Friday, June 13, 2014

Family Restaurant Experience

JK has been really busy between work projects and school.  So, last week, he was telling Monica that he was done a big project, and done school for the week, so we could do something fun as a family the next day.  He asked what she would like to do, and she replied, "I want to go to a restaurant." 

We were a little puzzled, since we really don't go out to eat as a family.  We'll grab the occasional slice of pizza while we're out at the mall;  but, sit-down restaurant outings are usually reserved for JK and I as date nights, sans kids. 

We told her ok, thinking she might forget about it.  But she woke up the following morning and spent the better part of the day talking about going to the she wanted to order off of the menu, place her order with a waiter, and hear the specials of the day.  It was SO cute.  We talked about what she might want to eat, how we need to behave in a restaurant, table manners, etc. throughout the day.  I asked if she wanted to go for pizza (JK had suggested Pizza Hut) and she said, "NO, A RESTAURANT."  Apparently pizza doesn't qualify as a real restaurant experience, haha.

So JK and I decided on Applebees, got ready while they were napping, and were ready to head out when they woke up from afternoon naps.  I packed a couple emergency snacks, a couple quiet toys for distraction, and water cups for the girls.  I also mentally prepared myself for the very real possibility that we may have to cut the meal short and get our food to go, in the event of a  melt down.  Best to keep expectations low, just in case!

We arrived at Applebees, grabbed a booth and a booster seat for Lauren, and set the kids up with some place mat menus and crayons. 

And then...the most amazing thing happened.  WE ACTUALLY ENJOYED OUR MEAL.   Monica reviewed her menu choices, ordered her own meal, and said please and thank you to the waitress.  Lauren sat like a perfect little lady in her booster seat and barely made a peep.  We had a great waitress who was super speedy getting our order in and keeping the food coming.

Needless to say, JK and I were pretty surprised at how well everything  went.  Meals at home are often stressful events.  I'm popping in and out of the kitchen every few minutes for something forgotten, the kids  noisily voice their delights and/or dislikes with the food, and I spend so much time cutting up food into tiny pieces that I often don't eat until everyone else is nearly finished.  So, I think it is safe to say that we will be willing to try to go out to eat as a family more often.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Monica & Lauren Updates!

I thought that life started flying by so quickly after Monica was born.  I had no idea that it was possible for it to speed up even more now that we have both girls!  With these two little ones, every moment of every day is just a whirlwind of activity.  There are always food or drinks being requested, a diaper to change, toys to play with, clothes and shoes to put on and take off.  Our days are busy and crazy, fun and frustrating, exhilarating and exhausting.  At any given moment, laughter can become tears, and tears can be turned into laughter.

I was just reading back over some of the old posts, and I got a little sad.  There are so many happy and fun memories I've put here, but I am feeling guilty I have not had the time to keep up throughout Lauren's first year.  So many amazing things have happened with these two little girls.  They are always saying and doing things to make JK and I laugh, every day is a new adventure!  And while the memories are fresh now, I know that the little day to day ones will fade over time.  So, now that things have finally sort of settled into a rhythm, I'm thinking I really want to try to commit to carving out a little bit of time every week to capture a memory.  I know that, later on, I'll be happy that I did. 

So, here's my memory for today.  A little dawned on me a few months ago, that it's neither JK nor I that is Lauren's favorite person.  Lauren's most favorite person in the whole world is Monica!  When her sister comes into the room, Lauren's face lights up with such happiness, it's such an awesome sight to see.

And while Monica loves Lauren, she's also at the age where it is frustrating to have to share her time, her toys, and her parents with her baby sister.  Especially since Lauren is running all around, following Monica, and trying to do everything that she does. 

We were driving in the car this week, and Monica was telling me that, sometimes, some things make her sad.  But, when that happens, she just stops and thinks of something happy.  I asked what makes her happy, and her immediate response was, "Playing with Baby Lauren!"  It was truly the best thing I could have hoped to hear her say.  I'm so happy that they enjoy each other so much and have so much fun together.  Such wonderful little girls!

So, here are some pictures of our happy girls doing some of their favorite things together:

Water Table Fun!

Sandbox fun....Lauren is still on the fence about whether or not she wants to actually get IN the sandbox.

Pancakes and TV shows

These kids love Home Depot more than any other store.

Cuties at the park!


Haha, I love this one!


Me and the girls relaxing on the hammock