Mark and Mama Mondays

This week, Mark and I had our first Mark and Mama Monday. I figured that I (hopefully) only have a few more months of enjoying Mark as an only child. So, I decided that once a week (preferably on Mondays for the whole alliteration thing, but it doesn’t have to be) Mark and I will take a morning to do something fun — just the two of us.

Yes, I am fortunate to only work part-time and I get to spend a lot of time with him. But, some of that time is spent running to Target and Costco (which he kind of likes anyway) and cleaning and whatever, so this will be fun stuff.

This week, we went to toddler storytime at one of the libraries near our house.

I don’t have any pictures of storytime itself because Mark spent most of the time on my lap, which is pretty typical. He did warm up after the first fifteen minutes or so, though, and started playing with the scarves they gave the kids and jumping around a little bit.

But, after storytime, we went around upstairs to the kids area and Mark played with some puzzles (because, you know, why read when you’re in a library when you can do puzzles?).


After that, he played with the little toy/manipulative thing, on the wall.


But then, we picked out some books for him to take home.


And he started reading them in the car. 🙂


7 Quick Takes: Some toddler stuff and some videos (of not toddlers)

Every once in awhile I’m tempted to post some stuff that isn’t related to the kiddo. Today, I’m doing a (little) of that, so hooray? Also, it’s in video form which means… no reading on a Friday! Woot.

1) Toddler yoga

Mark and I went to a storytime/toddler yoga thing today with some friends at one of the libraries in the area. If ever you wondered whether or not Mark likes to dive right in and play with kids he doesn’t know, well, this is essentially the look he had on his face the whole time:

Not to say that he didn’t like it (Lauren and Ensley)! He liked listening to the stories and singing the songs, but I think he was a little lost as to why all of the other kids were standing on their heads and stretching out in funny ways. 🙂

It’s okay because…

2) There were dirt and sticks later on!

Yes, I had that unfortunate moment with an unknown mom when Mark kept yelling “Stick!” over and over and over again as he banged them on the play structure (that’s what those poles are there for, right?), when “stick” doesn’t sound like “stick” every single time.

But, man, that kid loves his dirt, sticks, and rocks. Takes after his Mama wanting to carry sticks all over the place. 🙂

3) Less he seem uncultured…


We went to the mall to walk around (and look at the fish in the pond) and found ourselves in the children’s section of Barnes and Noble where Mark got to spend a good twenty minutes playing with Thomas and his friends and Mama got to rest and stare into space for a few minutes. We might have even looked as some books, too!

4) I don’t think you understand how much he likes waffles. 

Hint: It’s this much:


Yes, our Christmas decorations are down now, but they were still up circa January 9th — we like to keep them up until the weekend after Epiphany in these parts.

5) Being pregnant the second time makes it seem like forever. 

I don’t know why this is and I promise not to whine about it anymore, but sheesh.

6) Video 1: What I Would Love To Do If I Was Famous

I can’t stop watching this video, for realz. The grooms new about it, but no one else did. It’s just awesome. The song is whatever and the band is meh, but the video is great.

7) Video 2: Probably because I’m pregnant, but this made my cry. 

If that doesn’t sell watching this, I don’t know what will. But, seriously. I had no idea that is is what “Closing Time” was really about. He does some showmanship blah-blah in the beginning, so if you’re pressed for time, skip ahead a little. If you have the time, watch the whole dang thing.


Then, if you want more Quick Takes, head on over here.

Some of the cute things

Being a Mama is sometimes really fun and sometimes not as much fun. For example, Mark loved all the lights and cool kid-centered things about Christmas this year (fun!), but also wasn’t feeling super good all the time and managed to cover most of my shirt in snot and then ask “What’s that?” (not as much fun).

Sometimes, though, I find it easy to remember the trying times of the day: when Mark threw his cup on the floor after I asked him a billion times to put it on the table, or when he made the devilish grin at me as he snuck around the corner when I was trying to capture him for a diaper change, or when he yelled “No!” when I asked him for a hug.

I think a lot of people do this.\ I know when I was a classroom teacher I always remembered the failures and tough moments of the day, but forget when a student said, “Thank You!” after class.

In light of this, here are some of the cute things Mark has done in the last couple of weeks that were cute and/or fun:

1) When I get him out of the bath and take him to his changing table to put his pajamas on him, he reaches for my face and says, “More! More!” until I lean down, he grabs my head, and gives me wet kisses on my face and I plant dry ones on his cheek. He does this about five or six times in a row.

2) He’s started singing nonsense songs to himself when he’s playing by himself or when we’re in the car. Sometimes the songs contains words he knows (he was singing “Happy Day” over and over the other day), and other times they’re just baby babble.

3) Sometimes, Mark stops moving for a few minutes and just wants to snuggle. A week or so ago, he was playing on his own and I was sitting on the couch. He came over, wanted “up!” and then snuggled with me, pulling on my earlobe (his comfort move). Nothing had happened; he just needed a little Mama time.  🙂

4) He kind of know that Mama has a baby in her tummy (but, he also thinks everyone has a baby in their tummy, so we’re working on it), and he likes to sit on my lap facing me, pull my shirt up so he can see my belly and kiss/say hi to the baby. Then, he pulls my shirt back down and says, “bye-bye, baby!”.

5) Lately, Mark has been into spinning (do all toddlers do this?). Once or twice a day, he decides to stop what he’s doing and spin around in circles for about thirty seconds or so. Today, it wasn’t enough that he was spinning, Mama and Dada had to spin to (“Mama! Spinning!”). He laughed and laughed at Ryan and I spinning in circles around his room.

Okay, enough of the mother-gushing for now. Just storing these away for a day in the future where his free will decides to wield its ugly head. 🙂

7 Quick Takes: The holiday version

Well, it’s a new year, so here’s a blog post. 🙂 In all honesty though, I’m trying to be more intentional with my time (I don’t really waste a lot, my life is full enough!) and make sure I’m not using my time repetitively… if that makes sense. If it doesn’t, don’t worry and let’s look at the craziness the last month has brought us!  [Warning: this is going to be a very picture-focused post, so if you were hoping for some words of wisdom or several hundred words of me waxing eloquent… you’re not going to find it here.]

1. Thanksgiving (yes, we’re going back REALLY far here!)
This year, we spent Thanksgiving with Ryan’s family. Usually, we switch every other year, so we would have been with my family, but flight prices were RIDICULOUS. So, we elected to go visit them the day after Christmas for a little while when prices were much more reasonable and all of my siblings would be home.

A few pics from the day:

You’re going to see this outfit a lot… it’s one of his favorites. 
Hooray for a family shot!  🙂

Mark and his Aunt Marissa. 

2. St. Nicholas Day, getting the Christmas Tree, and seeing Santa

St. Nicholas knows Mark well — all this kid needs is a clementine. 🙂
‘I love these, but they’re so dang hard to open.’
Me: “Mark! Look at the trees!”
Mark: “Stick!”
Oh, he’s not his mother’s child AT ALL.  
Much to my chagrin, he likes to say ‘Cheese!’ when he gets his picture taken.  But, he almost is never looking at the camera. 
This was my view while we were carrying the tree to the truck.  It took him forever.  🙂
Mark could say Santa and liked pointing at him, but was not wild about sitting on his lap, hence my presence in this picture. 

3. The Grotto
To continue celebrating the season and preparing for Christmas, we went to the Grotto with Ryan’s family.  Mark LOVED the lights!

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4. Cookies!
My friend Lauren and I have a tradition of baking Christmas cookies the week or so before Christmas. They turned out pretty well, I think [disclaimer: there was one more red velvet crackle cookies that I forgot to include; sorry, Lauren!]:



Then, we decided to let the kiddos decorate some of the gingerbread cookies.They were very good at spreading sugar everywhere.  🙂 Mark, who almost never likes things sugary, went to TOWN on the frosting. And fed some of it to Ryan.

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5. Christmas with Ryan’s family

Before Christmas:

Learning how to be gentle with the tree. 
With lots of helpful phone calls with my mom, I made Mark this wall Christmas tree.  It’s been minorly successful in keeping him from the real tree, but he’s enjoyed it. 

Christmas morning at our house:

Sop everything!  It’s a picture of a MOM on Christmas morning.  🙂
We’re not usually “bike in the house” people, but whatever.  It’s Christmas.  🙂
Picture with Grandma and Grandpa in the early afternoon!
The kiddo had a cough and a slight fever when we opened presents in the evening, but this is after some Motrin and dinner when he rallied.  What a fun tunnel!

6. Christmas-ish with my family

Hooray for animals!
I’m not sure why, but I was very concerned with how he was handling this puppy dog. 
It snowed!  My mom took Mark outside and got some snow for him to play with in a bowl in the house.  He was very intrigued. 
the next day we played in the snow. 
Me: “Mark! I’ll help you may a snow angel!”
Mark: “Ehhhhhmmmm?!”
He uber did not care about the fact that his mittens were soaked in snow constantly. 
The sled was super great when it went fast. 
Snowmen! I didn’t make any of these. Ryan did the middle one and the one on the right. My mom did the one on the left. She’s had a little more practice. 🙂

7. New Year’s

And so it’s that time for resolutions. I don’t make very many of these because I have a hard time keeping them. But, I’ll throw these out there as the things that I want to work on this year:

1) To post more than once a month.
2) To make the bed every day (I’m SUPER bad at this).
3) To not get in a rut with my time — to spread out my activities more.
4) To pray on my own more often.

I know, not all of these are measurable, but it is what it is. Wish me luck!

If you’ve made it through all of this and you want more Quick Takes, go read more of them here.