Thursday, December 28, 2023

2023 Survey

It's the end of the year which means it's time for my annual survey! It's a nice way to recap/review the year as it's coming to a close. So here goes...

1) What did you do in 2023 that you’ve never done before? I went on my first girls trip since having kids. In August, I met up in the Banff area with my bestie, Amber! We also got to see our friend, Leigh, as I spent the night at her home in Calgary and she joined us for a hike in the Canmore area.

2) Did anyone close to you give birth? My little sister had a little girl - Amelia Grace - in early June. She goes by "Millie" and is the sweetest little baby! I got to meet her in September when they were home for a visit at the lake. 

Millie and me! She doesn't look thrilled to be taking a picture.

3) Did anyone close to you die? Fortunately, no. 

4) What places did you visit? 

- Paul and I went to Tucson in April to visit my sister and niece. 

- We spent lots of time at my parents lake home. 

- I went to Banff in August, as I mentioned above. 

- I went to A LOT of places for work but those don't really don't as "visits" since the trips were all about work. 

5) What would you like to have in 2024 that you didn’t have in 2023? More acceptance for the stage of life I am in and to compare myself to others less. I have a whole post brewing in my head about selecting the right benchmark. It's not fair for me to compare my life to someone with children whose butts they don't still need to wipe. That's a crass way of putting it, but so it goes. Additionally, it's not fair to compare myself to someone that doesn't have a chronic illness, or doesn't travel monthly, and so on and so forth. 

6) What dates from 2023 will be etched in your memory forever? The spring banking crisis has certainly left it's mark. I spent most weekends in March frequently refreshing my email/Bloomberg to see if another bank had failed (banks tend to fail over the weekend so the FDIC has the weekend to sort out what to do/find a buyer). It was an incredibly stressful time at work and I got yelled at by a lot of financial advisers and some end clients. It was not fun. 

I'll also remember Paul's first day of school but that is a joyous memory! He was so ready for kindergarten and I had zero feeling of sadness over that milestone!

7) What was your biggest achievement this year? I had a huge year at work between my former colleague retiring and supporting a product that was extremely impacted by the spring bank crisis. I went from 90 client calls in 2022 to over 400 this year plus I did 14 work trips and hired my first direct report. It was a hard year but a successful one.

8) What was your biggest failure? I don't like the word failure so instead I think of this as my biggest area of opportunity. I do wish I had fit more workouts in than I did. I did as many as I could. Work, all the illnesses we had, and my higher sleep needs prevented me from working out as much as I would like. 

9) Did you suffer from illness or injury? My RA wasn't super well managed in the first half of the year, but switching to an injectable form of one of my drugs has made a huge difference. I got covid in mid-December but it was very mild - either because the strain is mild or from the paxlovid I took.

10) What was the best thing you bought? Definitely my Apple Watch! I leaned heavily on Elisabeth and her husband's research on Apple Watches. I really agonized over whether or not to buy one but I am so glad I pulled the trigger!

11) Where did most of your money go? Childcare. That will be our main spending category for the forseeable future. Our costs went down slightly since Paul started school but we still have to pay for before/after care and care on non-school days. 

12) What did you get really, really excited about? My trip to Banff! I had the best time and it was so fun to research different hikes to do. 

13) What authors did you discover in 2023? Maggie Smith (You Could Make This Place Beautiful) and Shelley Read (Go As a River) stand out. Most of my favorite books of 2023 were repeat authors, though. 

14) What do you wish you had done more of? Strength training and running. 

15) What do you wish you had done less of? Tending to sick children and going to doctor appointments for said sick children.

16) How did your spend Christmas? We went to Phil's cousin's Christmas Eve party and had a quiet celebration at home on Christmas Day with just our family of 4 plus my MIL. 

17) What was your favorite TV program? I loved the final season of A Million Little Things. 

18) What did you want and get? To go on a girls trip and we finally bought a Rav-4!

19) What did you want and not get? Technically we wanted a Rav-4 Prime which is a plug-in hybrid. It was impossible to find one in the Midwest so we pivoted and bought a Rav-4 hybrid instead which we are very happy with. 

20) What was your favorite film of 2023? The Grinch. Taco became obsessed with this mid-year and we've watched it a ridiculous number of times but it somehow has never gotten old! I finally got to sit down and watch the entire thing from start to finish one night last week! I know this is not a "new" movie by any stretch of the imagination but I haven't seen any new movies.

21) What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 42 on a Monday. Kyria was in town visiting! We went for a run that morning and ended the run at Starbucks! We had lunch at a cool food hall place, I dropped her off at the airport, and then I got a massage! In the evening we got Indian take-out. It was a delightful day!

22) What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Less work stress.

23) Who kept you sane? Repeat answer from last 2 years: Phil! He is the best partner I could ask for. We have as equitable a marriage as can be achieved IMO and he keeps me from taking life too seriously. Plus he really carries the load and keeps things running when I travel for work. 

24) Who did you miss? I miss working with my colleague who has retired. We are still in close contact but it's not the same as sitting a cube over from him. 

25) Who was the best new person you met? 

- URL turned IRL: I got to meet Daria when I was traveling in New Jersey! I seem to end up in NJ a couple of times a year so I am sure we will rendezvous again! We are the exact same age and our kids are basically the same ages so we have a lot in common!

- IRL: my new hire is amazing. I think we are going to have the kind of relationship I had with my retired colleague.

26) Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2023. Everything is figureoutable. I'm reminded of this all the time and I'm trying to teach this to my children. 

27) Show us one of your favorite photos from the year. 

I'm cheating and picking 4. 

This sums up Taco so well - he loves trucks and is so playful so of course he's going to sit in the dump truck.

This sums up the boys relationship - they are both laughing but Taco is looking at Paul with such love and joy!

When Paul opened this gift (a rover) on his birthday, he said: "I've been waiting for this my whole life." We all laughed SO MUCH. 

My girls trip was SO GOOD for my soul. It felt so good to do something for myself! Nothing makes me happier than hiking in a gorgeous place!

Your turn! Pick a few or many to answer or fill this out on your blog!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Christmas Recap

And just like that, Christmas is behind us! I know many have feelings of sadness that it’s over but I don’t get very sad. I love the season but it’s also fine to move on and get back to our normal routines and eating! I will be glad to pack the advent calendar away… we had a Lego advent calendar for Paul and then in our other calendar with drawers, the boys each got 3 m&ms each day and omg there was so much policing of that thing because Taco did not really like complying with 3 m&ms each and a few times he jammed them all in his mouth. Or he got so mad about sharing that he threw his 3 m&ms. I think Phil was ready to throw it out at times. Hopefully next year will be better? 

But all in all, we had a really nice Christmas! Everyone tested negative for Covid so we could celebrate as planned! Hurrah! Phil brought his mom to our place on Saturday evening - it’s so nice to have a guest suite in our basement so she can stay with us for holidays. Paul and I went to church on Christmas Eve. It was a really nice service but Paul decided to pretend he was a dog for much of the service. Just sharing that in case anyone was envisioning us quietly sitting in the church, enjoying the gorgeous music. They had a beautiful orchestra and choir and I thought of Jenny’s family when the trumpets played during Joy to the World! I’m going to guess her trumpet-playing husband and son played at some Christmas Eve services. I played trumpet in high school and always played at Christmas Eve Mass!

We went to Phil’s cousin’s house on Christmas Eve night and the boys got spoiled with gifts and attention! 

Posing in front of the tree in their nice Christmas shirts!

Taco got some Mickey slippers!

The boys were up later than usual so Paul slept in until 6:30 which felt pretty nice! They played with toys they got the night before and I put the ham in the oven before heading out for a short 3 mile run. 

Digging candy out of his stocking!

Playing with a basketball toy they got on Christmas Eve

It had been SO MILD here so it was a very pleasant run. We set a record high of 54 on Christmas Eve and it was rainy and in the low 40s on Christmas Day! Last year it was -10F. Above freezing is very odd. 

After I had showered, the boys opened their gifts. 

Wearing a Mickey sweatshirt from my parents.

We had ham, mashed potatoes, gravy and asparagus for our Christmas mid-day meal, none of which the boys would eat. They usually like ham but neither of them would eat it. The adults enjoyed it, though! 

Taco’s favorite gift was the suitcase and Paul’s was either the Mario Lego sets we got him or the chess board our family got from my MIL. Paul is very into chess! I need to learn to play. 

How was your weekend?

Friday, December 22, 2023

5 Things Friday

Hey hey, it's the last Friday before Christmas! Here's what is on my mind today.

1. Paul's last day of school was last Friday, December 15th (he goes back 1/2). Isn't that SO EARLY for school to be out for the holidays? I swear "back in my day" we would have gone until the 23rd. I'm now of the age where I can torment my children with "back in my day" comments. How did that happen? But I digress! Luckily the after school program provides childcare for many of the non-school days. So he's there all this week and Wednesday and Thursday of next week. On Wednesday he got to go snow tubing (on fake snow because we still don't have snow - hurrah!). He told me "it was the best day of my life!!" Don't you love the enthusiasm of kindergarteners? I want to bottle it up and inhale it.

They captured a photo of him in his snow tube

2. Things are not exactly going swimmingly around these parts, though. Yesterday morning I got the dreaded "your child has just thrown up" call from daycare. Le sigh. Taco had had a rough morning but it's really hard to differentiate between something being off and his intense displeasure with mornings. We had taken his temp (no fever) and done a covid test (negative) just to make sure he wasn't sick. But it seems like all signs pointed to him being fine and just mad about having to leave the house at 7. He didn't throw up again after he got home so it seems to be a short-lived bug or a fluke? Now I cross my fingers and pray that no one else is struck.

3. If I had to describe our holiday plans in one word, I'd choose "precarious." Besides worrying/watching for signs of a stomach bug, we are going to test both boys and Phil for covid tomorrow morning. If they are negative (I assume Taco will be negative since he was yesterday morning), my MIL will come to our house that afternoon and we'll go to a Christmas Eve gathering at Phil's cousin's house on Sunday. If anyone is positive - or pukes in the next 24ish hours - it will be just the 4 of us, a la Christmas 2020 without a nursing infant that ate around the clock. I have to remind myself of that because even though it would suck to not celebrate with family, at least I'll sleep well and not have bodily fluids leaking from my body (but may be cleaning up the bodily fluids of Paul if he gets what Taco has?)? I’m clearly reaching for a sense of perspective. The Christmas Eve gathering is my absolute favorite part of our Christmas celebrations so I really hope the boys are healthy and we can celebrate as planned. Send us all of your healthy vibes, please.

4. Speaking of covid, I have fully recovered. I credit it all to Paxlovid. It made such a huge impact on my symptoms so I highly recommend getting a prescription if you come down with covid!

5. It seems like the word for this time of year for most moms is "harried." Dare I say it hasn't had a harried vibe for us (outside of all the illness but that's a different kind of harried)? But that's the beauty of only having 2 kids and being gift minimalists. Don't feel sorry for our boys, though. They will get PLENTY of things from extended family. Each boy is getting about 3-4 things from us and then their Santa gifts are joint gifts. They need each other to play with said joint gifts - Don't Break the Ice and a bucket of balls and a baseball bat - so hopefully they are fine with joint gifts. A bat and balls is usually not a great play for Christmas since it's usually cold and snowy here, but the boys both have winter birthdays, so there isn't a great time to give a baseball-centric gift. But hey - it's going to be like 40 here on Christmas so kind of spring-like!

Bonus photo:

I don’t have to do any holiday baking because my mom sent us a big Tupperware bin of cookies plus heath candy and peanut brittle! The boys were excited about the cookies!

How are you feeling as we enter the final days before Christmas (for those who celebrate)? Has this been a harried month for you? I think the fact that I haven’t traveled since December 7th has really helped! 

Monday, December 18, 2023

Covid strikes

Just when I thought maybe, hopefully we were in for a quiet, healthy stretch, I tested positive for Covid. I had felt fine all week but when I came home from work on Thursday, I felt like I had been hit by a crushing wave of exhaustion. I had done over 35 client calls in 3 days so I chalked it up to that. But when cold symptoms hit during the night, I did a home Covid test and sure enough - it was positive. 

Last time I had Covid in May 2022, I didn’t take paxlovid since I had just had monoclonal antibody injections the month before (which I qualified for because of my immune suppressed status). But I was sick for quite awhile so my doctor said to get on paxlovid right away when/if I get Covid again. So I started that on Friday night. For me, Covid has felt like a bad head cold and I have been extra extra tired. 

So we laid low this weekend. The boys played Hi-Hi Cherry-O on Saturday. It was kind of a gong show, though. That game might need to ‘go away’. 

It has been unseasonably mild here so we went for a family walk. It was nice to get some fresh air and not wear a mask! We visited the geese who are ready for the holiday season! We are almost certainly going to have a brown Christmas. The kids are sad, the adults are THRILLED. Yes snow can make things more festive and cozy but we got about 100” last year so we are ok putting off the arrival of snow a bit longer! 

By Sunday morning I was feeling much better, I’m sure thanks to the paxlovid. The only downside to the medication so far is that it leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. 

Sunday was more of the same. Games. 

Some coloring.

A short walk - we turned back early as it was kind of windy and Paul was cold. Taco was in the stroller with a blanket so him and daddy lasted longer. 

Lots of shows were watched. The boys watched the new Mario Bros movie twice - once on Saturday and again on Sunday. It was nostalgia-inducing to listen in the background - I recognized so much of the music. 

The weekend felt long. I’m reminded why it’s best for all if we are out and about. Hopefully by next weekend we can get back to normal weekend programming - and most importantly can attend the Christmas Eve gathering at Phil’s cousin’s house. It’s my favorite part of our Christmas celebration so I would be so sad to miss it!

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Taco at 3!

Will/Taco (Taco is the nickname given to him by his brother when I was pregnant with him and it stuck) turned 3 earlier this month! He's had a tough fall with so many illnesses - strep, influenza A, and pneumonia. But here's hoping the year ahead is a healthier one!

Taco is our big-hearted snuggly little guy with BIG FEELINGS who gives the absolute best hugs - he just melts into you. I imagine these posts are boring for most of you but I write them as a sort of replacement for a baby book. He has one, but it's a bit sparsely filled out... I really lost steam after he turned 1! So here goes - this is Taco at age 3. 

Growth: He weighs about 30 pounds and is 3'3" tall. He seems so much bigger than Paul was but he's only about 3 pounds and 2" bigger than Paul was at this stage. He has a really long torso so he wears 3T tops but 18m/24m/2T pants. 

Words and phrases: It's hard to imagine he ever had a speech delay given how verbal he is now. When he was flagged for a speech delay around 1-1.5 years, his doctor told me that most likely we'd look back and laugh over concerns about his speech - and she was right. Here are a couple of things he says which make me smile/giggle.

- He pronounces window "loon-doe." 

- He uses the word "actually" all the time. "Actually I want my green bib." "Actually I want to watch The Grinch." 

- He says "Oh my God" in a very dramatic fashion. I need to get a video of this. 

- He also says "That's so cuuuuute" in the cutest manner when he sees a picture of a baby or animal. He especially loves pictures of Kae's puppy, Charlie. 


- He still loves trucks/cars/things that go. 

Playing with cars at the library.

- He really likes his lovies and sleeps with SO MUCH STUFF. Typically he sleeps with 2 kitty lovies, a stuffed bear, 2 stuffed mickeys - 1 big and 1 small, a sock monkey, and a stuffed duck. Additionally he might want to sleep with some mickey mouse figurines, or a scissors from the doctor kit (yes this is puzzling for us as well), or some of his little toy cars. It's a party in that crib.

- He LOVES 2019 version of The Grinch. We have seen this movie so many times. Luckily I love it and haven't gotten sick of it yet. 

- He also loves Mickey Mouse. He has 5 Mickey shirts but he needs more as he'd prefer to wear a Mickey shirt every single day. 

- He was obsessed with Halloween decorations and keeps asking us where our pumpkin is. He'd be happy with 12 month of Halloween decorations. I think once he soaks in the wonder of Christmas lights, we can maybe move on from his pumpkin obsession.

- He loves to be outside and still likes riding in the stroller! I hope that remains the case for awhile. He learned how to use the scooter this summer and figured it out very quickly!

- He will only wear bombas socks! He should be a brand ambassador for that company given his love for their socks. We have to hide them in the summer - they are sooo thick and warm so not appropriate for like 90 degree weather.


- This kid is NOT a morning person. Mornings are incredibly rough. He is such a bear in the morning unless he can slowly wake up by groggily watching a movie or show. So week days are very tough. 

- If he dislikes something, he is not subtle about it and will dramatically say "bleh." He will also routinely tell us to "go away." I guess he's really good at establishing boundaries? 

- He also dislikes pictures although this has gotten better recently.

Eating: Overall he's an ok eater. He loves carbs. When my parents asked what he wanted for his birthday, he said "crackers." I said how about another idea? "chippies!" I can't blame him as carbs ARE delicious. His favorite non-carb foods are yogurt and apples. 

School: We made the difficult decision to move him to a new daycare this summer after some issues that were happening at our last daycare entirely related to the owner/administration. His new school is great! They seem to be very play-based which is what we want at this age. Dare I say his last daycare was overly focused on academics? Like when Taco moved into the young preschool, they wanted him to work on tracing letters. He can barely hold a pencil right now so I feel like it wasn't the best use of his time. I'm happy to see lots of photos of him doing pretend play, building things with magnatiles, playing outside multiple times/day, etc. Academics are important but not so much at this stage in my opinion. All that said, He can sing his ABCs, count to 10 in Spanish and count to 15 in English so he's got the basics down. 

Potty training: He has shown very little interest in potty training. We plan to focus on this in the next month or so as we know he can figure it out. We wanted to get through the transition of a new school before tackling this big developmental step.

Sleep: He still naps most days - thank goodness! We will keep him in his crib until he drops his nap because I like that he's contained... Paul moved into a big boy bed around 3.5 years so I imagine a similar progression for Taco. We are team "keep the child contained in a crib as long as possible."

Brother relationship: For the most part, the boys have a very sweet relationship. Paul is very patient with him and is even accepting of the fact that Taco destroys a lot of his LEGO creations. They of course have their conflicts but overall, they have a pretty sweet relationship. I hope and pray that continues to be the case. 

It's kind of hard to believe my pandemic baby is 3! I can't imagine our little family without him! We are planning to have him tested for celiac at his 3 year old doctor appointment in January, though. I wonder if some of his moodiness is related to him not feeling well so I want to rule out celiac (we have a family history of gluten sensitivity). 

Monday, December 11, 2023

Weekend recap + favorite things party intel

Happy Monday! We’ve got a busy week ahead of us. I have 40 client calls (more got booked on Friday) and then I have holiday parties for work on Wednesday and Thursday! I am glad our weekend was pretty low key since the week ahead will be a bit intense. Here’s how our weekend shaped up. 

Friday was a quiet night which is what I prefer! It was fairly mild out so Phil grilled tuna steaks and we watched another episode of The Crown. I do so much googling when I watch that show!

On Saturday morning I did a Caroline Girvan full body workout which featured a lot of Bulgarian split squats which are so hard for me! Phil grocery shopped and then I went to my favorite things party! 

This was the Galison puzzle I brought

I was relieved that my puzzle was loved. It got ‘stolen’ a couple of times and then the person who ended up with it stopped rolling the dice because she didn’t want anything else. Woo hoo! The most popular gift was a bottle of casamigos tequila and a set of 4 grapefruit mixers. Apparently that brand tequila is very good! The next most popular items were beauty products. I came home with a lip mask that I’m excited to try. 

The most unique beauty product at the party was this ‘snail 96 mucin’ and a toner. Both are Korean beauty products available on Amazon. The woman who brought them raved about them! And yes that snail mucin product is made out of snails… 

After nap time, the boys and I went to the library since we didn’t go in the morning. They both had fun playing with cars. 

On Sunday I did another Caroline Girvan workout - this time a HIIT workout which was super challenging and left me drenched with sweat! It was not my favorite as burpees were involved but it was effective. 

The highlight of the day was going to see The Grinch at the Children’s Theater! They do such a great job! This was our 2nd year in a row of going but this time both boys went. I think this is going to be annual tradition for us going forward!

I made chicken tikka masala with cauliflower and peas for dinner (for the adults). This is my recipe book set up. I am such a tactile person so I print recipes out and if we like them, they go in a plastic sleeve and into a binder that is organized by course. I can’t stand making a recipe from my phone. Yes this makes me an elder millennial/gen-Xer for sure. 

My tactile recipe system

How was your weekend? What kind of recipe system do you use - tactile or digital or are you one of those crazy people that cook without recipes (I don’t even like ‘salt and pepper to taste’ so this is so not me). 

Friday, December 8, 2023

TGIF + Done with Work Travel for 2023!

Hey hey! I got back last night from Chicago. It was my 14th and final work trip of the year! Hooray! 14 trips is the most I have traveled for work since probably 2013. I'm kind of worn out but I get a month plus off from travel and am really looking forward to it. Here is how my week shaped up. 

The book I am reading this week is I Will Find You by Harlan Coben which is a mystery/thriller type of book. It's about a man who is convicted for killing his child (which he claimed he did not do) - but then 5 years later, his SILvisits him in prison and shows him a picture with a child in the background that looks like his child. The book is requiring some suspension of disbelief but it's interesting and very plot driven/page turny. I have kind of given up on thrillers but this one was intriguing to me. 

The high of my week was seeing lots of colleagues in Chicago! This Chicago trip was for a team offsite for a product I support (preferred securities). We didn't have the best year given the bank crisis and all but it was nice to get together and reminisce about the year we had. Besides that team I saw a lot of sales people and spent a lot of time with my new hire. I didn't have any client calls so it was a very low key easy peasy kind of trip. But don't worry - I'll make up for it next week when we have a "day on the desk" series of days which are days when sales people are encouraged to set up calls with people like me. I have 35 zooms over the span of 3 days. Hold me. 

The low of my week was dealing with a sick kid at the start of the week. Luckily Paul bounced back quickly and was back in school on Tuesday - right in time for the book fair!! But this string of illnesses has been so endless and hard!

A show we are watching is the final season of The Crown. I was a huge Princess Di fan so it's hard to watch this season unfold. I knew she was young when she died but you realize HOW YOUNG when you are years older than she was at her death and still consider yourself young(ish). 

For workouts I did a Caroline Girvan workout on Sunday and a lower body workout in my hotel room. I'm hoping to do 2 Caroline Girvan workouts this weekend. I'm kind of transitioning away from running now that we are in the winter season. I just don't love winter running and I know strength training is so good for me - and I'm enjoying it so I am leaning into it right now.

The best money spent was on some bare essentials concealer powder. There was a Sephora a couple of blocks from my hotel in Chicago so I walked down there after my 2 work happy hours on Tuesday night (could have been 3 but I did not make it to the 3rd one - how many happy hours can a person attend in one night anyways??). It was blissful to walk through the aisles of Sephora without a kid in tow. 

My plans this weekend include laying low tonight. Tomorrow morning I'm attending a "favorite things" party that is hosted by a woman I used to run with in a run club. Most of the women I ran with have gotten married and had babies in the last 5ish years so I am looking forward to seeing everyone! My favorite thing contribution is a Galison puzzle. I hope I do not have the most lame gift and that there are others that love puzzles there. Galison puzzles are the absolute best. The scenes are so beautiful and whimsical. It's kind of my "go to" gift for a favorite things party. Then on Sunday I am taking the boys to "The Grinch" at the Children's Theater! Paul and I went last year and we loved this so I am hoping to make this an annual tradition! We are hardcore Grinch fans in our house.

Pic of the week:

Paul is loving the LEGO Advent calendar. It is not the most toddler-friendly Advent calendar and we hide most of the things he builds so Taco doesn't destroy them... But it's been a blast for Paul!

How was your week? On a scale of 1 to 10, where is your energy level? I'm at a 3. 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Taco’s Birthday Weekend + Virus Part 2

Our baby turned 3 on Sunday! 

How it started
How it’s going!

The weekend was mostly all about celebrating his golden birthday on Sunday - plus dealing with another sick kid. I swear our kids don’t like lick everything they come into contact with but it might seem that way. 

But back to the birthday fun! We have an arbitrary rule of no kid parties until you turn 5 so we just had a family celebration on Saturday night. We took the easy way out and ordered pizza since that is Taco’s favorite food.

I made a GF cookie cake on Saturday morning. This is the birthday dessert of choice in our house!

We let Taco open a gift on Saturday morning because he wanted to wear a Mickey shirt and he didn’t have one clean. He was thrilled to get 3 Mickey shirts! He is so obsessed with Mickey.

My parents arrived in the early afternoon and my mom decorated the cake! It was easy to come up with a decorating theme!

The decorated cake. I over-baked the cookie. It was still good, though. Just crisper than I prefer.

Paul enjoyed playing garbage with my parents but then he wanted to quit because he was tired. Which is odd as this kid loves games - and he was winning. Sure enough, he was running a fever within an hour. Le sigh. 

So he went upstairs and stayed in his room so as not to infect his grandparents with whatever he has (probably the Adenovirus Taco had?). 

Reading with his grandparents!

Taco soaked up the attention. We were so happy to see our spunky Taco return after a week of illness! 

He got A LOT of trucks!

The black food coloring really left its mark…

Sunday was a more low key day. We laid low since Paul wasn’t feeling well although the virus seems much more mild for him. When he woke up in the morning he said ‘my brain hurts.’ But his fever was pretty short-lived and limited to the evenings. So far.

Taco opened the presents from us after lunch. We got him a Mickey safari truck, a Mickey camping LEGO set (that he’s a bit young for but Paul can help him), and Paul picked out a semi-truck for his cars. 

Opening his present from Paul

This was the first time we had Paul pick out a present for him. I took him to Target on Friday and gave him a budget. It was really sweet to see him pick something out! 

We ended the day by changing him into Grinch jammies he received from my parents and looking at photos on my phone from the day he was born. What a world we live in - being able to search my google photos for a particular date is pretty amazing.

These young kid birthdays feel like as much (or more!) of a celebration for the parents as it is for the kid. There’s a ‘wow we made it through another year!’

I’m not shy about the fact that the toddler stage challenges me and pushes me to my limits, but I know I’ll look back at aspects of this stage of parenting and miss the cute mispronunciations, singing you are my sunshine while rocking my kiddos before bedtime, and the way our boys melt into our bodies when giving hugs!