Wednesday, July 6, 2016

currently: long hot summer ed.

Currently, I'm...

Listening...to a lot of podcasts. I am convinced that this is the only reason I've been successful at getting up and working out consistently for the last two (ALMOST THREE!!! yay, go me!) months...a very robust and diverse podcast list. Here are my recommendations, in case you're hunting for new listens: Hidden Brain, Ask a Clean Person, Invisibilia, Stuff Mom Never Told You, Embedded, Freakonomics Radio, 99% Invisible, Planet Money, The Longest Shortest Time, and Gilmore Guys (although I'm finally starting to tire of them...but we're/they're so close to finishing the series, I'm trying to stick with 'em). Am I missing anything fabulous? Because I also have a few very long car trips in the upcoming weeks, so I'm trying to really beef up my list.

Eating...too much of everything, ha. Where I've been successful at exercising more lately, I've been a complete and total failure at eating less/better. Wah. Oh well. At least a lot of it is fruit?? Or something.

Drinking...well, THIS I have an answer for. And the answer is margaritas. Ha. This is apparently the summer of the margarita. Matt and I have embarked on a quest to learn to make the best margs ever at home, and it's been pretty great. And even the failures are...pretty great. Hahahaha. (P.S. We aren't doing anything special in our "quest to learn to make the best margs ever"...basically just vary the amount of lime/lemon juice and the 'parts' of triple sec and tequila is all. Nothing fancy. We're not very advanced bartenders.)

However, I CAN definitively say now that I prefer mine on the rocks with NO salt. So now you know. And so do I.

Wearing...nothing special right now, but I keep obsessively looking at pictures of our patriotic outfits from the weekend!



Nothing speaks to my heart quite like coordinating family outfits. Clearly.

Feeling...excited! We are going to the beach soon, and that is making me happppyyyy! Millie is the happiest, funniest little thing these days, and I can't wait to spend so much uninterrupted time with her (and Matt. And my parents. They are also all cool.). However, tonight when we were talking about what we were going to do on vacation, she let me and Matt know that she was going to sleep in Nannie & Pop-pop's bed and go on a walk with Pop-pop. So I guess she might have her own agenda, and it apparently doesn't involve me. Wah.


with her beloved Nannie & Pop-pop on Father's Day
Wanting...it to be Friday at 5:00 already? I am normally not a wish-away-the-week person, but apparently the week before a vacation...I am. Ooh, but I also want someone to come and pack for me. That's the only bummer part about vacation. Well, and the unpacking later. One day when I'm filthy rich I'm just going to have a completely stocked second (and third, and fourth) house (in a fabulous destination, obviously) that already has all the clothes, toiletries, baby items, and everything I could possibly need already there. Then all I have to do is hop on my private jet and go! Things are going to be so much easier then. All I need are those winning lotto numbers!

Thinking...about how extremely hilarious Millie is right now. I cannot overstate it enough. She keeps us laughing from the minute she wakes up (yesterday the very first word out of her mouth was "BOW!!", accompanied by urgent pointing towards her hair accessories. We couldn't even leave the room until it was in her hair) until she finally falls asleep. And then I just spend the rest of the night laughing some more as I re-watch her videos and look at her pictures. It's a problem. But not really.

Evidence:

Dancing is one of her strongest skills right now:



She is really into "counting." And saying "GOOO!!!"



She likes to help Mommy and Daddy go night-night. And then "surprise" us with tickles!!



When she just really wanted to give the kitty a hug...but he wouldn't come out of the bushes.
Enjoying...summer. Even though Matt and I are both still working and nothing really changes (other than the TEMPERATURE, oh my gosh), I still feel like we're making it feel special and fun. I mean, just the option to spend all weekend in the pool makes the whole season worth it. Because how else could Millie and I perfect our cheerleading skills?


P.S. This baby has determination and focus many adults lack: she happily practiced doing this on two separate days for dozens of tries until she finally got it (including amazing arm placement)!! I am so proud of her!

P.P.S. The reason I know that it was HER who was determined and focused was because she so kindly kept swimming her feet back into my hands and counting me off so that I knew it was time for me to pick her up again: "Threeeeee...oonnnneee...TWOOOOO!!!! GOOOO!!!" I had no choice but to oblige!

Watching...well, besides home phone movies of Millie...not much. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for the last few nights. 

Reading...I just downloaded a bunch of new books for vacation, but I'm trying not to start them until we are on the road! We read The Kitchen House for book club last month and I really liked it. Excellent discussion, too. I picked up The Last Boy and Girl in the World on a whim at the library recently and read it last week. I felt like it had a really strong premise/set-up, but towards the end, I felt a little let down in how it all played out. To be honest, I just think it could have been a lot...I don't know...creepier? Darker? That seems weird, but I think that's how I thought it was going to be in the beginning, and then it just really wasn't? Ha. Who knows. Anyway, I picked it because the cover art was fantastic and I was in the mood for YA, and I really wasn't disappointed...it just wasn't as deep, maybe, as I thought it could be. Which is truly shocking, considering it is YA. Haha.

In case your taste in literature is a bit more toddler-esque, Millie would like to recommend anything penned by Leslie Patricelli. She is particularly enjoying Tubby and Potty right now, and she did enjoy No No Yes Yes, until her mean parents took it away because they were pretty sure it was giving her new ideas about "no no" things she could be doing...so maybe don't go for that one. Unless your kid has already dreamed up all the "no no" things that can possibly be done (writing on walls, pulling the dog's tail, unrolling all of the toilet paper...to name a few of her excellent suggestions).

And that about wraps it up for life lately! I'll gladly accept any podcast or book recommendations, along with any tips for surviving long car trips with an energetic toddler (and we don't have an iPad...or let her eat in her car seat...so take those extenuating circumstances into account!!)! Hope you are having a happy week! 

Friday, June 24, 2016

millie-isms: part III

THIS GIRL.


She is just beyond hilarious to me these days. Her language development and opinions?? TOO MUCH. I never want to forget this stuff.

1. She is a lover of all plants, animals, and nature...except bugs. And bees. When she's outside (which is 100% of the time if she has it her way), she likes to inspect every flower, touch every tree, and pet every animal. When she sees spent flower petals on the grass, she frantically cries "OH NO!!!" and picks them up and tries to replace them on the flower/tree they fell from. 


But when she sees any type of bug...or a speck of dirt or bark that vaguely resembles a bug...she sneers her nose and yells "WAY, BUG!!" while frantically waving her arms...go away, bug. If the bug doesn't immediately obey, she summons the nearest parent to go take care of the situation for her. "Mama!!! Bug!! Way!!"

Kitty cats do not need to "way." 

2. She loves her grandparents almost as much as flowers and animals, and possibly even more than her mommy and daddy. 


I know this because when my parents were here last weekend, my mom and I were giving Millie a bath. And after a few minutes of noticing that both Mommy AND Nannie were in the bathroom with her, she narrowed her eyes at me and decisively said "Mama. WAY."

And then she shooed me.

And I said "what?? Mills, you want Mommy to go away? You want Nannie to give you your bath?"

She nods.

"Mama. Way. Bye-bye."

Okay then. (P.S. I don't think my mom was nearly as broken up over this turn of events as I was. Ha!)

3. We had a birthday celebration for my dad while he was here, and we've had a little "Happy Birthday" sign thingy and the leftover party blowers sitting in our dining room ever since. Ever since then, approximately 3,928 times per meal, Millie will suddenly exclaim "Happy, happy!!" and make this big smile and move her head from side to side (which generally means she is "singing"). If Matt and I don't immediately begin singing the Happy Birthday song, she will yell "HAPPY!! HAPPY!!!" even more frantically while signing "more"...so we better snap to and start singing!

Happy girl.
4. I started rubbing Millie's back when I lay her down to sleep recently, and she immediately decided it was an integral part of her evening (or nap) routine. As soon as we finish saying our prayers, she says "back? back?" until I promise that I'll rub her back when she lays down. I rub it for a minute, and then she's calm and/or asleep, and I leave her room. If she happens to wake up in the middle of the night (once every week or 2), she will now accept a rubbed back in lieu of being held and/or insisting on sleeping in Mommy & Daddy's bed. So it's pretty nice.

But the other night, she was not tired (or way too tired) and just couldn't settle down at bedtime. I rubbed her back, she'd lay quietly for 2 minutes and then pop up and start screaming...I'd return and rub her back again, she'd repeat the whole thing again. We did a few rotations of this, and then I told her that this was the last time and that Mama wasn't going to come back in until she was asleep. I stuck to my word, but I was watching her on the video monitor as she stood in her crib yelling for me. After a few minutes of fruitless yelling, she laid back down...and then contorted her little arms backwards and attempted to rub her own back. YALLLLLLL. It was the sweetest, saddest thing I've ever seen. Poor Millsie, rubbing her own back. 

Luckily for her, it worked and she finally fell asleep. HA!


5. She can do three "chores" that are actually semi-helpful now! She unloads the silverware from the dishwasher, she feeds Lola (and screams "EAT EAT, NONAH!! EAT EAT, NONAH!!!" until the terrified dog finally gives in), and she can sort diaper laundry! She can separate the liners from the covers, which means all Matt and I have to do is stack the liners/covers before we put them away. I showed her how to do it a week or two ago, but a few nights ago I was surprised to find her doing it all by herself (without me asking/showing), AND she was stacking up the liners! 

Child labor for the win!
I think maybe she just really likes sorting things in general right now, because she also loves sorting all of her play dishes/silverware (putting all of the red ones together, the blue together, etc.) and also sorting her farm animals. It's precious.


But the cows cannot be sorted until she kisses their "boo boos"...aka udders. Ha. I told her that that is where the milk comes from, and she looked at me very seriously and then shook her head and said "BOO BOO" as she kissed it. So now I know.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

summer girls

My apologies for being a viable contender for the Most Neglectful Blogger of the Year award. Life is trucking along just beautifully, and it's hard to find (or make) time to stop to write it all down. It's the busiest time of year at my job, and most of my days there are so exhausting that I have no mental capacity left at night to want to write...so thank you, Netflix, for being there for me. :)

Millie is officially a Summer Girl. It makes me happy to say that, because I've always been a Summer Girl myself. In fact, that was my go-to screen name for chat rooms back in middle school (aka when the internet was invented, and we accessed it via America Online CDs that came in the mail, ha!). Also, all I did in those mid-90s chat rooms was lie. I thought that was like the whole point of chatting...to invent an identity. My go-to identity was that my name was Lyndsey Allyson (I really liked Ys, I think?) and I was a twin. That was pretty much my standard...all other details might change, but apparently the Ultimate Dream of middle-school-ish me was to be an identical twin named Lyndsey Allyson. DREAM BIG, LITTLE ONES. (PS Dream never came true, shockingly. But I survived.)

ANYWAY, back to things that aren't weird.

Millie is ALL ABOUT the summer. Homegirl has mastered the art of running into her room, opening her closet, and dragging out her bathing suits and/or swim diapers. We'll find her in random places around the house in various states of trying to put on her swim gear and it is just TOO cute. "Pool!! Pool!!" (except she doesn't really pronounce the l, so it's funnier. But I know what she means) Luckily she isn't picky- she's equally excited about the kiddie pool on our driveway and the lovely real pool at her grandparents' house.

We're working on her selfie skills. It seems like I have to pick whether I want her to have open eyes or a smile- rarely do both at the same time occur!

She is completely fearless (with her puddle jumper on...a little more hesitant without, which is good!) and loves being thrown in the air. She jumps off the side to Mommy or Daddy, and in about two days progressed from jumping while holding our hands to now jumping completely on her own! She also sprinted to the diving board and tried to jump off the end after witnessing her (4.5 year old) cousin doing it and getting lots of attention and praise!! Luckily I nabbed her before she did it, but she did proceed to "jump" off twice with my help (and Daddy catching her in the deep end).


When we're at home, she will go into the garage, pull (or attempt to pull) her kiddie pool out from behind our mower, and drag it to the front yard. She will then pull the hose out of the garden and put the end of it in the pool- homegirl knows exactly what she wants!


If we happen to not be in a body of water (rare but unfortunately happens occasionally), Millie entertains herself on our new couch and ottoman, aka best toddler jungle gym ever. We'd been planning to get a playscape for our back yard this summer, but upon further reflection, I might just put a sectional out there. Ha. But seriously. She runs herself ragged on it! And then Matt and I put her to bed and marathon How to Get Away with Murder on it, so really, it's been an extremely excellent purchase!


And that's pretty much been it. We spend as much time as possible outside, and then we crash. Lather, rinse, repeat.


She loves these eyelet lace sandals and she only gets to wear them on Sunday mornings (when there is almost no chance of ruining them, haha). That doesn't stop her from pulling them out and attempting to wear them around the house almost every day, though!


A smile AND open eyes- a true rarity!!

Despite the craziness at work, this summer is blissful. I sometimes just want to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. And thank you, God, for closing the door on those middle school dreams...because there's no way becoming Lyndsey Allyson (and her twin Elizabeth Rose) (and yes, we both went by our full double names!) would have been nearly this great. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

may (mostly in parenthesis)

Well, May has certainly flown by...sheesh. It's been a blur of working and running (I've continued running 5 days a week since April 25...so that's almost a month...so that's like the most I've worked out in two years, easy) and cuddling and working and bubbles and painting (we've decided not to move and are instead updating/remodeling/adding a bunch of stuff to our house. We started with repainting the kitchen/dining room/laundry room in our "spare time"...it was soooo fun. NOT.) (Isn't it great how that life update was summed up in a parenthetical statement? In ye olden days, that would have been a week's worth of posts and pictures, but now you just get a sentence in parenthesis. HA.) and like...stuff. I need a nap. And/or to crash on the couch with my new favorite (incredibly stupid and ridiculous) show Young & Hungry (I'm embarrassed to admit that). Oooooh also I recently fell in love with (and learned to make at home!!) margaritas. I feel like that may have something to do with how much I enjoy Y&H sometimes. Ha.

But enough about me. You really wanna hear about The Beloved One, don't you?

No worries, she's as cute as ever. Except she kinda looks like a teenager now. WAAAAH.

I act like a teenager sometimes, too!! I have lots of emotions and ALL of the opinions! 
 I enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day. It's a bittersweet but incredibly happy day for me now.

My gift to you, Mommy, will be that I will look adorable and glance in the direction of the camera occasionally!
 We've taken in some sporting events at UGA. Millie is a big fan. Or maybe she's just a fan of ballpark food, but that's the same thing as being a sports fan in my book.

REAL sports fans don't waste time taking SELFIES during a game, Mommy. Sheesh. 
No but for real. That's really how she feels about selfies. This is how it usually happens:

How about NO, Mommy?
One of her greatest life passions remains swinging, or as Millie calls it, "WEEEEEEE!!!!" That is both the sound she makes while doing the act of swinging, as well as what she calls the swing itself.

Do you see my face? Do you think I like it when you stop pushing me so that you can TAKE ANOTHER PICTURE???!
But she's not exclusive with the swings. She appreciates a variety of playground equipment. We are looking forward to getting a swing set for our yard sometime this summer!
She can legitimately hang there like that all by herself. It's crazy!

So we are busy having lots of fun, but I need to reiterate what we are NOT busy doing: vacuuming. Remember how we got a Roomba last month? I'm back with my one-month update, and it is this: YOU NEED A ROOMBA. It is basically the best purchase ever. It has changed my life, and I'm really not even exaggerating. My stress level is way down, just because I don't have to come home to fur tumbleweeds rolling across my floor. I don't have to sweep. I don't have to vacuum. The rugs always have vacuum lines. And most importantly: I don't get grocery store feet from walking around my own home. And if you clicked on that link: you're welcome.

(In the interest of fairness, I don't know if it would be as life-changing an item if we weren't all out of the house all day. Since we're at work/school, our house stays relatively neat and picked-up. I can quickly Roomba-proof (pick up any toys, close the door to rooms that I don't want him to enter, etc) the house before we leave in the morning, and I come home to a perfectly clean house (he's programmed to run during the day). If Millie and I were home all day, a) the house wouldn't stay optimally Roomba-ready, and b) it would probably get annoying having to walk around him while he does his work. BUT- actually, it still probably would be worth it. As long as you leave the house for a few hours a few times a week...or you could just run him at night, which sometimes I do anyway just so that my house gets cleaned TWICE IN ONE DAYYYYYY!!!!!!)

Anyway. It's probably dumb how obsessed I am with a vacuum, but it's the most recent purchase I can think of that instantly improved my quality of life (and probably my health...goodbye years-old piles of dog fur/dust hiding under furniture that I never move to vacuum!), so forgive me for being zealous. :)

Are you done talking about the wo-bot Mommy?
Well, it's sad but true, but my show is calling me...so thus concludes another riveting periodic life update. Ha. I dedicate this post to my my long-lost friend and former coworker Ellen, who moved away last summer and yesterday told me she "religiously stalks my blog" and then made a really sad face as she told me I need to step it up. I really hate to be a disappointment, so here we are. Thanks for the motivation, friend!