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a frozen halloween

For the love of your kids, and only your kids will a parent watch the same movie (frozen in my household) over 100 times in the course of 3 months (slight exaggeration). What’s not an exaggeration is that I can recite every.single.line of that movie and my husband and I bust into song exactly like all of the other youtube videos of parents’ car debutes of “Love is an Open Door”. So there should have been no surprise when it comes to Halloween costumes as well as 2 year old birthday party themes: FROZEN is the only option. For now, I’ll focus on Halloween’s rendition of the Weinstock’s take on Frozen.

{{First off, thank you pinterest.}}

Evelyn will be collecting candy this year as none other than the Queen herself, Elsa. Don’t you worry, her side-kick Nora won’t be far behind in her first Halloween appearance as Olaf. While Target supplied Evelyn’s beautiful ballgown, pinterest and my craft closet inspired my crafting abilities take on Olaf. While my friends may claim me as crafty – this costume took little to no skill. If you look closely at the “stitching” it will be a miracle if one of the felt “buttons” doesn’t dangle off within the first block of trick-or-treating.

unnamed

In case Nora falls asleep on her side-kick responsibilities, Evelyn’s candy basket is Olaf’s head so that take’s some of the pressure off Nora for her first year — we know it can be extremely overwhelming collecting extreme amounts of candy fo’ free 🙂I have a feeling Halloween’s from here on out are going to be so much fun!

mary-poppins-and-bertThis year, Sam and I are even dressing up for a friend’s party! It’s been three years since we’ve dressed up as Juno & Bleeker & while Sam still has his knee high socks & all too high gym shorts on reserve, I’m feeling a bit outgrown for that costume so we are attempting to pull off Mary Poppins & Bert  (the chimney sweep guy). Other options we considered/were suggested to us were: Patty & Doug Funny, Guess Who Game Pieces, Princess Laya & Luke Skywalker; Victoria & David Beckham, Bacon & Eggs, Wonder-Woman & Superman; Piglet & Pooh… just to name a few. If you’re still considering what to be – here’s a cute link to couples costumes. The cutest family costume I saw when hosting a Fall Fest at a Community Center was the characters of Scooby do! The family was adorable and the costumes were simple and appropriate.
I’m excited to post photos of the girls out trick-or-treating. Our neighborhood does it big so it will be fun to see how excited Evelyn gets! Halloween is just over two weeks away so if you havn’t thought about your costume yet – Target has had deals on costumes (buy one get one half off), goodwill is a great place to browse for inspiration & for your candy deals, check out this app and get $1 back for your purchase of a bag of candy from anywhere you purchase it from. I’ll probably post more about this app later on because — FREE money? Why miss out?
Happy Halloween-ing everyone! Isn’t fall the best?!

 

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a year in recap

Talk about abandonment! It’s been just over one year since I’ve sat down, cozied up and shared on this little space. There are many reasons for not writing, but none of them are valid enough to break my intention of writing a blog. When I first started, I used this as a place to update family and friends on major (& not so major) life events but really, when the tough events started popping up, I backed away and closed up shop. As mentioned in one of my last posts, there is always so much to say, its just been a struggle to understand the “whys” and the “hows” of current happenings in an articulate manner. This space just didn’t feel like the right venue to hash out said events for my family.

2013-12-08 16.09.16While we are still hashing, there are many good (& some not so good) updates to share. So, in a nutshell — Evelyn turned last December – her birthday present was us announcing her sister (she’ll understand and thank us for that present later, right?)! In February we had caving ceilings so we moved in with my mother in law, repaired ceilings, renovated our bathroom (still in progress:: yes, 8 months later..pictures to come!), and celebrated the lives of two very important people in our lives: Sam’s grandmother MomMom and my grandfather, Jerry. Both celebrations of life were tough and beautiful.

Pregnant in Costa Rica

In April, Sam and I took a honeymoon to Costa Rica. It was beautiful! Being five months pregnant put a damper on some of our planned adventure activities and the all inclusive benefits (just for me) but the time away to reconnect was wonderful.

And to the biggest & BEST event of the past year: we welcomed our beautiful, healthy baby girl, Eleanor ‘Nora’ Dianne Weinstock to the world on July 30th.

Nora Dianne

Evelyn adjusted so well immediately to being a big sister. When she wakes up in the morning, she says, “Daddy? Wyatt? Baby?” meaning these are the first cuties I want to lay eyes on each beautiful morning. She gives Nora kisses, asks to hold her and bossily tells me where to place her when either she wants to push Nora in the swing or wants Mom to grab a snack from the kitchen. Luckily, Nora is such an easy baby, I have not felt as though Evelyn has been neglected due to feedings or the baby’s needs at all. It’s been a really healthy mix of attention to both girls, and if anything, I’ve felt guilty for not getting to sit and stare at Nora for endless hours as I did with Evy. My 100 pictures of Nora each day would counter my guilt. SO thankful for my beautiful smiling baby who sleeps 8-10 hours each night and my helpful, curious and brilliant toddler who keeps life exciting 🙂 I’m one lucky mama.

As for Papa Weinstock, he’s still doing well. He’s adjusted to life in Maryland. He loves where he lives and he even has time to partake in his passion of photography through teaching a small class. He’s recently been shown an incredible amount of support from previous co-workers and friends which has been such a blessing to our family. We are so very grateful for the support.

To wrap up a year in updates, there is one more final significant life event in the works: I’m re-entering the recreation field aka my passion. This change, while seemingly “just a career change”, is much more than that. Working a job in which you make a difference in people’s lives (even through the simplest thing of bringing a concert to their neighborhood) is something I’ve been missing for almost two years. It was a major void in my life and I didn’t realize how unhappy & settled I’d become. Since accepting this new job, I have my enthusiasm back and I am excited to start in just over a week. There will be updates on all of the above mentioned over the next months!

With that, it’s good to be back 🙂

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holiday shuffle

If you’re like us and live away from family (one side or both) you know that time to decide and plan for where to spend your holidays is rapidly approaching. Air fare will only start to sky rocket from here which warrants the conversation, whose family are we spending Christmas with this year?

Sam and I have spent four holidays together, coming up on our fifth. The first year, I flew out to visit him and his family the day after Christmas, the second year, we both went separate directions and the third year, we agreed on an alternating schedule with my family one year and his next. The third year was spent in Wisconsin with my family. The fourth year was spent in Portland welcoming and adjusting to life with our little three week old, miss e. Due to her young age, we didn’t want to expose her to chaotic airports, flu infested recycled air on the plane (and truthfully the passing her around to all of the new baby hungry family members as she was so new to us and we wanted to study her every move and didn’t want to share quite yet) we decided stayed at our home and invited family to us. His mom and my parents both came out at separate times. Our fifth Christmas, in keeping with the promised schedule, will technically have us with his family for the holidays.

Evy's first ugly sweater party - in a stocking

Evy’s first ugly sweater party – in a stocking

Here’s the debate – we made this agreement when we lived away from both sides of the family and were in Portland, OR. Now that we’ve moved within 5 minutes from his mom, his cousin, his aunt, his grandma and within 30 minutes from his other two uncles – we get to see them and celebrate with them for every other holiday (including Easter, memorial day, labor day, all birthdays, presidents day (if we wanted to), etc.). Is it fair to request that we start a tradition with the weekend before Christmas celebration with his family in Baltimore and make the trip to Wisconsin for Christmas Eve and Christmas day as an annual occurrence (if we can afford it)? We’d spend every thanksgiving and every one of Evelyn’s birthdays in Baltimore with his family but we could give Christmas to my side of the family as a semi-even trade. Is it really a fair trade though? At some point, we will most likely start our own non-traveling holiday plans but for now, traveling is in our plans. With this debate, it should be noted that I absolutely love celebrating every large and small event with his family but yes, I am a little biased as I miss my family and my nieces every single day.

Sam so generously agreed for us to celebrate the holidays in Wisconsin this year, but the debate of future rotations is still up in the air. How do you and your family decide how to spend your holidays or personal celebrations between two families?

Honest opinions and suggestions welcomed.

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things my daughter is most likely trying to tell us

evelyn six months

“ahhhh, yah, yah, ahh bweeough”

Those are the sweet, sweet sounds of my little ladies “first words.” Evelyn is developing quite the personality. Every day with her is a blast. Each morning when we peak over her crib, she’s changed a little from when we put her to bed the night before. Whether it be her hair, her smile, a new “ability”, etc. It’s hard to believe our little girl is  8 months already. We’re loving every single moment with her.

She’s extremely chatty. When she communicates, she yammers on and on.  Based on her really mom? smirks, her overly dramatic sighs (at all of the appropriate moments) and her perfected pre-eye rolls (body language), here’s our interpretation of her sweet chit chats:

To Wyatt:  Come over here you obnoxiously loud furry creature; let me chew on your tale!

To Netflix: Really, this episode again?  I already know that George is going to mess up the trains and the conductor is going to save the line up at the very last minute possible, dad.  Either change the episode or put Big Bird on already. 

To meal time:  Why do you keep cleaning the avocado off my face? Don’t you know I’m trying out a new mask for smoother skin – let me be already!

To why she only talks back to our baby-talk:  Yes, I understand what you’re saying in English but hearing you talk baby is just too much fun.  {When we speak in English, nothing. When we speak in Evy-language, we’re in business.}

To teething: Stop shoving your fingers in my mouth already.  I’ll let you know when a tooth comes in with constant screaming paired with the inability to sooth me and repeated temper tantrums when you don’t let me gnaw on whatever I want to, deal?

To bath time:  You really need to learn a new song if you’re not in fact going to let me splish and splash to my liking.  Who cares if you’re worried about flooding the bathroom floor?  Also, rubber duckies and wash clothes are meant for eating.

To paparazzi (aka mom & dad): Another photo?  Didn’t you just take 52 photos of me trying to enjoy my sweet potatoes yesterday?  Did you want me to turn my head left (just slightly) and look longingly into the distance?  Were you hoping for a smile while I’m trying to conquer the light game on this remote?  Sorry mom, I’m a little bit busy. 

I'm moisturizing mom, leave it there!

I’m moisturizing mom, leave it there!

We love hearing her yammers, but we will appreciate the moments of interpreting her infamous facial expressions, her dramatic sighs, and her pointed body language until she is able to communicate in full sentences because we all know, she will most likely have the wonderful speaking abilities of the D’Angelo’s paired with the stubbornness/sass of (whatever my side of the family wants to take credit for that, Campbell’s, Hoffman’s, Lenser’s). I have no doubt that this girl will always be right. 

are you questioning me?

are you questioning me?

From her first actual word, have sympathy for Sam.  He’ll really have his hands full then ;).

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babies on planes

I’m sure Sam and I are not the only parents who feared their child’s first flight. We read up on ways to sooth Evelyn during take-off and landing. We found a cute idea of passing out ear plugs, candy, gum and a little note to passengers around us. We did everything we could to make the flight enjoyable for everyone. I don’t expect that all parents do the same thing, but I’m sure there’s at least a little anxiety and at least a little forethought on the possibility of a completely melt down. With that, I have compassion and patience with parents of crying babies on flights.

On my most recent trip to Texas, there were a few babies on the flight. Two of which were with just their mothers, alone. Both of these babies had little spouts of whining and crying, which to me was completely normal and expected. Apparently, the woman in front of me disagreed. During landing, one of the babies was crying for about five minutes when she literally shouted in a very demanding tone, “PUT YOUR THUMB IN YOUR CHILDS MOUTH ALREADY!” I was furious for the poor mother.

1. Don’t you think she knows that her child’s ears are hurting him?
2. Do you honestly think she enjoys hearing her own child crying?
3. If you have helpful advice, offer it in a helpful manner.
4. Don’t you see that she’s frantically trying to calm him down in every single way a mother can think of – if he doesn’t want to suck on something, you can’t make him.
5. Who are you to speak to anyone in that tone, let alone demand parenting techniques to strangers?

The whole thing baffled my mind and if she were to say that to me, I’d politely apologize for my child’s pain and thank her for her patience (let’s be honest, this would accompany a stern look and a less than pleasant tone). Instead, the frantic mother kept trying to calm her child while covering his mouth in hopes of muffling the cries. If she didn’t rush off the plane so quickly, I wanted to reassure her, she’s a good mom. No one deserves public humiliation when you’re main focus should be centered on taking care of your child.

As a traveling parent, I have sympathy to distraught children on planes. Not only are their schedules messed up, the different sensations of a plane ride can do a number to their little tummies, their ears may not pop on their own at different elevations and the idea of being up in the air could be extremely terrifying. Sticking your thumb in your child’s mouth (in most cases) is not going to be the answer to soothing a terrified child.

Come on folks let’s show a little bit of compassion, or if you really can’t handle a child’s cries, come prepared with ear plugs, headphones or better yet, a sedative. Thumper could help us all out in situations like these, “if you can’t say something nice .. don’t say nothing at all.”

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married with kid(s)

2 young professionals, married with 7.5 month old baby, loves the outdoors, wine, day trips and adventure seeking other young married professionals with baby and/or young children who also like outdoors, wine, day trips and adventure.

THIS IS WHAT LIFE HAS BECOME. Finding friends after having kids is like joining a dating website or creating a craigslist add. I’m going to start a new section of missed connections: “My husband and I were at the tot lot today, he was wearing a green shirt and I had on a purple dress. You had a little boy about one year old. We talked for 2 minutes about public schools verse private schools and then you had to run to change a diaper. Please call us to finish our ADULT CONVERSATION. PLEASE!”

In all honesty, we are just now feeling settled enough to start socializing beyond family and our friends from college, but putting ourselves out there is proving awkward. Having a social group is so important to our sanity and well-being, but finding friends who share similar parenting styles, and are able to coordinate schedules around nap times, etc is a challenge. My joke of starting a miss connections isn’t all that far off from the excitement of having a random conversation with another young couple at the zoo, having an awkward goodbye and then walking to the car debating why or how we should’ve exchanged numbers – IT’S PLAY-DATE DATING FOR PARENTS. It’s weird, its awkward and it’s painful.

Any suggestions as we venture out into the social abyss that is creating a new social network of parent-friends?!

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fear of flying

American Airline Flight to TX

Never in my life have I had a fear of flying. Ask anyone- I would hop on any plane, to any destination at any moment if given the chance. I love to travel. Turns out that once you pop a baby out, that changes (slightly).
I’m on my way to Texas for a work trip and while it’s always difficult leaving behind my hubby and baby, the recent happenings with airlines make it more than difficult: fearful. Two weeks ago there was the Asiana flight which landed short of the run way and then just days ago was the Southwest flight whose front wheels collapsed upon landing. Yikes.
I’m trying to be an optimist and put my big girl panties on, but these events do leave room to wonder – what if I’m on one of those unlucky flights? I don’t have a will put in place. Sam and I avoid the what-if conversations because… because! Is it time to change our ways and be prepared for any situation or does that lend itself to foreshadowing events to come?
Regardless, I use to sit on flights and anxiously await the adventures that lie ahead at my destination. Now I sit on flights reflecting on how happy I am at this point in my life and anxiously await the adventures that lie ahead back home! Don’t get me wrong, if my family were traveling with me, I’d be excited for my destination and the adventures to come but this trip – without my baby and without my better half – leaves me in need of a plan – because life is unpredictable and just a tad bit scary.

Anyone else had this sudden shift from comfort of flying to fear of flying?