Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful 2013

Thankful for... A husband who is hardworking, loyal, never fails to make me laugh and has perfected the art of spooning.

Thankful for... a three year old who is silly, imaginative and always has a good story to tell.

Thankful for... a baby who is nearly always smiling, eats almost anything you put in front of her and just starting taking a few steps on her own last night.

Thankful for... an extended family that is crazy, supportive, and demands our presence at their turkey tables.

Thankful for... friends near and far. Friends that never fail to make me smile even if they are across an ocean, a state away or just a few miles up the road.

Thankful for... friends that are in town and excited to swap stories over glasses of wine and lots of laughs.

Thankful for... a job that I love

Thankful for... the house of my dreams to enjoy with my family each night.

Thankful for... great people to babysit my children and help them grow and develop in so many ways.

Thankful many things. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I'm so excited to celebrate the birthday of this three year old today!


I barely know how to express in words how much joy you bring to my life. Your boundless energy. Your hilarious stories. Your ridiculous antics. You run me ragged, but I can't imagine life without your presence. You have the uncanny ability to embrace every situation as if it were a day at the beach and you make me look at life with new eyes. I know I'm the parent and it's my job to teach you, but there are so many times a day when I find you teaching me. Teaching me to stop and appreciate the beauty around me. Teaching me not to sweat the little things. Aweing me with just how smart a child can be. Wisdom far beyond your years.

The other morning I was frantically washing dishes that I had meant to wash the previous night before heading off to work. I was in the zone and barring a child caught in a dangerous situation, I was not to be disturbed. When suddenly you shouted, Mommy, look at how purple the sky is! I finally took a moment to look at the window and take in an absolutely gorgeous sunrise. I saw that sunrise because of you. You were the light of life embracing all that beauty and you allowed me to pause and embrace the beauty for myself. Thank you.

When I watch you with your sister, I can't help but tear up a little. I never would have guessed what an amazing sister you would become. You dote over Sylvia and worry about her ailments and make her giggle and encourage her to grow and learn. You are the absolute best sister you can possibly be. I love that.

I am so excited for you to turn three. I am excited for, as you say it, you to get bigger and bigger and bigger! But I am also sad. I want to bottle you up as an almost three year old and keep you this way forever. I never want to forget the stories you tell. Or the fact that you call your grey camouflage snowboots world boots. Or the way you say I miss daddy and when is daddy going to be home two seconds after he walks out the door.

For how many more years will you want to snuggle with me on the couch? For how many more years will bringing home bananas elicit a giant Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!? For how many more months will you call frost frosting? For how many more months will you call spinach bamboo? I want to bottle all the nuances and all that joy and hold it with me forever.

I know the year ahead will hold a lot of new experiences for you and also a lot of new experiences for me. Bear with me. You're my oldest child and therefore subject to all my trial and error. You're my guinea pig child (don't worry, you'll survive - I was my family guinea pig too). I can't wait for us to encounter your life together and to watch you grow into the girl you are quickly becoming.

I love you,

Saturday, November 23, 2013


This picture is unrelated in many ways, but the conversation did take place over this amazing Friday night grazing tray for dinner. Not pictured: roasted broccoli and asparagus. Mmm

Aubrey: Do you know what Eh-Be-Dee-Ah is?
Martin and I: No, what is it?
Aubrey: I will tell you. It is when you roll over. Drink your beer. Drink your milk. Then stand on a chair. Drink your milk and that's what Eh-Be-Dee-Ah is.
Us: (laughing hysterically) Oh yeah? Where did you learn that?
Aubrey: From my friends Kendyll and Leigha!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Moving to the Future (or the Present)

After dealing with a slider phone that would routinely die and need revival for way longer than most people could handle, Martin finally broke down and got a smartphone on Monday. Even though he's used my phone on occasion, you really don't realize or appreciate the features of a smartphone until you have one of your own.

Me: There was a really beautiful sunrise this morning. I didn't try to take a picture of it though. I can never get the colors to come out right in my pictures of sunrise or sunset. I feel like I see really awesome sunsets a lot and whenever I try to take a pictures the colors don't turn out nearly as bright on my phone as they do in the sunset.
Martin: I think my phone takes pictures with more detail than real life! Like if I took a picture of a tree I can look at that picture and it would look more detailed than it even looks in real life!


Martin: I think they really want people to buy ringtones. There is hardly anything for me to choose from for my alarm. One of my alarm choices is BLOWING DANDELIONS. Last time I checked, they don't make ANY NOISE.

Of course, he's still walking around with his phone in a Ziploc bag because he's so worried he's going to scratch the camera lens. This is the same guy who routinely takes photos with his finger lurking in the upper corner of the camera lens. Go figure.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Birthday Adventures

I can't believe Aubrey turns three on Sunday!!! Complete craziness! In honor of this monumental event, Martin and I spent the day with Aubrey on Monday, taking her to the Strong Museum of Play.

Martin's looking way too concentrated to be racing with an *almost* three year old

It's clearly necessary to have ALL the balls at once (of course, this action was largely coaxed by daddy)

It's a real possibility that Martin and I had more fun in the "little diggers" building section than Aubrey did.
Putting that sign on the wall was like asking Martin to build a higher tower. His immediate reaction was: Challenge Accepted!

Martin: I think you're going to have to block me. That lady has her eye on me. She's going to shut me down. You might have to provide a distraction. I need to work quickly. 
The "I built a chair!" face and then the "It doesn't support my daughter face!"

First time on a merry-go-round. Pure excitement.
 Martin: I would love to be the CEO of this place. I bet that guy is just sitting in his office, smoking a cigar and laughing.
Me: Why's that.
Martin: He's like....those suckers. I'm going to put a merry-go-round at door that way kids can beg their parents' to ride it on the way in AND on the way out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Me: How was the meeting?
Martin: Oh. It was good. Oh guess what?! I'm don't even collect hats, but I think I should just give in and collect them because I always get so many. They were passing these ones out and they're pretty shitty, but they were free so I took two. And then Andy pulled out some VINTAGE HATS! Check this one out! Pretty nice right? And guess what? If it gets a little cold.....hang on a second....EAR FLAPS!!!
Me: You are ridiculous. Let me get a picture of you.
Martin: Ok, great. Let me get my 18 wheeler mug. Make sure you get the ear flaps in there.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Since Aubrey has reached an age where she loves to make, create play and if we're going full cycle, ultimately destroy things, I've become obsessed with crafting. Almost every day home from work, Aubrey and I are making something fun.

Last weekend, we made an airplane out of a cardboard box.

Me: What do you think I should do to make it a little bit sturdier?
Martin: What type of warranty package do you think you're going to have on a cardboard box airplane? I'm sure it will be fine.
Me: Point taken.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


Me: Aubrey, look at the ground outside. It frosted last night. See the ground is all covered in white stuff that sort of looks like snow. That's called frost.
Aubrey: Yeah. The snow made frosting last night!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taste Test

I've gotten borderline obsessive about crafting pretend "food" for Aubrey's playroom recently. It started a few weeks ago when Aubrey and I headed to Michael's on one of my days off to purchase some felt. We made a lot of food and I was really proud of my handiwork (I'm naturally pretty uncrafty)

Felt food. PBJ. Hot dog. Fish. Hamburger. Salad. Taco. Eggs. Cheese and Crackers. Fries. Pizza.

I had a few Styrofoam balls kicking around from the solar system I made on the playroom wall, and decided they would make excellent grapes, apples and oranges. So Aubrey and I got down to work mixing paint colors and started to make it happen.

Post painting. Pre hot gluing grapes into bunches and adding a stem on the apple.

Last night, Sylvia was doing her thing crawling around the house when she let out a cough that almost sounded like she was choking. Being the paranoid parent that I am, I went rushing to see what the problem could be and couldn't find anything in her mouth that would cause that kind of cough. I few minutes later Aubrey called Martin and I into her playroom to show us something.

The apple and orange are completely massacred. They must have tasted the best. Apparently it wasn't until she got to the purple grapes that she decided to give up.
When we entered the playroom we found this sitting on the floor.

Me: Oh my gosh! This must be what Sylvia was eating.
Martin: But she only has two teeth.
Aubrey: Umm......that was me.
Me: Aubrey, why would you eat that? You know it's not real
Aubrey: I'm sorry. I just wanted to try it.

This is the same girl that says, it's just pretend every time she "makes" you something in her play kitchen. You know, so you don't accidentally try to eat her food. Apparently she's going to have to start saying it to herself.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


My sister-in-law/one of my best friend, Ingrid, is in Afghanistan. Thanks to the internet, we get to talk quite often, but not nearly at our normal pace of 1-2 times a day.

On Thursday, Ingrid sent me this message:

Post more instagram pics!!!!!!

So, I obliged and got a little obsessed with posting pictures over the last few days.

Helping me change the sheets

Quiet time

Follow along here, if you'd like!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Really Long Winded Welcome

Still looking adorable, even with a food covered face!
Martin's brother Gabe used to hate watching children eat. He hated it so much that in typical brother fashion, Martin would text messy pictures of Aubrey eating as she learned to take her first bites just to get under his skin. Then Gabe started dating Jenna. And Jenna had a baby. And one day we were all at Mimi and Poppa's and Gabe was FEEDING THE CHILD! That's the moment I knew it was the real deal. 

After that solidifying moment, I had no doubt in my mind that one day this would come, but a formal congratulations is in order for Gabe Bruning and the future (other) Mrs. Jenna Bruning!

And yes, we're aware that Martin and Gabe are best friends and like to do everything the same. Hence: the same truck and wives with the same name!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pickled Peppers

Aubrey: Peter Piper picked peppers!
Me: Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers?
Aubrey: Yeah!
Me: But where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
Aubrey: Mom! It's on the counter......SILLY!

End of season peppers from my sister in law!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


Martin: Ok. I have to go to the bathroom.
Aubrey: Oh, ok. I'll come watch you!
Martin: Well, I'm going to go poop. A poop is something you do in private.
Aubrey: It's okay. I don't mind. I will sit in my chair and watch you.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rookie Move

Giant mess. Result of a rookie parenting move on my part
If you stop by our house while I'm making dinner on any given night, you're likely to find Aubrey in Sylvia playing in one of two places. The recycling or the cupboard with the plastic bowls and storage containers.

Aubrey: Mom, can me and Sylvia play with the dishes?
Me: First you have to pick up all this recycling on the floor.
Aubrey: Oh. I'm sorry I made a mess, mom.
Me: (rookie mistake) It's ok to make a mess. You just need to clean it up before you make a new mess.

fast forward five minutes. Aubrey has all the recycling cleaned up and is inside the cupboard tossing all the dishes onto the floor.

Aubrey: I'm making a new big mess! I'm making a new big mess! This is my house!

At this point in the game you'd think I'd have learned not to tell my kids it's totally fine to make huge messes, but I haven't. She cleaned this mess up after dinner and moved on to shoveling out the toy shelf in the living room all the while singing Sylvia needs some toys. It was a really productive night.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Man

Aubrey: Mom. Daddy is a good man. Daddy is a good person.
Me: Yes he is.
Aubrey: And you are a good man too.
Me: I'm a woman.
Aubrey: You're a wo-man?
Me: Yep.
Aubrey: Hi wo-man.
Mom, I just called you a woman! (lots of giggles)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Beach Attire

A clothed picture to protect everyone's modesty
Aubrey: (runs into the living room with a beach ball and no shirt) Mom, Lexy, Let's play beach!
Me: Aubrey where is your shirt?
Aubrey: I don't have a shirt because I'm going to the beach.
Lexy: You still have to wear a shirt at the beach.
Aubrey: Nooooo! That's silly. I'm going to the beach.
Me: Girls always wear shirts. Even at the beach. Only boys don't wear shirts at the beach.
Aubrey: No mom! I am going to the beach. I don't need a shirt.

This perspective could be problematic in the future.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Martin: So you know that new alternative radio station out of Buffalo, 107.7?
Me: Oh yeah! I put it on my speed dials.
Martin: Well I've been listening to it a lot lately and they play this one Arcade Fire song all the time and I had it in my head today and I really wanted to hear it. I listened FOREVER and it never came on. I stopped for lunch and when I got back in the tractor they were playing some stuff that I had already heard that day so I thought maybe I missed it. It got so bad that I didn't want to get out of the cab to pee because I didn't want to miss it. And every new song I was like, this is going to be it! And then it wasn't. Finally I got so mad I just changed the station to a random station and it came on! It's number one in Canada right now. It's a real good techno song.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013

A little ladybug, a terrific knight and a handsome stud. Pretty photogenic crew

A few days before Halloween, dressed up as "practice":
Aubrey: Come on mom! I will be Aubrey the Knight and you will be the knight mommy. Follow me. I will lead the way.
There is a dragon in here. We need to be careful. I will lead the way.
Oh! There's a prince in here. Hello Prince. Hello. Oh, it's a friendly dragon? The prince says its a friendly dragon. Come on, let's keep going. Hello, dragon. Hello. Can we pass? You can pass. Ok thank you. Come on, mom, let's pass.

A few moment before leaving for trick or treating:
Aubrey:  I can't wait for Halloween! I can't wait for Halloween! I can't wait for Halloween!

Five minutes later at our first (of three) house:
Me: Aubrey, can you say trick or treat?
Aubrey: (hiding behind our legs) I don't want to say trick or treat.