May

It’s May! Yay!

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This girl has been at our house all month! Okay, so it’s only May 2nd. But she did have another AWESOME sleepover here last night!

I hope this becomes a semi-regular thing, because I FREAKING LOVE IT. I’m actually less stressed about all things baby today than I am when we only have her for the day. I think we kind of get in a groove.

This is actually a perfect tie-in, because the weather is just starting to really take a permanent turn towards summer (I hope) and the caption on the calendar this month is “It’s almost Summer!” Juju is wanting to spend almost all of her time here outside, and I don’t blame her.

This girl loves dresses. And she loves to go outside and play in her dresses. Well, this is dress season. (She also loves pulling her dress up and showing off her belly!)

Unlike her daddy, she actually didn’t mind grass from the first time we set her down in it. Last year, before she was really mobile, she actually seemed to prefer laying on the grass instead of a blanket. This year, she’s all about cleaning the grass. She collects twigs and dandelions. Her car is getting a little full.

And she is the ultimate water baby. She LOVES getting wet. She especially loves getting her clothes wet! A swimsuit is fun, (and usually means swimming in the big person pool!) but it means business. Getting her clothes wet means it was more spontaneous.

This year she is much more adventurous with the “toys” around the yard. She has a biiiig slide and a baby slide, a baby swing and a large disc swing, a water table, wind chimes, a shovel, two ladders, a pogo stick, a big fence, a garden cart, a baby car, a baby tractor, and two golf carts. And she loves them all. And wants to go outside and do each activity every day.

And in about a month she’ll also have a baby pool and a big person pool to swim in. I’m exhausted just thinking about it.

But it makes her happy.

I’ll try to get everything organized and actually write a post about our little sleepover last night, because it’s worth sharing. Everything actually went extremely smoothly. So far.

Check back next month for another page from the calendar! Hint: it has to do with the person (person, not animal) she talks about most (behind mommy and daddy, of course!).

Happy Monday and Happy May!

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Read a Book With Silly Rhymes

We only had one day with the babe last week, but it was a good one!

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After her nap, she was in a reading mood. She brought her three new favorite books over to grandpa, got her sippy and her puffs, and climbed up on the couch next to him.

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I have never seen her so patient. Usually she’ll bring you a book, sit in your lap, let you read three pages and then she’ll leave to find the next one.

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She actually let grandpa read the whole book each time.

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“MORE!”
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“Seriously, grandpa. Read it again!”

She even asked for more Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. She loves the “OH, NO!”

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She’s starting to warm up to The Tickle Monster. It’s still not a book that she’ll completely sit through, but there are times when it’s the best thing ever. This was somewhere in the middle.

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“Llama needs his fuzzy near…”
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“But, FUZZY LLAMA ISN’T HERE!” (To which she usually responds “Oh, no!”)

She also loves her Llama Llama books. She hadn’t seemed very interested in this book, so I was (pleasantly) surprised when she handed it to grandpa! She really likes to read Llama Llama Nighty Night before she goes to sleep (“…read a book with silly rhymes…”).

And how can I not share these adorable pictures (even if they’re unrelated)? She loves her rainboots! She wanted to wear them pretty much all day!

Ugh, she’s such a little sweetheart! And I get to have another sleepover with her this week! Yay!

Happy Monday, everyone!

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Stop Growing!

Being an only child and the youngest cousin, I often looked to friends’ families for my baby-time. One of my best friends from grade school got a little sister while we were still in the prime of our Barbie phase.

I remember getting the call from my friend when her sister was born asking which of the two names they were going between I would prefer. I remember meeting her the day she came home from the hospital. I remember playing with her in the car on the way home from school. I remember holding and snuggling her every chance I got. I remember babysitting her throughout the years.

She’s 12 now.

I feel so old.

She didn’t have school on Friday, so she texted me asking if she could come over and play with Juliana.

It was so surreal to see the baby I snuggled at that age playing with my niece (which was also hard to imagine 12 years ago)!

Juliana loved having a new friend to play with! She wanted to go outside and show off her swings and her climbing abilities and her llamas. She wanted to show off all of her toys, favorite hiding spots, multitude of books (short attention span when asked if she wanted to read one of the books), and her most recent charm: saying “Oh no!”

We were all a little sad when JuJu’s new best friend had to go home, but it was time for a nap!

After the nap, grandma let her play in the water and, surprise surprise, her clothes got a little wet. We changed her shirt and tried to put pants on her, but she did NOT want them. And when we were sorting her clothes, we came across some flip flops from last summer and she wanted to wear those for the rest of the day!

She’s such a silly girl!

This is the outfit she greeted her second new best friend in! A friend that I hadn’t seen in a while came by later in the day and Juliana greeted her at the door and pretty much walked right into her arms. I was very pleasantly surprised with that greeting–she usually clings and gets really shy when she’s meeting someone new.

It was a perfect–perfect–day! Both of my “babies” did some major growing up. Now they can stop!

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April

Oh my gosh, can you believe it’s already April?! That means it’s been almost a whole year since I graduated from college! That’s completely bonkers. It feels like it was yesterday. And it seems like Juliana was just a little baby like a week ago.

One little thing: I hate April Fool’s Day. I think it’s dumb. I’ve tried one April Fool’s joke in my life and it failed miserably. (My dad has every radio in the house set to the same station, so when we were about 10 my cousin and I changed every radio to a different station. He was furious.)

Now onto the main purpose of this post:

The calendar.

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This was obviously pretty close to a year ago–my dad was working on taxes. Juliana couldn’t do much by herself back then so she kind of went from lap to lap. When she landed in grandpa’s lap that day, she didn’t want to leave…for about three minutes (which is an eternity in baby time!). She liked pushing the buttons on the calculator and making the papers fall on the floor (which made grandpa so happy!).

This is another one of those pictures that is almost hard to look at because it makes me so emotional. She was so itty bitty! I remember buying her that outfit while we were in Hawaii that year and thinking it looked so big!

And my dad had just had a treatment done on his face and this was the first time he completely shaved off his beard in almost 25 years! It made us laugh every time we looked at him! I had never seen him without a beard!

And there was snow. Thank God there isn’t snow today! It was a little chilly this morning, but it’s already starting to brighten and warm up! I love this El Niño weather!

I promise to have another post up sometime this weekend or Monday at the latest. I had such a perfect, but weird, morning today. I’ll explain why.

I hope some you were more daring than I with your April Fool’s jokes!

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Our Very Bubbly Easter

This year we were chosen to host my brother’s family for Easter. Which meant that we were actually going to have some plans for the day. We usually go to church, have hard-boiled eggs and ham, and have an evening bonfire with some friends. But nothing is structured and it usually turns into all of us kind of going our own separate ways until bonfire time.

A few weeks ago, my brother approached me with the idea of making it a “Kids Cook Easter.” My parents were not to prepare any part of the meal. It was all on us. Which, honestly, didn’t seem like too big of a challenge to me. I mean, there’s nothing complicated about ham and scalloped potatoes.

It turned into him making the “dinner” and me making everything else (brunch and dessert). And I must say, I think my contributions outshined his. I made my now-famous caramel rolls for brunch (served with hard-boiled eggs) and this masterpiece. Speckled Malted Coconut Cake. I am seriously proud of this. My mom was really bragging it up!

(One recipe note: the frosting was giving us all sugar rushes–almost one whole bag of powdered sugar is too much.)

Aside from the food, of course, the main focus of the day was Juliana. She got another day with all of her (hopefully!) favorite people and animals, so she was having a ball. Until she ran right through nap time and finally ended up falling asleep almost 10 hours after she had woken up.

But while she was still up and running, she continued to decorate the windows.

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She also got some presents. First came grandma’s.

My mom saw this while she was killing time between meetings a few days ago and couldn’t pass it up. This girl is a foodie, so it was a slam dunk. She hadn’t opened any presents since Christmas, so she needed a little reminding about how to do it. Once she figured out how the velcro worked, she just sat there and put the candle on the cake and then pulled it off about 20 times.

Then her parents pulled out their present for her.

None of us had any idea how much she would love the bubbles. She started out just wanting to catch them.

Then she wanted to blow her own bubbles!

I don’t know, do you think she liked them? You never know how this girl is feeling…

She loved her “bubbas!”

While she slept, my parents decided to light the fire. I volunteered to stay inside and wait for the girl to wake up. So I watched the fire from inside.

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We don’t do small when it comes to bonfires. (We are very responsible about it, though.)

It was cloudy all day and then, miraculously, the sun came out just in time for the sunset. Those are always the best sunsets. (This was after the peak.)

I hope all who celebrated had a happy Easter!

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Snow Day

It snowed today. And I was not smiling about it…until my plans were canceled and I didn’t have to go anywhere. Then it was beautiful!  It didn’t amount to much, but the ground and trees are white. It should–should–be gone by Sunday so we can have our annual Easter bonfire. But this is Minnesota, so you never know.

Meanwhile, inside, JuJu was decorating for Easter, loving on her puppy, and eating a balanced meal of cake and pudding (she actually did have an extremely well balanced meal before earning her cake and pudding).

Poor Cocoa. He’s such a good puppy.

I guess it turned out to be a pretty good day! The snow won’t last and my sixty-degree days will be back before you know it!

Once again, I learned not to judge a day by its morning.

I Think This is Called Bliss

I am so happy.

I think this is called bliss.

I realize that it is definitely not a lot of people’s idea of bliss, but it is mine.

We got an extra day with the babe because she’s not feeling 100%.

Don’t Wait Too Long by Madeline Peyroux is playing on a loop, Juju and I are all alone, she’s playing in her little toy corner, and I’m lying on the floor next to my puppy thinking about how wonderful life can be while staring at this rattle Juju loved about a year ago, when she was just learning how to roll over.

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She peeked up from behind her book shelf and yelled “OWL!”

Then she quietly laid on top of me for all of 10 seconds before sitting up and bouncing.

Every Monday should be like this.

I think she agrees.

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Time for a nap!

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