Thursday, June 30, 2011

It's Not Always Sunny

The other day, my friend Kelly posted about whether or not you should share the bad sides of life in blogs or just focus on the positive. She stated, and I agree, that it is definitely up to the individual blogger, but I know that I tend to stick with the happy stuff. So in order to show you that all is not perfect in Larrabee Land, here is a pic I snapped upon returning from the grocery store today:
Cullen fell and skinned his knee on the way in and Bennett was crying like I hadn't fed him in 4 days, even thought it had been approximately an hour and 32 minutes (boyfriend can eat). And like a good mother should, instead of tending to either one of them, I took out my camera. You see, things are not always 100% great, but moments like these make me appreciate the simple times that are so wonderful. Like that Baby B is sleeping peacefully on my chest as I type this. And his eyes are opening bigger and getting bluer everyday:
Cullen eating raw broccoli from the garden in his PJs:
And his outfit from yesterday, an Auburn jersey and Mater undies:
Finally, a last minute plane ticket bought after we found out Kev would have nothing going on between tonight and Monday:
So if you ever wonder why I don't talk about the bad stuff, that is it. There is just more good to share. However, I am working on a post all about 'Ralph', Cullen's two year old alter ego which will prove beyond doubt that it is not always sunshine and unicorns in these parts, so get excited about that sometime next week.

Is you blog all sunny or reflective of everything?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Change of Scenery

Monday morning, my boys and I decided to trade in the country for a little city livin for a few days. We packed up and drove into town to my parents' condo right outside of DC and have been enjoying the change of scenery. The scene between the tow places couldn't be more different. Here is the view off my parents' balcony:
Yes, that is National Airport, the Washington Monument, The Jefferson Memorial and just past the Monument, there is the White House. Good work Joan and Fritz.

The other perk of heading into the city is that Cullen's Happy Place is at my family's auto repair shop:

Bennett enjoyed his first trip to the shop too, appropriately dressed of course:
Since the shop wore C out and he went down for a good nap, I was able to sneak down to the pool and read a magazine while B slept too. So relaxing!

And best of all, I got to visit with my friend Cate. She came by to see C and meet Baby B, then we left the kiddies with my parents and went out to a lovely dinner in Old Towne. This afternoon, it is back out to the country, but we should have lots of visitors over the course of the long weekend to keep us busy. I am definitely glad we have both spots to go back and forth to!

Are you a city or country person?

Monday, June 27, 2011

My New Favorite Hobby...

Is coordinating the boys' outfits. Look how fun it is:

I realize this is not normal, but it makes me happy, so coordinating outfits it is. Just admit that it warms your heart a little?

In other updates, we gave Baby B his first real bath last week:
On Saturday, we witnessed our nephew Colt's Baptism:
Cullen has decided that Bennett always needs to burp, and is happy to be there to help:
While B was sleeping, I found more gifted toys left from his big brother:
Turns out Frankie is the one with the jealousy issues and misses his best buddy Cullen. I found him sleeping with his head on C's trains yesterday. So pathetic:
Lastly, husband made it safely across the country and into Monterey. He checks in today and I can't wait to hear about it.

How was your weekend? Do you like matching outfits on siblings? I'm totally in to it and didn't even know I would be until the first day I tried it. It is probably a good thing Husband isn't here because I'm sure sure he would put a stop to my fun, or at least roll is eyes at me every morning while I take way too long to get the kids dressed because I'm searching for things that go together.

Have a great Monday!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Keeping the Love Alive

Yesterday, my dear friend Martha posted about her fears that her baby (who is due today!) was going to change her relationship with her hubby. I think that is a common fear among new moms, when you realize that it will never be just the two of you ever again, how will that affect the love between you and your partner? And since I miss Husband already and I don't want Martha to worry at all about her love for Sam, I have decided to share some of the ways Kev and I keep the love alive despite our two little munchkins.

1. Make time for each other. Every night after C goes to bed, husband and I make a point to sit and talk. It is so easy to get into a rut of put baby to bed and crash, turn on the TV, play on the internet or just tune each other out because you no longer have to watch the kid. We try our best to use that quiet time to have conversations that don't revolve around Thomas the Train. Granted, there are some nights I annouce to husband that I have no words and just wanted to watch re-runs of How I Met Your Mother, but even then, at least I am communicating that fact!

2. Trust other people with your kids. We like to go on dates. A lot. We also like to go away for a weekend every few months. We are happy that Cullen (and hopefully Bennett) adapts well to change and to other authorities besides us. We are thankful that my mom likes to take him for the weekend. We let Kev's dad give C his bath and put him to bed when we are with them. I make sure my boys will take a bottle so that I have the freedom to spend time with Kev and not have to worry about feeding the baby. I admit that it is hard to leave your kids behind, but it is so good for your relationship. And in all honesty, it is good for your kids as well.

3. Give each other some space. As a (majority of the time) stay-at-home mom, one big adjustment for me was realizing that Kev gets tired too. It is easy to build up resentment being home with the kids all day and feel like husband should walk in from work and take over. I think I even through out to him once "well you can shut the door in your office and not doing anything", which of course is not really true, and if husband didn't love me so much, he could have thrown back "you put the baby down for his nap then gchat and eat cookies for 2 hours." It took us a little while to find that honest, happy place where Kev could tell me he needed to go for a run, or I could tell him I want to go to the grocery store in the evening, just to be alone for a few minutes.

4. Watch and Love. Nothing melts my heart more than seeing how much Kev loves our sons. There is something incredibly special about seeing the person you love the very most in the world loving the 2 little people you love the most. I love Kev more now that I did before we had children because he is such a good father.

5. Embrace the change. It is true that your relationship will be different, but that's a good thing. I would worry if our relationship didn't change after children. We just found new ways to make it work. So we don't frequent bars anymore, but we enjoy a glass of wine on the deck with good friends. We don't sleep in on Saturday morning, but now we make pancakes, go for a walk and play outside with the boys. We don't go out to dinner all the time, now we go out to lunch. We take advantage of family and friends who want to help us out and rarely turn that help down. I wouldn't trade my life now for my life 3 years ago. Having children strengthened our relationship more than I thought possible. It really is a wonderful thing.

Whether you have children or not, what are some of the ways you keep the love alive in a long term relationship?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

And He's Off...

Husband and my little brother took off early this morning on their 4 day cross country adventure, the start of which also begins our 30 day separation until the boys and I make our journey to Cali. Even though it was a decision we made ourselves, this morning was still really sad and I'm glad we can just start counting down now until we are together again.
There is no one I would rather be with than these 3. Safe travels honey, see you soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


When I said that one of the pros to staying behind on the East Coast for a bit was to spend time with family, I was not kidding. Monday we headed a few minutes south to Harrisonburg, VA to visit with my sister in law and her family. We love spending time with Kyle (Kev's sister) and her husband Pete and their two boys who are 4 and 2. Our boys play so well together and we love spending time with them too. And as if seeing just them wasn't enough, Cullen and Bennett's Aunt Katie and Uncle Mike (Kev's younger sibs) came too:

C got some time on the trampoline with his cousins Brooks and Owen and their Uncle Mike:
All the boys with Mike:
It was a great day and I am definitely grateful that Kyle and her boys are going to be close during my month stay in VA.

Yesterday, even though it was already day 16 of Baby B's little life, it was the first day it was just the 4 of us. We have enjoyed spending time with friends and family, but as our time together grows shorter, we are thankful for some days just to bond with each other. And since we are a family that enjoys a little adventure, we packed a picnic and headed to the nearest local winery, Shenandoah Cellars.
We love going to Wineries so much. If it is not a hobby of yours, you should make it one pronto. We didn't even do a tasting at this one, just brought our lunch from home, bought a bottle of their best Chardonnay and enjoyed the scenery, and talking with each other, with B slept and Cullen played. It really makes for a perfect afternoon. Luckily, another couple enjoying a glass of wine didn't mind snapping a quick family picture for us.
And I couldn't resist taking pictures of my boys:

We just had an extraordinary afternoon. When we returned to the farm, C asked if he could go take a nap (always my darling 2 year old, always), Kev went to get a haircut, Bennett continued to sleep and I took the time to read a magazine, switched my red nails to lavender and took a nap myself. And they said two kids was tough. :)
Do you go to Wineries? We have done so many in VA and NC and can't wait to tackle what California has to offer!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Activites

Happy Monday my friends, how was your weekend? Mine was so good that I took over 300 pictures, yes 300. We fit a lot into a few days, but it was one of those times when everything worked out just right. So take a deep breath and read on if you have a few minutes to waste. Here are the highlights:

1. Learned that Bennett is not loyal to the NC heat and is willing to nap on the patio in VA too.
2. Realized it is never too early to teach our kids who to cheer for.
3. Visited with Kev's parents.
4. Visited with my Oma and Opa, Cullen and Bennett's great-grandparents. They immigrated here from Germany in 1963, opened their own business which is still run by my dad and brothers and now live to see great-grandchildren. I can't imagine what that feels like. They are pretty much awesome.
5. Back on the farm, Cullen took charge of the tractor.

6. And several levels of cocktail hour were had by all.

7. There was a lot of swimming. My parents totally downplayed the pool when they bought this place, but we all agree it is one of the best parts. C really warmed up to it and was jumping off the diving board by the end of the weekend.

8. I hung with my mom and grandma (C and B are very blessed to have 5 living great-grandparents, 4 of whom we saw this weekend!). I also hope I don't start shrinking one day like these two clearly have.
9. We did a little dirt bike riding. There is a big list of things that you aren't supposed to do 2 weeks after giving birth. Riding a motorcycle was not specifically on that list, so I went for it. I hadn't ridden in over 10 years, but happily, I picked it right back up. Just in case you can't tell from the pictures, I won.

10. Uncle Bum came to meet his Godson. He is also road tripping with Kev this weekend and we are thankful for that. Side note: Can you tell we are related? We almost look like twins here! (I am 5 years and 1 day older)
11. My Uncle Paul and his wife were in town too. He met his great-nephew and explained the expectations of living up to the name Paul.
12. Tomorrow we are going to visit with Kev's sister, husband and 2 boys, then it is 2 days of just my sweet little family before Kev takes off. We are looking forward to a little peace and quiet, but are thankful we are able to spend so much time with extended family before we head west.
How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Father's Day? We didn't do anything specific, but definitely talked about how blessed with are to have wonderful role models as fathers and grandfathers. We (as in the boys and I) agreed that Kev is the best dad ever and we are thankful for him! All in all, a weekend like this made the sadness of leaving Winston just a little bit easier!