Thursday, August 7, 2014

Brynnie Ballerina | The First Class

For most of you who keep up with us, this news will come as no surprise... Brynn has fallen head-over-heels in love with ballet. It is her dream. It is her passion.

Yes, I can already hear your exasperated eye-rolls... "How does a three year-old have a PASSION?" And before all of this, I too would have scoffed at the idea that a 3 year-old could have ideals that could be described as "a dream" or "a passion" in the same context that we would use for an adult... But I'm here to tell you, our girl has completely blown me away with this notion. For the past 10 months, we have lived in a world that has progressively entranced itself with ballet dancing. At this point in time, it's pretty much 24/7 ballet around here. If she is not dancing, she is watching YouTube videos of ballets-- her favorites are Swan Lake and Giselle. She would spend hours (if I let her) watching and mimicking the moves of principal ballerinas. We have recently enforced set hours of the day when I confiscate her ballet shoes and force her-- yes, FORCE HER-- to do something else. And when she is in trouble, taking away her ballet shoes for the day is more of a consequence than anything that I can ever dream up.

I might note that this obsession traces all the way back to last Christmas season. I decided one day that she needed a little festive culture, so I rented the motion picture version of The Nutcracker (you know, the one with Macaulay Culkin when he was like five years-old), which was On Demand-- and on sale, of course. I never in a million years expected the reaction that we got from her... We watched it every single day for the rest of that week (which was about as much as I could take). She was completely enamored. All she talked about for weeks were the characters. When she was playing in her room, my eavesdropping revealed that the Mouse King, Clara, and Nutcracker Prince had become regular figures in her pretend play.

 this is my favorite face, reserved for when she really gets lost in the music...

After about a month of the Nutcracker, I decided that she needed a new set of characters to idolize... So, I offered up Swan Lake. She took that and ran with it!! Before we knew it, I was buying Tchaikovsky's Masterpieces off iTunes so that she could dance to them at will. She memorized almost every piece and its corresponding part of the ballet. It didn't take long before she was requesting to listen to her "ballet music"- instead of her white noise- to fall asleep every night. This is when I knew that she had it baaaaadd.... 

We put off ballet class for as long as we possibly could. I wanted to make sure this wasn't a passing phase (even though I knew that it wasn't), and I really wanted her to start at the beginning of the dance season in the Fall so that she wasn't coming into groups that were already established. This is her first real activity where I won't be with her, so I wanted to make sure she was prepared... 

So, here we are-- her first class is on Saturday morning at America's Ballet School. We have prepared her uniform, her "listening ears," and her contagious anticipation for this moment... And as any mother would, I am just hoping and praying that all goes well for her.

 I have informed her that ballerinas have very good "listening ears"... ;)

I think you would agree that the excitement is written all over her face.

arabesque and relève

Now, before you even ask, I will fully admit that I know a whole lot of nothing about ballet. I took one year of it and I was done... I always loved to dance, but ballet was just not my thing. Also, what I have heard, watched, and researched about ballet has not been the most wonderful stuff. If Brynn wants to give it all up at any time, I will be 110% supportive of that. I am no "dance mom"... 

After all, this is all just supposed to be fun... :)

With all of that being said, I know that there will be a part of me that has tears in my eyes when we walk into dance school on Saturday... Thinking about my baby girl, who has grown up so much, and all of her hopes and dreams coming true for the first time in her life.

 Good luck, Brynnie Ballerina!

We could not be more proud of you.
Shoot for the stars, Sis!


Wow. I have been in denial about this monthly update for a few weeks... The time just keeps flying by-- almost as fast as our little truck-loving, water-splashing, roughhousing, and anything and everything else cliche about this 9 month-old BOY of ours!! Seriously, though... He can already outrun me. Not a great sign, if you know what I mean. ;)

It seems like only yesterday that I was snapping these photos of our sweet little man...

I don't even think I can face down the fact that his first birthday will be in 3 months... I would do almost anything to keep him this little forever, although I would love for him to be a little more coordinated. And while we're on the topic of coordination, I will just go ahead and talk about the fact that he is thisclose to standing by himself. He is pulling up and letting go of everything... He will stand for about a second on his own, then he gets thrown off balance--- usually while lunging himself at whatever has caught his attention for that brief second. This mama is going to have some grey hair in a matter of years, with all of the shenanigans he pulls on me!

he obviously hasn't lost his daredevil spirit... the rougher the better! :)

Height & Weight: Unfortunately, he hasn't been weighed or measured in a few months... His 9 month appointment was originally scheduled to be on August 8th, but it was canceled and rescheduled for the 21st due to all of the crazy back-to-school business going on... I was a little disappointed, because I am more than ready to see how much our man has grown! His last stats were from his 6 month well baby appointment, which was right after his head injury and our stomach flu debacle, so I'm more than ready for some valid stats. However, it is pretty obvious that he is a healthy boy... His thighs are the same girth as his sister's.

Sleep: L is still sleeping like a champ. He refuses to go to bed any later than 6:30pm, and usually sleeps until around 7am. We change his diaper before we go to bed every night (around 10ish), and he usually doesn't even wake up for that! He is napping twice a day, and when he is not napping, he is usually burning the candle at both ends -- giving his mother mini-strokes, and earning each and every minute of his nap time! :)

Diet: Formula, of course, and just about any food that is put in front of him... Although, like his big sister, he is NOT a fan of tomato sauce (spaghetti will not be a regular meal at our house), and he has texture issues with quinoa and the other "chunky" foods that we give him. As mentioned previously, he has a very sensitive gag reflex, so I'm treading lightly when it comes to advancing his palate. He is a very hearty eater, but if he doesn't like something, he is pretty good at fighting to make sure it doesn't make it into his mouth!

Clothes: Well, he's in 12-18 month clothes and growing like a freight train!! He is built so much like Daddy, and I always marvel at just how long his legs are... Of course, he has a long way to go before he breaks 6 foot-- like his daddy, uncles, and grandpa-- but he is well on his way to being one of those tall Weinzapfel boys!

Lucas' Likes: Playing in Sissy's room. Being a daredevil. Hanging upside down (obviously). Petting Oz dog, and throwing his ball for him. Splashing in the dog's water dish. "Vrooming" with trucks. Rolling his basketballs and toys all over the house. Eating MumMums and vanilla yogurt. Trying to escape from diaper changes while he's naked. Playing in any kind of running water (bath, sink, hose). Giving kisses (especially to Sissy). "Dancing" while holding one arm in the air-- it makes me laugh every time, and I need to get it on video!

Dislikes: Tomatoes. Being left out by his sister. Staying on his back during diapers changes. Being confined to his walker (he reacts like it's a torture device), and watching Mommy walk out of the room without him...

Comparison to Big Sis:

Brynn was an avid army-crawler. She loved to clap her hands, and "sing"... She was our long and lean girl, and was also a great eater and sleeper. She had just sprouted her first tooth at 9 months, which is something we're still waiting for with her baby brother. I would say they are not very similar at all anymore, but I think that's mostly due to the girl/boy differences.

Oh, these men of mine... they melt my heart. 

 happy, happy 9 months
to our rough and rowdy boy!

we love you so much, lucas.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


The days as a mom of two are certainly getting longer. Mostly because our boy is awake so much these days, either from fighting naps, even if only to play with his sister a little longer, but more frequently from teething pains.

As much as I love our sweet boy, I will be the first one to assert that he is not going to be any good at this teething gig. I know, I know... What baby is?! Well, as with many things, I compare my experiences with Lucas to my experiences with Brynn. Looking back, Brynn was a pretty good teether. She was wildly independent, and desperate to do things the exact way that she had set in her mind, without help... Because of this, she really didn't have much time to worry about teething pain. She was always very cautious not to get hurt, which was mostly due to the fact that being hurt would only slow her down, or keep her from whatever goal she was trying to reach. I reminisce back to the days when she would slowly lower her head while going under tables, so as not to bump her head.... And when she learned to walk she didn't push herself beyond what she knew he capabilities to be. As her mother, I knew she got this from me, and it worried me a little that this would become part of her lifestyle and inhibit her from trying new things and branching out... Of course, it was inherently a part of her personality, so I never could have changed it, even if I had tried. I know now that my worries were completely unfounded with this. Although, she is still cautious, she usually just dives right in to most situations without hesitation.

Our boy, on the other hand.... pffffeew ... He is very different. I try not to use the term "polar opposite" because I know, as siblings, they have a lot of similarities. However, he lacks the cautious nature that his sister spoiled me with. He is a boy, yes, but I just was so unprepared for, what I can only describe as, pure recklessness... I mean, I am seriously on pins and needles for 90% of the day, trying to make sure this kid doesn't choke on something, electrocute himself, break his neck, or crack his head open in some way. It's like a game of poker that Mommy is clearly not winning... I will "see" his head injury attempt by putting him in his "safe zone" (which is either his walker or his bouncer), and he "raises" me with his next daredevil attempt- be that trying to pull himself out of his walker by doing "pull-ups" on a piece of furniture (feet off the floor and everything), or challenging his fine motor skills by trying to pull the little plugs out of the electrical outlets. Ugghhhh! It's utterly exhausting. Needless to say, I end most of our days out of chips...

One day, I will look back on these days and smile. I will realize that all of my hard work and worries were worth all of the effort, and a huge part of me will yearn for these days at home with my babies. I will watch Lucas take off on his bike or in his (gasp) vehicle, and think about that rowdy little baby boy, who will probably always make me retain enormous amounts of carbon dioxide from all of the breath-holding that I have done and will continue to do.

I'm a boy mom... What else is there to do?

 in case you haven't heard, teething just plain stinks...

Height & Weight: I won't have an update on his stats until next month. His next appointment, and God willing the next time we see a pediatrician of any kind, is on August 8th.

Sleep: Still sleeping 10-12 hours through the night. He usually won't let us put him down any later than 7pm, and he usually wakes up around 6:30am. He's taking two naps every day for about 1-2 hours each time. We've started the process of sleep training, and he is doing very well so far.

     what's that?  ... a distress call!
better suit up!!    

 our little superman is always an adventure.

Diet: He's taking 4-5 bottles a day. Eating 1-2tbsp of each- fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy. We just started chicken, and he is not the biggest fan yet. His favorite meal is banana'cado and vanilla yogurt for breakfast. He is obsessed with Mum Mums and loves to eat his puffs.

Clothes: We are out of our 6-9 month stuff and in either 9-12 months or 12month stuff. He can fit into some 6-12 month stuff... He's growing like a weed! He's barely fitting into his size 4 diapers, and we are upping to size 5 with our next Honest shipment. He usually goes barefoot in the Florida heat, but he's wearing size 2 sandals when necessary.

every superhero needs a profile shot. ;)  thanks for the shirt, pawpaw!

Lucas' Likes: All types of hair (usually pulling it, be it gently, but still likes to pull). Splashing in the bath. Eating. Playing with his sister. Listening to his sister talk or make zerbert noises. Pretending that he knows how to walk. Pretending he knows how to talk just like everyone else, with his A-dorable little language of pops and clicks and little grunts and groans! Playing in the sand at the beach. Chew toys. Anything that makes him "big" like his sister.

Dislikes: Being confined to his walker or bouncer when he's in a reckless mood. Staying in one place for diaper changes. Being told "No." when caught playing with dangerous objects. Anything that keeps him from being "big" like his sister.

Comparison to Big Sis:

Brynn had just learned to crawl.
I think they do look alike, and have a lot of the same expressions, but I think Lucas is really starting to favor Daddy. When I look at his photos, I can definitely see me in them too, but he acts so much like Allen... So for me, it's much easier to see "Allen" in him. Unfortunately, it's still a big question of whether he will get the German complexion from Daddy, and like his sissy, or if he will be stuck as a pale ale like Momma. Things aren't looking very promising right now, but I am crossing my fingers for him! ;)

Brynn at 8 months

can't get enough of that sweet smile. 
he has actually learned to stop and "smile" when he sees me taking photos!!!
I adore this, because his sister has a huge camera-phobia... huge. phobia.


happy 8 months, sweet boy.
we love you so much!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Daddy's Breakfast in Bed | Father's Day 2014

It's Father's Day! Recently, I was introduced to Treat Greeting Cards by Shutterfly, and I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to design some very special cards to help make Father's Day a little more wonderful for the daddies in our life. I am sending the grandpas their very own personalized photo cards to Indiana, and I'm cooking up something special for Allen!

For some of you who know me, this may not be surprising to you, but I have a confession: I have pretty much the most horrendous memory when it comes to dates and occasions. Treat has come to my rescue lately, and has helped to remind me that I better get some cards mailed ASAP. Yes, I am notorious for forgetting to mail the cards that I buy in time for the occasion. I should start calling it "Card Guilt"... And with my track record, I have a lot of Card Guilt.

It's actually something that Allen teases me about constantly. We will be sorting through our mail and bills that have piled up on our counter, and he comes across a card... "Who is this for?" he will ask me. "Oh, that's for so and so's birthday," or "I bought it to send to your dad after his surgery," but usually, my response is, "Dangit!! I totally forgot to mail that... Again." Yep. Card Guilt.

Well, guess what? There's an App for that! Not only does Treat have an App, where you can do things like, check your order, but you can also surf their amazing designs, and it even has a spot to log all of your important birthdays (and it even REMINDS you to get a card and mail it!). What more could I want (more like need), right?

One of my favorite things about using Treat is their adorable designs, specifically for grandkids who live away from their grandparents. This is a rarity in the card section at most stores, so we were excited with all of the options that they have for us to choose from!

Here is a glimpse at the cards we picked out to send Papa Wilson and Grandpa Weinzapfel...

We hope you both enjoyed your cards! Miss you lots!

Like most special occasions, we usually celebrate with a little breakfast in bed. This Father's Day was no exception. Brynn was so excited to help me prepare Daddy's breakfast, and also couldn't wait to give him his special card. I captured a few of our special moments to share.

The moment I saw this Treat card, I knew it was the perfect one for him.

my favorite photo. sweet daddy hugs. 

I always love listening to their sweet father-daughter conversations.

just to remind you that small children were involved in this moment...
she never fails to give me a dose of reality. ;)

happy father's day, babe! 
you work so hard for us, and we hope you enjoyed every moment.
we love you so, so much.


Letters to Daddy.

Oz wants you to know that, while you don't have the most patience with him,
and even though you still haven't bought him a golf cart... He doesn't hold that against you.
And, he totally likes your walks better than Mommy's, 
because you let him get away with all kinds of shenanigans, like chasing armadillos or alligators.

  Brynn would like you to know that she loves you when you do ballet lifts with her. She also loves when you put her to bed, because she knows she can always con you to "way wif me for free minutes" (lay with me for 3 minutes), and no matter how long your day was, you always let her re-read her bedtime story... Or Brynn's "interpretation" of the story through pictures and memory, which can be loooong and also extremely hard to follow. She also told me that you are strong and you are silly, and she loves you.

Lucas wants you to know that no matter how cliche it may sound, you are his HERO. He loves to hear your voice on the phone when we call you at work. Mommy loves to watch that huge smile spread across his face as he tries to "talk" to you, when he recognizes your voice. He also told Mommy that you are his favorite person to see at 6am... Every morning. 
No lie, he totally admitted that to me.

  I could seriously die over how sweet they are to each other... 
And I love knowing that Daddy and I are helping to groom their relationship, and their trust in each other, into something that will last forever. This is what life is all about-- Watching our sweet babies unconditionally love and support each other.

happy father's day
to all of the daddies out there!