Category Archives: Family

Party of 4

I couldn’t be more excited and privileged to share that Brian, Bridget, and I are expecting an addition to our family this January.

In early May, we were blessed to learn we were pregnant with baby #2. And just last week, we found out that our baby is a BOY!

Although we are genuinely just hopeful for a healthy, growing baby, we are excited to experience raising a boy. More so, we are looking forward to expanding our family, and Bridget couldn’t be more thrilled (at least for now) to be a big sister. And I have a feeling she’s going to be a very good one.

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The perfect summer weekend

The weather this summer has been average at best, and between summer events, vacation, and a work trip, we hadn’t had much time to enjoy summer in our neck of the woods until this weekend.

Friday night we enjoyed a picnic at the park overlooking the pond. We fed the ducks, and I even participated (yay me!), until the ducks came up on land, of course, at which time I made my way back to observe. With plenty of hiking trails and a walking path that spans the perimeter of the pond, we enjoyed a beautiful summer evening outside.

Saturday morning Brian had his final session of this summer’s MBA class, so it was just little B and me. We spent the morning at the library doing art and crafts and picking out this week’s selection of books. If you know me, you know that I love libraries for personal and professional reasons, so Bridget’s and my conversation as we were leaving was priceless. I had checked out our books on the self-checkout machine overlooking the children’s area while she played with the train set. As we were leaving, and walked past the checkout counter, Bridget looked up at me and said, “We not pay, Mommy?” No, Bridget, we don’t have to pay…one of the many reasons your library card is the most important card in your wallet.

Saturday evening, thanks to my Mom, Brian and I enjoyed our first date out in a very long time. We had dinner at my favorite local restaurant, House of Hunan, in Medina (my mouth is watering as I write this thinking about their General Tso’s Chicken….yum!). We then went back and forth a hundred times before we settled on my movie selection, The Fault in Our Stars. If you check out my reading history, you’ll be able to quickly tell that I like sad books. I don’t know why, but I do. I also enjoy book-to-movie adaptations so this was right up my alley. At least I thought. The only thing sadder than reading a sad book is seeing it play out in front of you. The movie was good, but probably not the best choice for our first date out in a while. Needless to say, I owe Brian and will let him pick the next few to make up for our wonderful evening turned terribly depressing.

Sunday morning was all about summer. We spent the morning at the Hinckley Lake beach, which has a beautiful view of the Reservation. We then headed to the Ledge Lake Pool which overlooks the lake. The water depth is perfect for Bridget because she can touch, so we had so much fun playing, and she was out like a light as soon as we got in the car.

As you can gather from the title of my blog, and every post I write, we’re a simple family that enjoys simple things. And there’s nothing simpler and more enjoyable than spending a summer weekend with my two B’s.

I hope you’re all enjoying summer!

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Bridget-isms, 2 years

You know that saying, “It just keeps getting better and better?” That’s how I feel about life as Bridget’s mom. It was no secret for anyone who had ears and spent time around us when Bridget was a baby that she cried. A lot. For any reason. From the moments even before she entered this world, she’s shown that she’s as stubborn as a mule. But, she also has such a sweet and loving nature to her, above all, and it continues to shine through as she grows up.

Two has been good to us so far, and brought lots of laughter, hugs, and everyday moments that I never want to forget. Here is a random selection of recent Bridget-isms:

For an unknown reason, she calls the car air conditioner a microwave, so when we get in a hot car, she says, “Turn on the wave.” As much as I want to correct her so she doesn’t go around telling people we put her in the microwave, it’s just too cute and I want to hold onto it a little bit longer until it’s totally unacceptable for a child of her age to say such a thing.

She.is.obsessed.with.the.movie.Frozen. I’ve learned that this is not uncommon for any girl under the age of 10, but since Bridget hasn’t shown much interest in TV or movies to date, this is a first for us. She’s always asking to watch it, singing “Let it Go” horribly out of tune, and she absolutely adores her Frozen blanket that we bought on vacation. In fact, she carries around two quarters and a nickel she found in the cup holder of my car, and when I asked her what she’s going to do with her riches, she answers, “buy mommy and daddy a Frozen blanket.” Melt my heart, kid.

Bridget is a big fan of taking her Flintstone’s “Witamins.” It’s the highlight of her mornings, and if I didn’t have a good memory, she’d try and sneak in a few more throughout the day.

If you ask her to do something or go somewhere, there’s a 99% chance that she will respond in either of the following ways: “two minutes,” or “soon though.” These must be pick-ups from daycare, and occasionally I find them irritating, but most of time, they just make me smile.

She’s officially in her second session of dance class and could not be more excited. Sometimes we are lucky enough to see her dance moves. And for another unknown reason, music is called “gobble,” so if she doesn’t like the song of choice, she’ll ask us to find another gobble. It’s true: kids say the darnedest things.

Bubbles and sidewalk chalk are summertime activity favorites. We are hard pressed to make it through the garage without a quick pit stop to draw a circle.

Our “I love you” exchanges are my favorite. For instance, this morning when hugging goodbye for work:

“I love you so so much, Mommy.”
“I love you more, Bridget bear.”
“I love you most.”

She’s still quite the collector, from rocks, coins, and sea shells, to sticks, mulch, and flowers (including the few good ones I haven’t yet killed in my plants). It’s been her thing since she was a baby. I wonder what she’ll collect in her older days?

Puzzle games on my phone are a treat we allow every now and then. She can’t get enough…and so I see where the techno-battle begins.

We just recently returned from family vacation. There were enough memories made for its own post, but I’ll share one of the funnier ones. At the water park, just before lunchtime, Bridget was in the midst of a meltdown. We were heading to lunch with the family and Bridget’s BFF, her cousin, Morgan, was out of sight. When Bridget asked where she was, through sobs, she said, “I wanna eat Morgan.” She’s still learning to put those sentences together, and sometimes misses those key words.

Here are some pictures from summer:

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Bridget is 2!

A couple days late, but…

Bridget is two! In her words, “only two.”

I’m biased, obviously, but Brian and I hit the jackpot with this little gal. She’s funny, sweet, smart, ornery, and stubborn. It’s hard to believe she’s now officially a toddler. I’ll always think of her as my little babe.

Happy birthday, Bridget bear!

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A few of my favorite things

When I started this blog almost two years ago, I wasn’t sure what would come of it. More than 100 posts later, none of my posts are on the list of top pins and they certainly aren’t going viral on Facebook. But what it has provided me is so much more: a real-time collection of priceless memories and experiences of our family of three…and hopefully, one day, a glimpse of her life for Bridget through my eyes.

So, here are a few of my favorite Bridget-isms from recent months.

– Bridget can count on her own to 15 on most days. She usually forgets the number 4 and overemphasizes the number 11. My favorite number that she says is 5. I wish this blog had audio recording integrated so you could hear it. Adorable!

– She went underwater for the first time last weekend at swim class. Luckily she was in the water with her much-braver parent who had the guts to try it. She came up from the water with the biggest smile on her face. And then I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

– We recently introduced the timeout corner of our house. It’s often used when Bridget hits or kicks. She’s not only learned what actions result in timeout, but she so graciously volunteers herself to go there when she feels she misbehaves. I am still trying to decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. Either way, my inner self chuckles while my stern face remains in tact on the outside.

– She loves yard work. We’ve tried to sneak in a few yard chores between the cold and rainy days and Bridget loves helping. “Bridgey pick up leaves.”

– Warm weather cannot get here and stay soon enough. We live within a 5-minute walk to a park, so we’ve spent every evening above 60 degrees sliding, climbing, and swinging. It’s all fun and games until it’s time to leave, which then requires us to pull out every bribe we can think of to get her home.

– We visit the library every couple weeks to get new “libaby” books. Again, insert adorable audio recording here.

– I am awaken every morning by a cheerful “oh, Mommmmmmmmy”. While I don’t particularly like the time of the wake up calls, I’ll take her as my alarm any day.

– I love singing, and think I sound decent when I do it. I am dead wrong and you can ask anyone who has spent time with me. I can’t carry a tune in a basket. However, Bridget knows no different and has always seemed to like when I sing to her. Until recently. My current jam is Eric Church’s Give me back my hometown. While singing it to Bridget the other day, she sweetly grabbed me around the neck, looked straight into my eyes and said so innocently, “mommy, please stop singing.” Ouch.

Don’t be mistaken. There are plenty of tantrums and meltdowns in-between these sweet moments. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine. But something tells me I have a few more years before I’m at risk of forgetting about those.

A parenthood milestone for me

I crossed a parenthood milestone this past weekend. I watched Disney’s Frozen…and sincerely enjoyed it.

Now I grew up watching Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. My favorite movie was The Fugitive, starring the dreamy Tommy Lee Jones. Animated movies were just not my thing (or maybe more so that they weren’t my mom’s thing). I watched a few here and there—Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Flintstones, and Beauty and the Beast—but that was about it.

So when Brian and I were pregnant with Bridget, we often chatted in wonderment about what we would be like as parents. Who would teach little Bean to swim, who would be the disciplinarian (we are still figuring this one out), and, of course, who would take Bridget to the movies?

Based on the fact that I hadn’t made it through an animated film since I was a small child, the conclusion was that Brian and Bridget had a lot of movie dates ahead of them. Until Frozen came along that is.

It is adorable, funny, happy, sad, and all in all, a great story. I realize these qualities are probably not unique to kids’ movies, but kids’ movies are new to me. And from what I can tell from my Facebook feed, I’m not the only adult that fell in love with this movie.

Thank you, Disney, for introducing me to the other side. Now I can look forward to my future Saturday afternoons with Bridget under one arm and popcorn in my other.

I love you too, Bridget bear

In my time as a mom, I have experienced amazing moments: the first time I held Bridget in my arms, rocked her to sleep, watched her roll over, crawl, and take her first steps. And then there’s the long hug to welcome me when I pick her up from daycare, the conversations on our drive home when she tells me all about her day and we giggle even though neither of us know what she’s saying, and reading her favorite stories before bedtime. There’s the throw-her-head-back laughter when I play “Santa” with bubbles at bath time, or watching her and Daddy knuckle-bump and simultaneously say “boom”. There’s been so many amazing moments.

But perhaps my most favorite is hearing Bridget’s new(ish) four word sentence: “I love you, Mommy,” “I love you, Daddy,” “I love you, puppy.” These words echo through our house, over and over again, and it generates an instant smile on my face every time.

Early motherhood is rewarding in subtle ways. 3 AM wake up calls don’t scream “thank you”. Dirty diapers can feel like a tiresome routine. And the regular hunt for something anything that a picky toddler will eat can be challenging. But then there are these amazing moments that bring you back to reality. The reality that motherhood is a blessing; a privilege; an opportunity to do something meaningful, with greater purpose than your own.

And there’s nothing more rewarding than that high-pitched “I love you, Mommy.”

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Bridget trying on my boots. Don’t worry, she didn’t get far in them.

Bridgey’s got it

Don’t worry, world. “Bridgey’s got it.”

This is what we hear quite regularly at our house when we try to put on Bridget’s coat, help feed her, attempt to wipe her nose, or buckle her seat belt. The humor and reality of this statement raises a mix of emotions for me.

1) It makes me laugh every time she says it. Every time.

2) I’m glad to see her becoming independent, and I know her stubbornness strong will will be an asset in life (when in check, of course). She’s so eager to learn and experience things, and I hope she never loses that desire.

3) On the flip side, her strong will can be very challenging at times. As much as I love watching her try to clasp and zip her coat, it’s not the ideal use of 20 minutes while trying to leave daycare. And I certainly don’t love getting hit, kicked, and scratched while trying to help. :)

4) It’s a subtle but constant reminder that our baby girl is growing up. This sounds so cliche, but it seems like yesterday that she was just our little bean.

You’re right, Bridgey. You’ve got it. And I am so grateful to get to witness it.

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Bridget writing out Valentine cards for her classmates. She had a big smile on her face when she said “Leo”.

Beating cabin fever

Tired of the frigid temps and non-stop snow? Us too! We’ve exhausted our play room and the mall playground. Unfortunately it’s too cold to get out and play in the snow, so we ventured out and experienced beautiful CLE’s offerings.

In January, we visited the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of my coworkers, we have an annual family membership, so we visited the Rainforest and the Aquatics & Primate Center (all indoors and heated!). I love the zoo any time of year, but felt like we found a hidden gem this round. Apparently people either don’t realize it’s open year round or they stay in during this weather because it was basically empty. Front row parking, no lines, heated shuttles, and up close and personal with the exhibits…it doesn’t get much better than that.

This past weekend, we visited the Children’s Museum in University Circle. I’ve heard mixed reviews on this venue. Some parents love it, others don’t. We really enjoyed it aside from the drive, somewhat expensive admission ($8 per person), and my germophobia in high gear. There is so much to do there: a farm experience, bus, grocery store, bank, house, hospital, water table, weather center, and Bridget’s person favorite, the large indoor sandbox.

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We could have easily spent the day there, but we’ve learned our lesson the hard way. No one wins in a Bridget nap-free day.

How are you beating cabin fever with kids? Thanks to good ol’ Phil, we’ve got another five weeks to occupy so ideas are welcome!

Bridget-isms: Months 18 & 19

I haven’t posted about Bridget-isms recently. These past few months have been crazy with the holidays, and that we are waist deep in house projects. (Shout out to my handyman husband who is replacing garbage disposals, switching out fixtures, replacing door knobs, staining cabinets, and the list goes on.)

Meanwhile, Bridget is growing like a weed, literally and figuratively. She’s still in the 100th percentile for height (still not sure where that came from) and she’s learning so much so fast. The 18-month mark was a turning point in her abilities and personality.

Although each stage has been amazing and challenging in its own way, I am enjoying early toddlerhood the most thus far. She’s so much fun, and every week brings something new and fun to experience together. In no particular order, here’s what Bridget’s been up to lately:

– She still loves to read. We read the same books over and over again and they never get old to her. Her current favorites are The Adventurers and Stumped. She gets excited every time we read them.

– She is just loving her Lego blocks from Christmas. It’s the first activity she’s solely independent with, so I was able to make a home-cooked dinner three times last week. Score!

– Her favorite thing to do is color, or as she calls it, “yellow”. She has crayons and color wonder Crayola markers that she’ll just “yellow” away with.

– She knows all the basic colors, so everything she says leads with its color: yellow bus, purple coat, pink hat, blue butterfly, etc.

– We have a lot of tea parties, set with “teapots” and “hot coffee”.

– Brian asked me a few weeks ago how many times I hear “mommy” in one day. I first answered with about 100. Shortly after, she must have said it at least 25 times in a minute. I undoubtedly underestimated. Regardless of the number, it doesn’t get old.

– Her favorite foods are “hot” broccoli, cheese sticks, and cheese balls. I’m not proud of the last one, but sometimes it’s the only way to get through the grocery store. I’ve learned in my short time as a mom that sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do, and cheese balls help me do that.

– She loves bath time, and it’s a struggle to get her out every time.

– She’s still an early bird, up by 6:30 every morning like clock work. I would pay to sleep in uninterrupted just one time, but until then, I’ll enjoy morning chatter and cuddles. Listening to her talk before we get her out of her crib is hilarious. For example, last week, she was still saying goodbye to Santa and snowman.

– And finally, my personal favorite: she says her prayers on her own each night before bed. Sometimes you have no idea what she’s saying, but she’s saying something, and that makes me happy.

20 months, here we come!