My kid the Sour Patch


Do you guys remember these? Sour Patch Kids commercials?

This one?

Maybe this one?

Sour. Sweet.

I remember thinking they were clever and hilarious when I first saw them --- I laughed my head off.

Lately, they've been brought to my memory  in a different way...
In a toddler way.

Because I've come to an unsettling conclusion. My kid? She's a bona fide Sour Patch Kid.



Viv is officially three in a month. And you guuuuuuuuys....I thought 2 year olds were supposed to be bad. but no. THREE! I'm convinced it will be the death of me, for real.

As she gets closer and closer to turning three, the more threenager-y she becomes. (because threenagers are a thing, don't you know?)

Moody. Dramatic. Emotional. Mean. Sweet. Funny. Kind. Considerate. Bratty.

I mean, from one second to the next, we are taking major mood swings over here. She's playing the game, and she's playing it hard.


The other morning we were in our usual rush to get breakfasted, bundled and out to the car to get to the gym on time. I was at the counter making a snack for Viv to take to her class while she sat on the floor doing a Mickey Mouse puzzle. Two times I had asked her to stop doing said puzzle to get her boots and coat on. Exasperated on the 3rd time, I snapped at her and gave her the choice of puzzle in the trash or boots on. At that finality, she glared up at me with her little signature stink face she has going on lately and slowly, deliberately says..."I......hate you.".

I spin around with an incredulous look on my face, asking her to repeat what she had just said.
And she did. "I hate you."

Demanding to know where she heard that, she defiantly says "myself!", and watches for a reaction from me.  Literally, I have no idea where she heard that phrase, but I could tell as she said it that she was unsure what it meant and if it would get her in trouble. So she tested me, and she relished in it.

Anyway, After a talk about feelings and a time out until her little hard wall of pride let down enough for an "I'm sorry", I asked her to get her boots on again. She obediently walked out to the steps outside our door and proceeds to fly into the kitchen, yelling, "Mom!! you bring dees boots for me?! THANK YOU MAMA! You da best evah!!" and she gives my leg a big hug --

Sour. Sweet.

Just as I can't resist Sour Patch Kids, I can't resist this ridiculously, infuriatingly funny stage of sweet, bratty, limit-pushing sass face Viv.

And again:

V: "Mom, I don't like any people" *stink face, mean snort, violent head shake*
M: "Viv,  You don't have to like everyone, but that's not a very nice thing to say."
V: "Oh! Oh! Mama, I just teasing, I wuv evybody. Ok? Ok!"

Lately we've been discussing a lot about how the things we say make other people feel - hurting people's feelings by saying mean things, or making them feel happy when we say nice things....and how it makes us feel when people say certain things to us (and, side note: she has manipulated these lessons severely with any discipline we give her. If we raise our voice at her at all, or if we tell her to do something that she doesn't like/want to do, she dramatically trudges to the other parent with a quivery lip, declaring that "mommy make me feel baaaaad!").

yes. we are definitely winning all the parenting awards over here.

ANYWAY, she's say stuff like:

V: Mom, I say dis a mean way!
M: ok, what's the mean way to say that?
V:  NO!! I DON'T WANT TO! STOP. BUGGING. ME!!! *cue brattiest voice ever*
M: Ya, that's not very nice is it. What's the nice way to say that?
V: *dramatically sweet voice overhaul* oh, no thanks, I don't want to talk right now.

So this, in itself, proves to me that she does in fact know when she's being nice and mean, and that she very much chooses to do one or the other, and not only that, is very aware of the fact that these differing choices have consequences. She knows this! It blows my mind, because DEFIANCE!!

At any injustice or mistake on my part, I get this face:


(let the record show that I do not yell at her as much as it must seem and I definitely don't lock her door...)

And one more winner from today after I told her she couldn't watch her beloved Mickey Mouse Clubhouse movie (but dad told her she could, unbeknownst to me...):

After crying to Dale and him telling her he would talk to me about it, she storms in my room with a bratty glare on her face, nose squished up, eyes squinted, throwing daggers my direction. She says loudly,

I ignore her and keep playing with Mo.

She continues walking towards me, huffing and puffing, glaring all the way until she reaches Mo, and LITERALLY her whole demeanor changes. her eyebrows unknit themselves, a big grin replaces her scowl and she says in her special baby voice she saves especially for her brother,
"Oh Mo! Don't worry. I not mad at you, honey!" Pats cheeks. Gives him a kiss.

Jerks her head towards me, knit eyebrows, glaring eyes, mean face and says, '
"I MAD AT MOMMY." Grunt. Satisfaction. That'll teach her to deny me Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Sour. Sweet.
A Sour Patch Kid.

I wish it wasn't so damn cute, then I might actually want to do something about it.

Florida vacay


As you probably know, we're moving to Florida when we're done with school...
hallelujah and all that jazz! 

So, like the reckless tight-wads we are, we decided to head down for a visit to scout out areas to live and get away from Ithaca for a while since we had been here all Christmas break.

If I'm being honest though, the area hunting excuse was a front for getting the hell out of know. because of all the snow and stuff.

We stayed in a colorful little motel right across from the beach. The weather was cooler than we would have liked, but we still ran outside in the mornings in shorts while everyone around us were in puffer coats (no joke). We had a little kitchen area and compartmented sleeping areas that made bedtime with kids a dreeeeam, and access to the little patio that looked over the pool and gave us a glimpse of the ocean.

So we went to the beach, we played in the pool, we were lazy. We went running, looked for shells, drove around neighborhoods and looked at mansions along the beach and tried to imagine our lives in the place in just a few short months. It was a perfectly lazy vacation -- just what the doctor ordered.

We celebrated Dale's 29th birthday while we were there by eating pizza and doing whatever the hell we wanted. Dragging around 2 kids is no picnic for a birthday, but the guy handles it with class and sexiness, am I right?

For a few days, Florida treated us with sunny and warm-ish weather before rain storms hit, so we packed up snacks and hit the beach like a couple of tourists. The kids, though, they LOVED it.

Eventually we got rained out and had to take shelter under this building to keep the kids from getting sand-whipped and more whiny than they already were. We waited until the rain cleared before making the walking trek back to our hotel a block away.

Even though it was pretty chilly, I am not complaining, because ITHACA. Obviously. The weather there was like early summer in New York, so we were pretty much in heaven. You can't beat those stretches of white sand and beautiful ocean in comparison to stretches of freezing white snow and stretches of gray slush in every direction...

Also, let's talk about Mo for a second.....THAT KID! Heart eyes for DAYZZZ in his little swim trunks that barely fits him. He was a dream baby this trip. We plopped him down in the sand and he went to town, grabbing and flapping and grabbing some more. He was loving it, and had a little perma-grin on his face the whole time. Case in point:

When we weren't attempting the beach in the cold, most of our time was spent swimming in the motel's heated pool because Viv is a fish. She recently discovered goggles and is obsessed. And this face, you know? I mean, only a mother could love that face...and wow, do I.
Towards the end of our trip, we planned to head over to Disneyworld since it's only an 1 1/2 hours from where we'll be living AND Viv is free until she turns three AND she's in love in love in love with Mickey Mouse and the whole gang. Even though Dale are anti-Disneylanders, we love our kids and wanted to act like we weren't haters for a second (I swear, ALL of our good friends are obsessed with Disneyland and I think they may hate us because we don't....we are in no position to lose friends at this point, so you know....)

So, we braved the crowds and headed to the "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" as Viv so excitedly called it. We met Mickey -- who was freakin' cute, I have to say. And Viv is so obsessed, but gets so shy and won't talk when presented the opportunity. We finally convinced her to smile by telling her NOT to smile.... such is my life right now. Almost-threenagers, I tell ya.

And again, let's talk about Mo. The kid was a freaking' walking attraction. Seriously, I should have made a sign asking for admission to look at his cheeks -- People were doing double takes, stopping in their tracks, leaning over to their friends and commenting/nodding in our direction, always resulting in laughs or heart eyes or oooohs and aaaaahs. I think I could have paid for our park tickets with the money I would have raked in from the attention Mo warranted, and that is not an exaggeration. 

At one point, we were standing in the line of all lines to go on the dumbest ride ever, and as it snaked back and forth over and over and over -- it was the line that never ended -- we kept passing a few different families that would just fall over themselves giggling, cooing and baby talking to him. They'd grab his hands, play peek-a-boo, pat his head, and Mo would always grant them his signature happy, open-mouthed smile and a little arm flap -- it won them over every time. I think this freakish obsession from every.single.person was my favorite part about the trip.

Then there's Viv's signature stink face because she must just feel so obligated to never let us see that she is actually having fun.... (as I'm writing this, I'm realizing there's a striking similarity in attitude to my youngest sister who's seventeen....and I keep thinking that maybe Viv really IS a teenager?? the resemblance is uncanny).

Though Anna was supposed to be one of the stars of the trip for Viv, she hardly even peeked over her mini Minnie Mouse to talk to her....So Mo took action and went for the braids and the face, trying to pull her in to give her a big wet one right on the kisser. That boy is toooooo much like his daddy already.

By the end of the day, we were so extremely Disney-d out....and I swore that if we turned on the radio on in the car and a happy song came on I might hurt someone. Disneyworld is a hard place to stomach for a bunch of happy haters like us. It gave me a headache and I puked my guts out on the ride home -- that one I'm not making up.

Though for the life of me I'll never understand why people freely choose to go back for a 2nd, 3rd or 4th day (or heaven forbid more...),  we had fun and loved seeing Viv so excited about something she loves. Her favorites? Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto in the parades, and the "mean witch" (Maleficent) and her fire breathing dragon. The shows at the castle were the best part, in my opinion, and they were Viv's favorite too.  At the end of the day, we let Viv pick out one thing to buy, and she picked a little Ariel music box and a little package of Ariel jewelry, singing necklace/earrings and all.  The girl was in heaven, It's hard to be a hater of something your kid loves so much, you know?

 (let the record show that I love Disney stuff-- I am a die hard Disney original movie fan and I grew up with them and intend to raise my kids on them -- and Mickey Mouse is one of my very favorites - he's classic and vintage and I love that. The only thing I don't like is Disneyland, because i hate paying a freaking fortune to sweat to death, be crowded by weirdos intent on being lame and waiting in endless lines for two minute stance on that won't change, amen).

SO. Our last full day in Florida was basically the only nice day weather-wise that we had. We spent it at the beach to soak up as much Vitamin D as we could before being sent back to the hellish frozen tundra of Upstate. I spent the day reading in the sand, Mo killed it in his wife beater, and Dale & Viv found seashells, made sandcastles and chased the waves. It was a beautifully relaxing day, and a perfect end to our trip.



And now I am facing the reality of actually moving to this place. I have a lot of mixed emotions on the subject -- most of them circling around friends I left in California absolutely positive we were coming back in two years...and then not. Leaving wonderful friends I've made in Ithaca to part ways for possibly forever. Facing that big exhausting mountain of making new friends and dating couples and being your very best self so you don't scare off any potentials....and all of it leaves me feeling jealous, depressed, exhausted and homesick. For the most part, I am trying to be positive, trying to be excited, and trying to look forward to new adventures and new people. I keep telling myself that there are good people everywhere. The more I move and leave friends behind, the more I realize that I get very attached to relationships, and that is what makes change so hard for me. I don't like replacing friends. I don't like getting replaced by someone else who is more present in my friends' lives. It is hard for me, but it's the hard truth. Life moves on, so do people. UGH! why can't everyone just move by each other and live there forever?

And so, I ended the trip wishing and praying harder than ever that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing and knows what I need. He told us to move to Florida, so he sure as heck better deliver in the friend department....because that's what soon-to-be friendless losers do is pray for friends who will accept their sex jokes, pessimistic ways, sarcastic remarks and overbearing friendship

Hit me with your best shot.
(and I'll probably cry while you do).

all about Mo


Oh, Mo....where do I even start?

He's 6 months old, and has barely made any appearances on this blog. SIX! time has stolen by. It has been wonderful and exhausting, these last six months. Mo, he really is a dreamboat. Positively, absolutely a happy happy baby.

around 2 weeks old and SO handsome


2nd day home from the hospital

So, let's talk about Mo. We rarely call him Merrill, as Mo just fits him so well (though that was not our intention when we named him).

Although he was born at an average weight, the boy packed on the pounds after his first month, putting him in the 98th percentile at two months. By three months he was 16 pounds -- bigger than a lot of 16 month olds! I mean, seriously, the kid is a chunk! See below for evidence and hold onto your heart:

So, first, his cheeks. His cheeks probably hold most of his weight (his thighs coming in a close 2nd). Those cheeks...those delicious cheeks! 

They drown out his lips...and from the side, they are barely visible, such is the great mountainness squishy delicousness that are his cheeks. SERIOUSLY I CAN'T STOP KISSING THEM. The rolls on his neck, the way his wrist roll is so deep it looks like it's a separate's unreal.

around 3 months 

shots at 3 months and 16 pounds!
His heels are covered by a roll, and his love handles are out of this world. And though he sounds pretty fat, he's actually evening out now that he's 6 months... his cheeks have diminished imperceptably, his body lengthening just a bit to make the fat look a little more spread out. A lot remains, and people stop us constantly, commenting on his big cheeks, asking how old he is and always surprised at our answer, expecting 3-4 months older than we replied. He stops people in the streets -- they do double takes, or lean over and whisper to their friend about how cute his face is. they pinch cheeks, grab tiny fingers, make faces close to his. He tolerates it all with a nice little grin or an empty stare that accentuates that chub on his face---I like to think he does it on purpose, to put on a show for the customers.

He has beautiful brown eyes, almond shaped like mine, has a nice combination of our skin types (he got excema though, damn) and auburn hair that has a nicely placed cowlick in the back, making his hair do a permanent part and comb over thing. He looks like such a dapper little gentleman.

And don't forget our siren trick that's now made both our kids cry:

He loves Viv and watches her all the time, laughing, grabbing her hair. Viv is so great with him...they have been a cute pair, I die every time. He loves his daddy too, but me? I'm his very favorite. YES! FINALLY! It feels good to have a mama's boy after such a dedicated daddy's girl.

When Mo is crying and I'm busy, Viv grabs a book and reads to him so he'll be happy. Sweetest big sister ever.


 Viv and Mo together on his first night home. She wanted him to sleep in her bed (cue heart eyes)^^^

He has such a sweet little personality. That Mo. The boy I had to stop shopping in the baby section for at 3 months old. Nothing fit him...and if it did, only for a week. We've been buying 12 month old pants and shirts for a while now, just so the waist with button comfortably, just so the shirt will cover his squishy love handles and cute pokey belly.... although the length in the legs and arms just drown him.

Now that he's older, he is starting to prefer a bottle over me, because I guess I just ain't got the goods fast enough anymore?!? It was a random change...he's basically weaning himself slowly but surely...I'm good with it. He's much easier to satisfy when he gets control of his own bottle, silly chunk.
Also,  he LOVES THE BATH - especially sitting up and splashing, playing with his stacking cups, and even being on his tummy in the water. Nothing else is guaranteed to make him as happy as the bath does!

Mo at 6 months

He is obsessed with our food like a hawk, and devours 2 cartons of food at each feeding. I mean, seriously, who is this chunk!?

Mo at 5 months
His nickname from our friends is in 99nth percentile. kids got chunk. he's over in everything-height, weight and head circumfrence. and boooooy does it make him deliciously squishy and chewable.
5 months visiting Florida

He's been cooing to himself in the mornings when he wakes up around 6:30. He's just so happy. He has a perma grin on his face (unless he's hungry, watch your back), and he gurgles and squeals at you, plays and gives big wet open mouth kisses as he pulls your hair and grabs the skin on your face as hard as he possibly can, just to drag you down into his slobbery mouth. Big smiles, big kisses, lots of arms excitedly flapping and kicking of those unbelievable roly thighs of his.

5 months

I just never knew a smile could melt me so quickly.

5 months in Florida
I can't describe how happy this boy makes me. I love Viv, and she has some hilarious almost-three year old things going for her right now which deserves a separate post of its own.... But right now, Mo is healing my belief that all babies are crazy psychos. He is convincing me that babies aren't so bad---it really can be such a beautiful, amazing and fun (albeit incredibly exhausting) experience to have a newborn! We had rough patches, all-nighters, scream fests, a little crazyiness from lack of sleep and showering...but we got through it. 3 months, head down, get through it, done. 3 months, a beautiful time, yet exhausting. I got a chance to enjoy that stage as much as i could between being so tired i couldn't think straight--but i let myself love him, with no expectations of him, or myself or the state of my house. Cultivating love between my two kids, learning who my new boy was, his personality, likes and dislikes, the little tiny quirks that mothers only know about their children. It's been so fun -- and for a hater like me, that's a big step! Ask anyone though, you can't help but love Mr. Mo.

fell asleep in church without anything. Starting good habits early...

Such a happy dude. Making this mama heart of mine swell with so much love and hormones. GOSH, YOU GUYS I'M RAVING. sorry.

Around 3 months, results of Viv babysitting

I keep falling hard for this little man. He holds my heart, he makes me happy, I could play with the kid all the damn day long. 5-6 months is where the fun reeeeallly begins...i love this stage, and it just keeps getting better and better. Although I cannot believe it's been an entire 6 months already..half a year (?!?!), I'm enjoying this fun stage.

Mo at church around 4 months

this was taken after he had screamed for hours until we took him for a drive at 11 PM out of desperation. he stayed awake the whole time as happy as a clam. 
around 3 months

A few more things I want to remember about Mo that he's doing right now:

sitting up like a champ -- such a wide base helps :)
rolling over -- finally!
chewing on everything in sight and drooling on everything more.
loves soft things, especially his fluffy gray blanket. He loves pulling it over his face when he sleeps.
He loves to suck on soft stuffed animals
great sleeper - he's been sleeping through the night since he was 3 months eating, no waking, 7-6. Sleep training was NOT that easy with Viv.
He loves playing peek-a-boo and sucking on my fingers. Games are the best to him!
He is so so so ticklish...and has the BEST LAUGH EVER! I even have a video. Allow me:

And, the problem: he looooves tv, we never let him watch it, but whenever it's on he'll twist in crazy ways just to watch it, little stinker.

Man I love this kid. Happy 6 months, Mo Mo! We love you!

see his newborn pictures here
birth story here


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