Category Archives: Life

Our Kids

Ramona at 3 months.

Beckett at 4 months.

Our kids look so much alike. Except that Beckett is incredibly bald. He has long lashes like Ramona, but they are blonde so they don’t show up in photos. Both of my kids look like their daddy. Good thing I think he’s kinda cute.

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Soccer: The 3 Year Old Experience

We finally enrolled Ramona in an activity after 3.5 years of life. I know, it’s hard to believe we’ve passed as middle class parents up to this point. Her class from school got a YMCA team together, so I figured she’d love to play with her friends. (There were more kids, but you know how that goes.)

Basically soccer at 3 is just a bunch of kids running after a ball while the parents scream coaching tips from the sidelines at them. One parents (on the other team of course) yelled, “Protect this house.” I can’t make this stuff up.

Ramona was most interested in running and giggling for all 3 practices and 2 games. The last game they used her ball, so she was all about actually playing the game. She was so serious about it she even took the ball away from her teammates.

Ramona scored 3 goals which is an accomplishment even if they don’t have goalies at this level. Her main defensive strategy was to yell “stop it” to the other kids. Genius.

Here’s her post goal modeling pose. I don’t know where she came up with it. I guess I need to cut down on her fashion blog intake. She’s really taken to their poses.

Clearly she was most interested in the cupcake and capri sun afterwards. She got a cute little trophy I paid a whole $7 for that broke later that night when she was experimenting with what happens when you drop said trophy on the floor. There were tears and a very pouty lip while I was somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to hoard the trophy for years to come.

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My child knows too much about pop culture

To set the scene, Ramona was looking over my shoulder while I was checking Facebook. She saw a picture in my news feed…

Ramona: Who’s that?

Me: It’s just somebody.

Ramona: That I used to know.

Well played little one. My child may know too much about pop culture for a 3 year old. Also look at that face so nonchalant like yeah I went there mom.

This moment in my life brought to you by Gotye and my child’s wit.

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We grabbed a Cinderella dress complete with shoes at Disney’s after Christmas clearance. Ramona kept saying she wanted a Cinderella ball dress. Problem solved kid and at close out prices too.

She has worn it literally every day since. Glitter is everywhere, but seriously look how happy that girl is!

I was trying to get her to clean up and she told me, “I don’t clean. I’m the married Cinderella.” Apparently getting married is an automatic exemption to cleaning…this girl is going to have a rude awakening. I also apologize in advance to her future husband.

Of course like any mother, I continued to insist that she help clean. Clearly I wasn’t getting these married “rules,” so Ramona went on to explain that only the black Cinderella cleans. I did not understand what she was talking about. She rarely says things without reason, so I kept talking with her to figure out what she meant.

She was talking about Cinderella’s work outfit. She had no way of classifying grubby work clothes other than the color which are technically brown not black, but she explained her shoes were black. Fair enough.

At least Ramona has said 1 sweet thing since she’s become the married Cinderella. She told Nick he needs to get a Prince Charming outfit, so they could go to the ball and dance. So friends there are now 2 things on my to do list: 1) sew a Cinderella work outfit and 2) a Prince Charming suit. I’m only slightly kidding.


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Family Trip to NYC

If you follow us on instagram, you know last month we went on a trip to NYC for a long weekend. If you don’t follow us, then shame on you.

This trip we stayed downtown by the World Trade Center. All the construction going on caused it to be a bit of a pain to get around at times. On the bright side, we had an amazing view of the Hudson River.

When we travel, I general plan the whole trip around the meals. This trip was no exception. After we checked in, the first place we went was David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar for some ramen. The wait was a bit long, but we got to sit at the bar watching the cooks. Ramona loved it.

Amber Edit: Yes I look terrible in this photo, but I just flew with a toddler. I realized I forgot her movies in the car before we boarded, so I had a nice dose of what it was like to be a parent before iPhones. She was good but so high energy on the plane. I was just exhausted.

The next morning we hopped on the subway and headed uptown to Macy’s on 34th st. Riding the subway is always Ramona’s favorite activity in New York. She got super excited to go on it every day we were there.

After some breakfast, we pulled up to Macy’s.

This was Ramona’s second Christmas in a row to see Santa at the Macy’s on 34th st (rough life right?). A year made all the difference, she was much more excited this time around. Last year she wouldn’t sit with him without us. It was borderline traumatic. This year she ran up to him and said Santa in the absolute sweetest voice.

After Macy’s we went for lunch at M Wells Dinette. Above you’ll see Ramona downing some escargot and bone marrow, one of their signature dishes. It was amazing and afterwards the staff came up to us and said that they were impressed by our little foodie. To say I was a proud papa is an understatement.

In the corner, they had a beautiful (real) Christmas tree that Ramona was obsessed with. She was pumped to take a picture with it.

That night we went to the midtown touristy spots: Time Square (Ramona is obsessed with the giant Disney Store) and 30 Rock (to see the tree) were the highlights.

The next day, we headed into Brooklyn to take Ramona to the Brooklyn Children’s museum. She was just a little bit excited to be there.

There were a ton of activities in the museum. Here Ramona is serving me a pizza inside a little restaurant where there kids learn the steps to making a proper pizza. She was in heaven with all the activities.

More food centric activities… and what you’re thinking is correct. Amber and Ramona totally planned the collared shirt-animal sweater-skinny jeans-boots matching thing. Ramona did get into a bit of a scuffle with a boy. We are still confused about what exactly happened, but she received a semi black eye.

After some dinner, we took Ramona to FAO Schwartz. One of her Christmas presents from us this year was her getting to adopt a baby doll there. Here nurse Maria is filling out Emma’s (she named her baby) birth certificate and answering some parenting questions. When Maria asked if she would provide clothes for Emma, Ramona told her yes…princess dresses.

The next morning we hopped on the subway (yea this pic is from Friday, oh well) and went to brunch at Minetta Taven.

After brunch, we headed into SoHo for some shopping. We’re planning on writing a separate post about that shopping excursion tomorrow.

Hopefully, Ramona can look at this some day and see that she got to go to some of the coolest places / restaurants of the day. She always pretends to pack a suitcase and tells us she’s going to “York,” so we know she remembers at least some of this. She even references the trip we took in 2011 sometimes.


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Painted Nails

I bought cheetah nail stickers at the Dollar Tree for Ramona on one of my multiple trips. She found them today and said she wanted painted nails. The girl loves to have her nails painted. I have no idea how she even knew that’s what they were for. Instinct?

I had to do some extra cutting since her nails are so small. I will admit they didn’t look that great up close, but when do home manicures? Never. Well at least not when I am doing them.

Cute right? She loved them. Then we ate dinner (eggplant parmesan), and they all came off. I guess eating with your manicured fingers isn’t the best idea. It was just too cheese greasy for the dollar store nail stickers. Oh well they lasted about as long as legitimately painting her nails does.

Maybe I will try again on a night we eat sandwiches.

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Pumpkin Carving

Nick and Ramona carved their first pumpkin tonight. I can’t believe in the 11 years we have been together we’ve never carved a pumpkin. We probably wouldn’t have this year except Ramona wanted a pumpkin. Plus it’s essential now with a little one, right?

We busted out the Drimmel I bought 7 years ago. Sadly I am not joking. I actually bought a tool specifically to carve pumpkins 7 years ago. Never used but we kept it and somehow knew where it was. What are the odds.

Ramona was intensely paying attention to every move Nick made. She couldn’t wait to give the pumpkin a silly face.

The mouth is a little wonky, but it looks like he’s having a good time. Maybe laughing at all the craziness that happens around here. Hopefully potential sellers don’t find him creepy.

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3 Year Well Check

Ramona went to her 3 year check up today. It was the first time they gave her a little robe for the exam. She was pretty excited about it. I might be under selling that. She might have thought it was Christmas. Ramona isn’t the type of kid who shies away from the doctor. She is significantly quieter when we are there, but she doesn’t fear going to the doctor by any means.

They checked her eyes. She was so excited to name the symbols. Ramona loves to show off her smarts. What can I say she is her parents’ child. Her vision is 20/30 which is excellent for her age. I’m sure she will wind up in glasses because we want her to be a hipster Nick and I are both nearsighted.

She weighs 31 lbs 14 oz  (60th percentile) and is 37.9 inches tall (75th percentile). Her height to weight ratio is right around the 50th percentile, so she is right where she needs to be.

I feel like her diet (and ours) is very balanced. It helps that Ramona is the least picky eater in the world. Plus we are usually eating low carb so we eat lots of different veggies. This is just round 1 of her dinner – salmon, broccoli and cheese, caprese, and bread. When I make salmon (a weekly occurence), she eats 2 portions. I can even eat Pho with her because she likes the chicken bún. Yes fellow mothers it’s ok to be jealous of my luck.

She did have to get the flu shot. Even though she’s now old enough to get the mist up her nose, she’s had a very runny nose. It wasn’t the best option, so I distracted her with a Minnie Mouse book while she nurse gave her the shot. I feel bad because the look on her face made me laugh a little (don’t worry I laughed on the inside). She looked really pissed/scared when the needle went it, but it was over before she could cry or anything. I’m terrified of needles, so I do feel bad about my internal giggle. I’m sorry Ramona. Maybe you just shouldn’t have such a cute shocked face.

I told her she could pick out lunch since she had to get a shot. I was fully expecting Chick-fil-a, but she wanted Chipotle (previously renamed by Ramona as quesadilla Chick-fil-a). Those are really our only 2 fast food options. We had Chipotle for dinner the night before, and she got apple juice. She wanted it again because she thought she would get more apple juice. She was right, but it’s okay because you can never get tired of Chipotle salad. Plus she always picks Chick-fil-a, so I will encourage the change.


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Birthday Planning

Just to preface this post, Ramona is obsessed with birthdays and whose birthday is next.

She was hard at work the other day “making” stuff in her kitchen. Once she had this nice spread, she told me that it was a birthday party for her friend that she met at the store. (No clue who she is talking about.) Apparently, her friend’s birthday is August 23rd, so that’s when we can sing happy birthday.

Ramona said she made cheese, ice cream, and nana pud (banana pudding – pronounced like wood but with a p). You can tell she is serious about her birthday business.

Then she had to grocery shop because as you can clearly see her fridge is completely cleaned out. (I was more than thrilled about this because it meant she was kinda cleaning up.) Don’t worry Princess Aurora is safe in the shopping cart. Also Ramona is environmentally conscious and always brings a reusable hello kitty bag.

She pretended to call Macie (her cousin) to check to see if she was coming over before she left the grocery store. It went something like this…”Hello Macie. Are you coming to my house? (pause) No. Ok.”

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Beauty and the Beast

My niece Macie turned 3! Alicia, my mom, and I took the kids to see the re-release of Beauty and the Beast. Ramona loves Belle. She’s her favorite princess.

Ramona actually kept her 3D glasses on this time. She did not do so well with them at Disney or Lion King. Since we started potty training a week before we went to the movie, she was going on a week with absolutely NO tv. Her eyes didn’t leave the screen except maybe to sneak sips of Bryson’s sprite.

Happy birthday Macie B!

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