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July 12, 2011

Last night Justice was eating some pistachio's when he turned to me and said "Mommy, pasta comes from our farsi pesteh... see 'pesteh'/ 'pasta'..."

Oh lord. I think this one is definitely related to his grandfather. If you missed the blog on that one (Click Here).

Note: 'pesteh' means pistachio in farsi.

July 9, 2011

J and N are finally starting to play together. The other day they were in J's play kitchen making "food" and hiding out from the pirates (not sure how those two go together). N of course had no idea what was going on. He just would scream and laugh every time J said something to him. And every time N would walk away, J would take his hand and say "come on buddy... the bad guys are coming. You have to come to the tunnel of love." (I don't get that part either, but whatevs).

Today we were getting ready to run some errands and N had taken his shoes off. When I came in the living room, I saw J lovingly putting N's shoes back on and then helping him up from the floor. Then later in the car, N was crying and J started making animal noises to make his brother laugh. It's so cute seeing their innate bond. Everything J does, N is right behind him, wanting to do what he does and J has gotten really good at taking care of his baby brother (when he's not trying to kill him). These are the moments I love about having two kids close in age. It's a nice balance to all the fighting and annoying stuff they normally do.

Before I had kids, I knew I would raise them without any gender biases. I didn't want them to think that they could only play with gender appropriate toys. I didn't want my son to think he had to play only with "boy toys" and that baby dolls and such were out of the question. I always say - I am raising a husband and not just a man. He should learn to be nurturing and loving to a baby, have a play kitchen (which J does), know how to push a stroller, etc. I believed that gender was socially constructed and that if I didn't push my son to be a "boy" he would just be himself... whoever that was. Of course that was pre-J. Now I understand what it means to be a boy... he is a species entirely separate from his girl cousins in his boyish energy, interests, antics, and sound effects. I now realize that "boy" is genetically coded into him.

His energy is NO JOKE and sometimes I get tired from merely watching him run around the house and jump off of things all day. Then there are the sound effects. Everything has a sound effect... eating, jumping, coloring, playing, shooting laser, etc. He wants to wrestle, karate, jump off of things, and run around like a cave man. He also likes to play with pretend swords and guns. So far, we have been able to keep violence-ish toys out of our house. J knows mama doesn't play and to not even ask. So, he turns his own hands, drum sticks, legos, play dough, branches, etc. into guns and swords. Obviously I am not doing any good by not allowing these toys in the house. But no one I know has these toys in their house. As parents, there is an unspoken rule that play violence is frowned upon so we just continue to ignore our sons as they wrestle, karate chopp one another, and shoot non-gun objects at one another.

What's a mother to do? Don't get me wrong, I am not going to give in to the violent toys BUT when will he be ready for the fun water guns like those nerf shooter thingy's? What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments section.

July 7, 2011

I don't know about you but I hate coming up with what to cook for my family every week. Sometimes I run out of ideas for new stuff and sometimes I just need something quick... I found this cool meal planning tool. You can put in your own recipes (or recipes you find online) and it generates a weekly/monthly meal plan and shopping lists. Awesome, right? (and it's FREE for the frugal mommy)

Kitchen Monki

July 6, 2011

The Outler clan just got back from 5 days at the beach. It was nice to be away for a few days but seriously... WHY do Ant and I even bother with "vacation" with two toddlers? I mean, is it really a vacation or are we just changing the location of our chaos and spending LOTS of money in the process only to be yelled at the entire time -- "No!"... "I don't like you!"... "I want it NOW"... "Is it the beach yet?" -- lawd' a mercy... you get the picture. The fun doesn't start there, however. It begins with the packing of all their sh#$ and all the extra stuff you have to bring 'just in case' - you know, the stuff they probably won't even use. Then there are the endless amounts of snacks you have to bring for the 6-hour car ride, just in case you brought grapes and they wanted cheese and that just sets off a sh#$ storm. So, you bring anything you can imagine they "might" want. We finally made it to our destination (note: 8 hours later because the hubby HAD to use his GPS that told us the longest way ever and we ended up stuck in traffic) and by then, it was pretty much dinner and bed time and that set J off because he wanted to go swimming. The fun had already begun. We actually ended up having a good time (you know, as good of a time as you can have with two small children). J loved the beach and especially the pool and N ate enough sand that if he took a dump now, we'd have a nice sand box to fill at home.

Going on this road trip was a little nostalgic for me though because for one, it was our first vacation as a family and two, it brought back memories of when my family and I used to go to the beach when I was little. It would be all my siblings and usually my cousins and their family and we'd all pile in a mini van and the whole drive would pretty much be an eating fest. There were no IPODS, smart phones, or dvd's to watch in the car. My mom would bring tons of FOB (Fresh Off The Boat) style food items -- sunflower seeds for my dad to keep him busy at the wheel so he wouldn't fall asleep, feta with herbs and tomatoes in bread, boiled eggs (the stench was not fun), fruit, etc. My mother would literally pass food to the back the whole ride down. And when she was driving, dad would be sitting in the passenger seat with his guitar... dinga dinga dinga... the whole ride down. We'd all be suicidal in the back. Then we'd arrive at the condo (and we always stayed in a condo because there were just WAY too many of us to go out to eat), we'd go grocery shopping and mom would cook the entire vacation (poor mom, she'd slave away for her family at home and even on vacation). She'd bring basmati rice and saffron with her and she'd make persian rice dishes with chicken and fish. It made me think of her on this vacation when I was in the condo making a persian rice dish for my boys. I can't believe how things come full circle.

I am really looking forward to making memories for my boys like my parents did for us.

Some pics from the trip:

This was his time-out for trying to run into the street when we were trying to pack the car

June 29, 2011

It's been a while since I posted some of the awesome J-ism's... for instance, his usage of tense is just f'ing fabulous.

Do/Does = Doos
Told = Teld

And then there are the annoying questions that never end. I know... I know... he's a toddler, they ask a lot of questions but COME ON!

Example: We are in the car listening to music...

J: Mommy, what's their name singing?
Me: Rihanna
J: What does she doos?
Me: Sings
J: Why?
Me: She likes to
J: Why does she like it?
Me: Because she is a good singer.
J: Why is she a good singer?

Do you see the insane pattern here?? It literally doesn't end. It's constant and forget it if you tell him "shhhh" or "be quiet"
J: Why should I be quiet?
Me: Because the baby is sleeping.
J: But why did you teld me that?
Me: Shhhhh!
J: Why are you telling me shhhhh?
Me: (sigh... FML)

N turned 1 last month. I can't believe how fast time flies! He is the sweetest little boy and has the funniest personality. He loves to make people laugh and has the best smile that will make you forget all the times he annoys the crap out of you. It's been awesome seeing the ways in which him and J are different. For one... N is completely fearless of anything dangerous (climbing or jumping off of high things, diving off the bed or couch) whereas J was overly cautious.

I am loving seeing them play together too. Well I guess it's more like side-by-side play than actually playing together. J is still very rough with him but N can hold his own and has given J a few slaps here and there when he's had enough. I secretly get satisfaction from that because I get so tired of telling J to leave his brother alone.

So now there are 2 toddler BOYS in my house. Wish me luck! :)
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