) was oh no – she pooped all over her pants. I asked if that was it and her teacher said no. My second thought was the tights I had put on under her jeans because it was so cold. Maybe they got in the way of diaper changes? No – that wasn’t it either.

What could it be?

A pair of MY underwear. My size XL, hair dye stained, Target-bought, faded, parachute (husband’s word) underwear. The static of Layla’s nap mat had held on to my underwear in the dryer on Sunday. Maybe doing separate laundry isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Hey, at least they were clean…..

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Jack in the Box

These are videos that I think are HILARIOUS. Mason is trying to get Layla to be a Jack in the Box. And he yells at her for not listening to him. Then he tries showing her how to do it. Just watch, it's a pretty good laugh.

The One Where She Came Back to Blogging......

I haven't blogged in FOREVER. We've done a lot though. Of course, I didn't get pictures of everything. We spent a weekend at Disney with the Golds, we went to the corn maze, we spent a weekend in Atlanta with Rachel, we celebrated Halloween, Mason was a Shabbat Star, Layla got swine flu (definitely no pictures of that one), we went to the JCC Family Festival, Mason went to see If you Give a Cat a Cupcake, we went to the Playhouse Disney character breakfast at Hollywood Studios, we celebrated Thanksgiving at Grammy and Papa's big house, Cooper's first birthday party, and I'm sure there's more that I'm forgetting. Whew! Anyway, here are pictures of what I do have, which isn't much.

During our character breakfast at the Polynesian Mickey came over to say hi to Layla. Layla wasn't so sure about the life sized mouse.

Mason, on the other hand, has always been very much into the characters. Here he is showing Pluto (his current favorite) that he is wearing a guitar shirt.

Mason and Marin posed together for a picture with Stitch.

While in Atlanta, we went to Stone Mountain. Aunt Rachel walked to the car with the kids after a delicious breakfast where the waiter thought Mason was 5. And Mason was so excited about it he told everyone he saw for the next three days.

Tayler posed with the kids on top of Stone Mountain. It was such a gorgeous and clear day we could see the whole city of Atlanta.
When Rachel had to go to work we spent the morning at the Atlanta Children's Museum. Mason and I had been there before but this was Layla's first visit. Mason did a crazy dance on the stage they have for performances.
Layla found a slide to go on so all was well with the world.
And then she found the John Deere tractor and she was even happier!
We went to the park near Rachel's house in Peachtree Hills twice while we were there. We had been to this park before when we visited last year, but this time Layla was actually big enough to play.

Layla LOVES the swing. Any time you go to a park she immediately runs for the swing and never wants to get out.

Here Layla is doing the sign for again when I tried to take her out of the swing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laundry Liberation

Are there things that you do in your daily routine that you don't really know why you do them except that is how your mom did them?

Growing up we all had our own laundry day. My mom would do my laundry (with whites and darks separated) one day, Rachel's another day, and hers and my dad's a third day. So there was always at least six loads of laundry a week besides towels and sheets. Those were done separately. There was a whole towel system too but I won't go into that now.

So this is how I did laundry. But then when Mason was born he didn't really have two full loads a week. So I did the darks and lights together. And since I do my laundry in cold water, nothing happened. So I starting doing our darks and lights together.

Then, after Layla was born, I would sometimes do Mason's and Layla's together. All mixed up. Even with towels and sheets together with the clothes. (Mom - I know you are dying a slow death right now reading this!)

And just recently, I started doing all of our laundry together. Basically, whatever makes it into the washer gets washed together. I still keep Tayler's and my towels separate - but who knows? that could change at any moment.

I bet if I hadn't told you on this blog no one would be the wiser, right? I feel so free I want to sing!

Of course, there's nothing wrong with doing it separately (mom!). This is just what works for me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ocean Wonders

When I was pregnant with Mason I asked many moms what was the one thing they couldn't live without when their baby was born. Several women raved about the Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Aquarium. There are several different versions of this classic floating around - but the one in this picture is the one that we got for Mason.
Mason moved into his own room at four weeks old and immediately started his love affair with the Ocean Wonders. Way before he could turn over or sit up he started turning himself around in the crib every night so he could hit the Ocean Wonders on with his foot. Every single morning he would be facing the wrong way in the crib. Ocean Wonders was the first thing that Mason attached himself to - even before his blanky.
And now we are stuck. When I was a kid my parents used to joke about me leaving for college with my blanky. Well, I did. And then I got married with it and had kids with it.
Yesterday at nap time, Tayler took the Ocean Wonders out of Mason's bed and hid it in his room. While we were eating dinner Mason mentioned "You forgot to put the Ocean Wonders back in my bed." So it definitely hadn't gone unnoticed. But then we got upstairs and the Ocean Wonders was in his bed. He had found it and put it back in it's spot!
And then last night after I came downstairs from putting him to bed I heard him screaming "Mommy! Daddy!" So I ran back upstairs to see what was wrong. The Ocean Wonders wouldn't turn on. Seriously?
Does anyone have any ideas of how to wean him off of this toy? Layla is already over hers and she's two years behind him!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Super Long Post Full of Randomness

First of all, thanks to Martin and Yvonne, we just got back from our first ever family vacation where it was just the four of us. We had a blast playing at the beach, burying each other, building sand castles, swimming, collecting sea shells, seeing Uncle Parker. Of course, I ended up with over 200 sand flea bites - but that's another story. We had four days where the only decision that had to be made was whether to go to the beach or the pool. It was awesome. (Don't worry - we filled the holes when we were done.) (My mom says Layla looks like she is wating for a Pina Colada.)
I might get accused of embarrassing my son here, but this is a story too funny to not tell. A few weeks ago Mason's teacher called to tell me that he had been peeing a lot and he had told her that his penis hurt. I made a doctor's appointment and picked him up early to take him to have it checked out. When we got to the doctor I walked into the urgent/sick door. Mason asked why we had to go in that side instead of the well door. I said that because we had made the appointment today, that is where we needed to go. As we walked into the waiting room he announced, "I'm not sick. We're just here because my penis hurts." I about died. As each person walked in, he would announce again that "We are here because my penis hurts." I tried to quiet him as the people around us stifled their laughs and I turned red as a beet. When the nurse finally called us back she led us to a room. Mason announced, "We are in Room 3. Last time we were in Room 4. Is Room 3 the Penis Room?" The nurse laughed. She then asked Mason, "You're here because your peepee hurts?" To which he replied, "No, my peepee doesn't hurt. My PENIS hurts." Because, of course, peepee is the yellow stream that comes out. I guess this is what I get for wanting my kids to know the real names of the private parts.....
And lastly in news in the Gold house, Chyna has been prescribed Prozac. Human Prozac. A few weeks ago we came home on a Friday night after a thunderstorm. She had broken out of her cage, made her paws bleed, and tracked the blood throughout the house. Including in our bed. Tayler called the vet who called in the Prozac to Publix. He also mentioned that if a member of the family is on anxiety medicine it is very common for the dog to need it too. So this dog that I don't even consider mine is now on Prozac and it can be attributed to the fact that I am also on medication. How's that for irony? Ha.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Let's Eat! Review

I recently got the urge to purchase meals from the meal prep place Let's Eat! I thought it might be the perfect solution for us. Normally, we are very limited in our weeknight meals. We all arrive home around 6:05 and we like to be eating dinner by 6:30. That includes walking into the house, playing with the kids while we prep dinner, etc. So most nights we have tacos or ravioli or spaghetti or some other pasta and meat dish or something else similarly easy.

Let's Eat! was going to give us more variety in our routine. I chose the option where you pay a little more money and they prepare the food for you. All I had to do was pick it up, it was already prepped and packaged with the cooking instructions on the outside of the package.

The first night we chose to have a mushroom and chicken pasta. It took less than 5 minutes to prepare, including setting the table. Tayler, Layla and I all loved it. Mason wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. And he is usually a very good eater.

The second night we had shrimp with pineapple and a curry sauce. We paired it with roasted corn and peppers. The shrimp took a long time to cook - almost 45 minutes. This was mostly our fault though because we didn't put it in the fridge to thaw the day before. Tayler absolutely LOVED the shrimp and took the leftovers for lunch the next day. I was ambivalent, it was a little spicy for me. Neither kid would touch it. The veggies were AWESOME. Again, neither kid touched them.

Tonight we tried our third meal. It was chicken cakes. Tayler made them in about five minutes; before the rest of us even got home. We paired it with the green beans almondine. We all loved the chicken cakes. We make something similar with tuna. Layla and I loved the green beans. The boys aren't into green beans. Only major complaint today - the servings weren't big enough. Tayler and I were both hungry afterwards. We did split all the meals so they are three servings instead of six, but we still each had one serving and the kids shared one. It still wasn't enough for us.

I am hoping the next several meals go better than these have - because if not? I will not be visiting Let's Eat! again.