conversations with my two-year-old

The other afternoon, I decided that Leo had spit up on himself enough times to warrant a mid-day bath. Annika loves to be involved with everything concerning Leo (including asking to see his poop, when I change his diaper... sorry for that!). So I let her "help me".
We sit down by the bath tub and I start washing Mr. Leo, who loves baths very much and doesn't make a peep. So it's me and Annika having this lovely conversation.

- What are you doing, mama?
- I'm giving your baby brother a bath.
- Why?
- Because he isn't very clean, baby. You saw how much he spit up on himself.
- Why?
- Well, babies always spit up a little bit when they eat.
- Why?
- Because if they spit up too much, then there won't be anything left if their tummy.
- Why?

Then she got distracted by bubbles in the little tub and I had a minute of quiet. Enough time to think that, man, the girl's got the "5 whys" technique down...

And then...

- What are you doing, mama?
- I'm giving Leo a bath, baby.
- Why?


Mother of the Year award goes to...

Me!!! Yesterday was one of those days where I could have totally won that award (it exists, right?). Super productive from dusk till dawn, kids were little angels all day, homemade dinner was delicious, laundry done... And I looked fabulous through it all. 

Okay, that was a lie, beginning to end.

Instead, I took Annika to daycare having forgotten her diapers, sunglasses (which are a necessity for that little diva!), and her Show'n'Tell item. Later in the day it also occurred to me that I had forgotten her wipes and to dress her in all black (the daycare had some sort of a theme going... but don't ask me what it was, I wouldn't know).
Mr. Leo got his fair share too. I woke up in the morning wide-eyed announcing to Greg and later to my little Instagram world that my baby boy was 1 month old. The boy was in fact only 4 weeks old and who would have thought that you actually go by dates and not by days of the week when celebrating one's birthday? He will be 1 month old on the 17th and I hope it was the only time I forgot my child's birthday.  
Little buddy also got a boo boo (yes, it's boo boos and awees ands ouchees in this house!). I was making shrimp and grits for dinner and holding Leo as I was stirring the grits. Right as I though that it probably wasn't the smartest idea to have a child so close to a cooking pot, some very hot grits splattered on both of us. Poor guy has a little blister on his elbow and I have some serious wounds on my mommy soul. 
Total mama fail! My poor, poor children. 
* I was ready to drink wine at noon yesterday. But I held off, I swear! I think...  

Kitchen tales, Part I

When we were in search of our new home, we looked at a lot of houses. (You can read the whole house saga here.) This house, the one we ended up buying, had many beautiful features and where it was lacking, I saw lots of potential. I'm so happy that I was actually able to see that potential, because you won't believe the "gems" the house was full of.

Like the kitchen, for example. The moment I saw it, I seriously almost gagged. Those dark cherry cabinets, atrocious hardware, yuck... I immediately told Greg that the kitchen would be the biggest projects.  He just rolled his eyes, because ohmygosh, stop being so dramatic, this is livable, plus we haven't even bought it.
You can read about the project list for the whole house here. But below is the list of things that needed to be done in the kitchen and the progress as of today.
  • Paint cabinets white
  • Paint the walls
  • Paint trim white
  • Remove the door leading to the laundry room and drywall it.
  • Build a pantry
  • Replace Hardware
As you can see, building a pantry is still on the list, but thankfully it wasn't a priority. We are actually somewhat able to fit everything in the cabinets right now. But wait till baby Leo grows up... That boy eats every TWO stinking hours. Agh!
Before the remodel the kitchen looked like this: (can you say "gross"?)

And some  paintwork later, here is the result (or rather, progress!)

Everything was painted by professionals, because I heard how difficult it was to paint kitchen cabinets and I wasn't about to take that on, being hugely pregnant and all (3 rooms and 3 hallways was all I was capable of). The walls are painted with Whispering Spring by Benjamin Moore. (I love that color so much that I chose it for our Master suite too.) Note that back door. It used to lead to a laundry room, but we got rid of it and used that space for our master bathroom. 

I'm planning more updates in that kitchen. Like adding a chalkboard wall, setting up a kitchen island to separate the kitchen and the dining room, plus for more counter space. Also, still thinking about pantry options for more storage. 

Stay tuned for more. 

Winn Weekend // 5-2-14

I'm not sure how exactly this happened, but it's already August. Surely, I'm not the only one who is outraged by that sneaky surprise? I keep seeing "back to school" posts on Facebook and am a little very happy I'm not working this year. I have a whole month of summer left. A month full of frolicking in the sun, leisurely walks, dinners on the patio... Precisely the kind we had on Saturday. Our friends came over for some healthy turkey burghers and between trying to keep Annika at the table (as opposed to ON the table) and attempting to eat one-handedly, while holding Mr. Leo, we enjoyed our time together. 

Sunday marked my very first time on the boat this whole entire season. How is that possible? My wonderful in-laws and the 4 of us spent an awesome Sunday afternoon on the lake. Everybody got to get in the water, except Mr. Leo and me. Mr. Leo slept through the entire thing and I... well, I was too busy eating cheese and crackers and drinking my iced latte under the canopy. Annika at first wasn't sure about all the waves and the rocking, but then she got her water wings on brave and would jump into the water to whomever was near and ready to catch. She had a blast and a swim diaper full of sea weed:)

Positively glorious time with family!

the one and only way my toddler will eat broccoli

Also, the only way I actually enjoy eating broccoli myself. Also, one of the ways I'm channeling my Martha Stewart in the kitchen. Doesn't happen often, but when it does, might as well document it, right?

It's pretty simple, actually.
You will need a couple of eggs, some broccoli, salt and pepper. The amounts will be based on the number of mouths at your dining table.
First wash this yucky stuff, then cut off the florets.

Do you steam your veggies, btw? I used to always just boil them, but word on the street says steaming is the thing now. It's healthier or something.
After you steam (or boil) the veggies, sauté them with some eggs.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and voila. By the way, I'm a faithful believer in this seasoned salt. I think it makes everything taste delish. Maybe not chocolate though...

You can be crazy and put some grated parmesan cheese before serving. I'm not crazy, because it means that my toddler will focus her whole attention on those tiny pieces of cheese and that will just negate the sole purpose of this proud my-child-eats-broccoli post. Nuh-uh!

And then, enjoy... Your meal and watching your toddler eat something that doesn't involve sugar.

I also got to enjoy my view;)

Annika says...

Here is another, smaller, installment of Annikaisms. There are so many these days that I can’t keep track any more:)
Talks to self:
Where is Annika? There me is!

-Annika, if you have a baby brother, what should his name be?

-What are you doing, huh, mama?
-I’m drinking coffee. What are you doing?
-Not drinking coffee.

Starts (fake)crying and I don’t respond. Comes up to me and in the most pitiful way whines:
-      -Ask what’s my matter.

Greg gets out of the shower and Annika walks in right after.  All I heard was:
-Daddy’s tail!

… and then everyone died. Laughing!

a two-week-old, a two-year-old, and two exhausted parents in love

In case anybody missed the news - a brand new Winn joined our family (almost)2 weeks ago. Meet Leo Thomas Winn. A sweet, sleepy, cuddly bundle of cuteness who is an exact replica of his big sister, which makes him an exact replica of his dad. I've been robbed of any sort of resemblance with my child yet again. I guess it's all right, all I did was carry these offsprings in me for 40 long, not-so-pleasant weeks and have undergone 2 major abdominal surgeries to get them into this world. No biggie, children, thankyouverymuch!

So far, Leo has been very easy. Sleeps, poops, eats, sleeps, repeats... 3-4 hours stretches of sleep at night. Very happy and content when awake. Unlike his sister, who was very "vocal", especially in the rare moments someone dared to not hold her. She was a good sleeper, gotta give her that!

Speaking of the big sister... This has a been a bit of a challenging time with her. On top of her terrible twos (which alone would have been enough!), the parentals made her move houses and brought someone else to love on into the family. I mean, the guts! My little girlie has been nothing short of traumatized. Once a happy-happy sleeper, she now cries and cries and wants to hold my hand until she falls asleep. Once a sweet little baby girl, she now acts out like a teenager. The ''NO, MOMMY!" is oh-so-prevalent in our house these days. 
Just in the last 3 days things have gotten better with her sleeping. She is getting used to her new room and is once again happy to talk to her toys and animals before falling asleep. (We had switched her to a toddler bed, but quickly realized she wasn't ready, so back to the crib she went!). But the behavior is still a bit off and this is something she'll have to outgrow. 
Annika does love her brother though. First thing I hear in the morning is "I want to go see my baby Leo!". She wants to hold and kiss him all the time. If only she would understand that she doesn't necessarily have to hit him first, before kissing him.

And us... Well, we are adjusting. There've been tears, tiredness, but overall we are managing. Even though we both can't wait when the littles start playing with each other, we are trying to enjoy this stage of life. We know it's all going to go really fast, so we want to cherish these moments.

*** Gee, I really need to break out my real camera again... If only I could find it in this mess...***