LKSquared … 2011 Year In Review

2011 has definitely been a year that I will remember forever!  There is nothing like buying a house and raising a 1 year old!  So much of the year has been crazy busy…I thought it would be fun to jump on the “year in review” bandwagon…at least to remind myself of all we’ve done this year!

January:  2011 started out slow on this blog since my beloved laptop died & I had to wait for a new computer.  Once it got here, I had to write everything down from A’s 7th month so that I wouldn’t forget among the chaos of moving into the new house!  Uploading photos from our move revealed some super cute photos of A helping!  We also found some photos of Cousin A2…our phantom baby!  We got a great ETC post at Grampa’s Hanukkah party!  We said our final goodbye to A’s first home.  Over at the new house we got a beautiful new sink!  We celebrated A’s 8th month, got to see her huge smile for Yo Gabba Gabba (not much has changed with that last part!), and figured out how to handle a baby who wouldn’t sit still!  I made my first plea with the 10,000 ants invading our house to GET THE HECK OUT.  We remembered how pretty A looked at Thanksgiving dinner in another ETC.  We posted pics from our New Years Eve taco dinner.  I became an Ikea Hacker.  We got new windows in the dead of winter!  A’s nursery got some personalized art.  I put together some inspiration for our master bedroom.  A’s Aunties were the star of the final ETC post of January! Finally…A showed me that nothing I buy is ever really for me!

February:  A started feeding herself.  I embraced the camera with my 2 debils.  Birthday madness starts.  We celebrated cousin S’s 2nd birthday!  We celebrated Cousin A Mash & Grampa with a little fun in the snow.  Then Grandma’s birthday!  We Embraced after a girly photo shoot!  I took our Living room from navy to black.  A made a boy cry.  A started holding her own bottle!!!  We hosted a superbowl/Glee party!  We had a very sweet Valentine’s Day.  We went to Cousin S’s school for her Yo Gabba party!  Daddy pompom’d A’s ceiling!  We played at the Children’s Museum of Paramus.  We wished our future husband M a big Happy Birthday!  We started swim lessons with PD!  We reviewed A’s 9th month and wished a happy birthday to Auntie E!  We visited our awesome family in Chicago!  We ETC in bathing suits!  A had her first bubble bath!  We compared A to our baby pics to see who she looks like!

March:  We wished our best friend PD a very happy 1st birthday!  We had a visit from AG&M where we went to the aquarium, played in A’s playroom, checked out the park in Brooklyn, and went to PD’s birthday party!  A also got her first stomach virus.  We documented A’s 10th month.  A went to Grandma’s house & gave Mommy a much needed day off, we had lunch with all the girls, we wished Cousin S good luck getting her tubes in her ears, we played a little ice hockey with friends, and I confessed my stress!  Finally – I got snuggles from an 11 month old…best feeling ever.

April:  I went down to Maryland for a visit with Auntie S2 and left A home with Gramma.  We wished Uncle P a happy birthday.  I embraced the camera on a bad day.  I found a glider that ALSO reclines and was sad I didn’t find it before I bought the one I did.  I was given an amazing gift by Auntie S2’s Daddy.  We took A for her 1 year photos!!! We started celebrating A’s birthday early with Grampa & B, and then we had the main event.  A’s 1st birthday extravaganza!  Then she actually turned 1.  Holy Hell How’d that Happen!  We didn’t get much reprieve before Passover came!

May:  I turned 31!  I celebrated with 2 of my favorite girls.  We celebrated Mothers Day with a vacation to the Florida Keys with the G Family…did it have to end?  We celebrated Aunt D’s birthday between traveling.  We celebrated 2 years of wedded bliss.  I found out that when some people google “pregnant young girl” they get “lksquared”!   I turned to my first parenting book for help!  I suffered from mommy-brain 🙂  I updated some of Cousin A2’s milestone’s!

June:  We went to Florida with Mister LK’s company for Memorial Day but it took me a while to get the posts up!  First we hit up Disney, then we spent a day at the hotel.  We came home to play on the beach here with PD.  We wished happy birthdays to Uncle B & our great friend E!  A started to get a little loose with her kisses!  We embraced the from Epcot.  We had fun and kept cool in the yard.  We welcomed baby CJ to the family!    We found our cat M in the closet.  We celebrated Father’s day.  We went to A’s first dentist appointment!  I thanked an amazing mother for being an amazing friend.  We reviewed Duke Falcon’s Restaurant in Long Beach.  We celebrated Auntie S’s 30th in NJ.  We embraced on a very busy day!

July:  Happy Birthday Great Grandma A!  We celebrated July 4th with munchkin CM!  We packed up our good friend SB to move to Buffalo.  We wished baby CJ a happy 1 month.  We headed to Sesame Place with Grandma & to a country style family reunion, where we also ETC!  We welcomed home baby CJ!  A created her very first painting masterpiece!  We embraced A’s 15 months with a list of her crazy big vocabulary!  We wished a happy birthday to Grand Aunt G!  We posted Baby CJ’s nursery mood board.  We wished a happy birthday to Uncle C!  We prayed to find Daniel Bobis.  We ETC at the beach with Auntie E!

August:  A started wearing Mommy’s shoes!  I reached out to other free rangers.  A got her first fever.  We visited the R Family for a weekend in Connecticut!  We added Elfa to the laundry room.  We spent a very rainy day playing at PD’s house!  We sent Daddy a pic while he was away in Vegas!  We replaced the siding on the house & reviewed Built Right Renovations.  Gramma bought A a Howdy Cow bouncer!  A ate 4 cobs of corn at 1 dinner!  We felt the east coast earthquake!  We ETC & started a search for 20 minute recipes!  We documented our house in photos in preparation for Hurricane Irene!

September:  We evacuated Long Beach with the whole family & headed to Auntie H’s in Brooklyn.  We came home to a tree on our house!  I noted how different grocery shopping is now with a toddler.  A & her forever friend held hands on the boardwalk.  We wished baby CJ a happy baby naming.  We took down the pear tree & cleaned out the crawl space.  I missed my Grandma like crazy.  CJ & A met for the 1st time.  A tried on my baby sweaters!  We ETC on the cool fall beach!  A spent the weekend at Gramma’s, and we remembered the sweet moments between M & A from their visit!  I entered the Paper Mama photo challenge with “Young Love” & was a favorite!  A got sick and slept for 48 hours straight.  We wished AG a very happy birthday!  We celebrated Rosh Hashana & had our first dance class!

October:  We removed the pear tree stump & had A’s first 20 minute tantrum.  I entered the Paper Mama Photo Challenge again with “this is the life“, “toes in the sand“, “all the street cred, no boobs“, “face“.  We wished a three way happy birthday to Cousin A2, Auntie S2 and puppy B.  A got super sassy & obsessed with Cousin S!  We ETC in the pumpkin patch.  I started to get my photo albums put together.  I found a really funny video!  We had a family photo in the orchards.  I pulled my back out right before our Halloween dance party.  Finally, and most insanely…we got our new fridge!

November:  Mommy & A had their very own dance party!  A went on a weeklong vacay with Gramma & we wished the G’s a very happy 3rd anniversary and a happy birthday to Daddy!  We reminisced on our trip to the City Hall pumpkin patch while A was not with us.   I prepared myself to go back to work after a week off!  Leading up to Thanksgiving there were 7 days of thanks.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7.  I ended November with a special wish for A.

December:  We embraced the camera on a 65 degree day!  I entered A’s sandy toes into a new photo challenge on Iheartfaces.com.  A unpacked from Florida herself.  I was offended by the neurotics who wrote that cry-it-out makes you a bad mother.  We ETC from the Long Beach, Cali airport with the birthday girl & from Legoland!  I laid out why Santa doesn’t visit our house.  Mommy & A cleaned up our lawn.  We wished a happy birthday to Miss O.  We spent Christmas Eve at the tree, which is where we ETC from!!!  We had 2 Hanukkah parties & I got to recap 1 so far!

And here we are!  ready to ring in 2012 and see what adventures lie ahead of us!  Every year with A is going to be crazier and faster than the last.  I’m buckling up.  As far as resolutions go…I want to be a more patient mom.  In an effort to do this, I’d like to find a better balance between momLK and personLK without sacrificing A’s wellbeing.  Will be difficult, but I’ll keep my hopes up!  I had dreams of what I would be like as a mom.  I thought it would be so simple to keep my life what it was & not let “mommy” takeover happen.  While she was an infant, this was super easy…she was easy to tote around and quiet or napping most of the time.  Then I started navigating toddlerhood.  Boy has my life changed, but when I sit back and think about how this happened to me, I realize, there’s nothing more important than her happiness and well-being.  This year I’m going to try to work in some time for myself to do the things I love and hopefully…I’ll be more settled with the idea of my life coming 2nd to hers!  I had my chance to be #1…it’s her time now!  I’ll just make being #2 the best it can be!

Happy New Year!!!

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Party + Party = Present Overload

This holiday season brought lots of parties to the LK house.  Perhaps it was a result of the fact that 1 year ago we were living with my mom while the house was undergoing some updates.  Perhaps it was a result of the fact that once we moved in, we were terrified that the ants were going to carry everyone away if we invited them in.  Whatever the reason, this year was the year of the PARTY!

We had to have 2 parties.  Party #1 was on night #3 & was soooo much fun!  Here’s a look.  Warning…this post is crazy full of photos & might take a really long time to load!

Lots of friends and family! (and this isn't even half of them!)

A playing with Uncle C! How happy does she look? Silly girl!

1 phone isn't good enough....she's hoarding Auntie E's phone in her pocket too!

PJ Time! Just lounging in her new sleeping bag from Cousins J,D,I,R,&B while checking out her new coloring placemat from Auntie E!

A's sitting on Mommy's Hanukkah present from night 3! Love my new stool! Thanks Daddy!

Best pre-bedtime ... belly laughs with Auntie E!

Party 2 photos coming soon!

Christmas Eve At the Rock…

This Christmas Eve day we decided we were going to brave the cold, grab our family & head in to NYC to see the giant Rockefeller Center tree!  We figured the crowds would be plentiful, but there would be a whole lot of people home eating their Christmas Eve dinner too…

We were right!  It was busy, but NYC at Christmas is always insane.  Rockefeller Center is a zoo of epic proportions at this time of year…so when we were able to walk through the crows WITH a stroller…we considered this a success!

We picked up Auntie E on the way, and met up with Uncle C at the tree! (I sound like Dr. Seuss!)

LK Family making our way to the tree!

Auntie E & A by the tree!

A...taking it all in!

fun close up!

Loving all the lights!

In awe of all the lights & angels...and the fish fountain in the pond behind the trees...

Uncle C & A photoshoot!!!

A sandwich!

1 minute countdown to the bubble show!!

Watching the bubble show on 5th Avenue!

Off to get some dinner!

Finding dinner was an adventure!  First we decided that we would not be going Chinese…that is reserved for today!  Tradition!  We started walking to Patsy’s.  No table for 5….hmmm….now to find another restaurant!  We ended up getting a table at a place called “Nocello”.  We walked in…sat down…A started having a meltdown.  I was calming her down & taking my coat off…and the manager more than implied that we should not stay!  We were getting dirty looks from most of the other tables…so we decided to re-dress & keep the search for dinner going!  (I guess this is what happens when you go to NYC on Xmas eve with no plan!)  It was their loss – A is the cutest girl in the whole world & any restaurant that gets to see her eat is a lucky one…

Turns out that we were right near the 55th St location of Seraphina & they were more than welcoming!  It was loud & delicious.  A ate like a pro & enjoyed pizza, tomatoes, and most of my risotto…and all the dessert.  We had a great meal with my great family & were able to end the night full & happy!

LKSquared wishes everyone who is celebrating a very merry Christmas!

 

Happy Birthday Little Miss O!

Dear Little Miss O,

You are so adorable!  Now you are not a baby, I guess I will not be rocking you to sleep anymore, but I promise to try to always be gentle with you anyway!  I hope that in this next year I can come to more music classes with you & you can show me the ropes, and that we get to play in your new house & backyard because that seems like fun!  Thanks for inviting us to your birthday party!  It was lots of fun & the building has a great lobby for running like a lunatic!  I know how 1st birthday parties can be…very overwhelming, and I hope you had a good time at yours!  And that the cake was good – my mommy didn’t let me eat any since I’m a nutjob and didn’t need any more sugar that day!!!  Lets eat cake together soon k?!

Love,

Miss A

Model O!

Birthday Girl!!!

Before There Were Presents…

There were sticks!

Literally – right before Hanukkah and all the presents came pouring in, Mommy & her little girl spent some quality time outside on the lawn.  We have a really great lawn, but we rarely spend any time enjoying it since it is in the front of the house and not fenced in.  It was a crisp day, but not too cold and after I picked A up at school, she was not ready for her nap and she was not interested in going inside.  I noticed that our trees had shed many of their branches onto our lawn & the gardeners had not done a “fall clean up” yet…so we got to cleaning!

It did feel oddly like I was talking to a puppy as I was telling her to “go get the stick and bring it to Mommy”, but she had the best time…and did a MUCH better job than T ever would have!  He’s as big as most of these sticks!

Baby Fetch!

"More stick Mommy?!"

taking a break!

My big girl!

We want to wish a very Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating!  We hope your feast of 7 fishes is delicious…your Christmas morning is plentiful…and as my favorite real housewife of NJ Melissa says “It’s Jesus’s Birthday!”  Family…blood & chosen…that is what is most important.  Health, happiness & family is the recipe for a wonderful life.

Why Santa Doesn’t Visit Our House…

Firstly…we don’t let strange men in costumes into our house in the middle of the night when we are sleeping.  Ever.

Secondly…we are Jewish.

I have never felt envious of any of my friends who celebrated Christmas.  I never felt like Hanukkah was not as “fun”…in fact, quite the opposite.  I thoroughly enjoyed getting presents for 8 nights in a row.  I thought it was kinda sad that my Christmas celebrating friends had only 1 day to get presents.  I know Hanukkah is more of a subdued holiday…there aren’t as many decorations, our house wasn’t lighting up the night sky like the sun, but I appreciated it.  We knew what Christmas was…although I don’t remember a time when I thought Santa was real.  I remember when Auntie S thought so, but I don’t remember thinking it.  We got to go to friend’s houses & see Santa & have dinner, and always I knew that Christmas was a holiday “they” were celebrating.  We did Hanukkah.

Now that I have A, I can see why she’d think Christmas was cooler.  There’s so many lights & decorations & things that will grab her short little attention span at every turn…but as parents, we get to teach her the fun of Hanukkah.  I’m pretty excited to do that!

We started by showing A that if anyone knows bling…its the Jews…

Then we got to decorating!

And tonight…we had Gramma over to celebrate the 1st night of Hanukkah!  It was great 🙂  A’s first present was from Gramma & here she is showing me how to multi-task!

Happy 1st Night everyone!  Can’t wait for the next 7!

Embrace the Camera Thursday 12.15.11

Last Thursday my family took a trip to California for a family Bar Mitzvah.  It was awesome!  Haha.  Well – the Bar Mitzvah was, and overall the trip was interesting.  Its always interesting with my family…BUT…we left early in the day on Thursday the 8th…so we missed Auntie H’s 25th birthday here on LKSquared.  A wanted to get her letter out to her Auntie H this week though…

Dear Auntie H,

I love you.  Thanks for giving me the best cousins ever.  Thanks for giving me lots of hugs and kisses.  Not thanks for always telling me I’m stuck in elevators though.  I hope you had the happiest birthday on the airplane with us!  Cousin S, Mommy, Daddy & I had a great time with you!  Even though we really didn’t sleep.  I love you so much and hope we see you soon … remember you promised S that you’d come to my house soon!

hugs & kisses,

Baby A

Long Beach California - We have arrived!!!!

The Holy Grail Of Mothering…

DOES NOT EXIST!!!

This post is a direct result of some psycho-babbly article that is floating around on Facebook.  One that is trying to make us “Cry-It-Out” believers feel bad or feel like we are doing irreparable damage to our children.

I have little to no patience for people telling me what to do.  I never have.  Its part of the reason that this mother thing is so difficult for me.  My little girl tells me what to do all day!  If I had to deal with her telling me what to do all night, I might jump off the roof…but contrary to the belief of some, that is not why I believe in the “cry it out” method.

I believe that I know when my child needs me.  I know when she’s sick, or when she is just bored in her crib.  I know when she’s scared, or when she’s feeling left out of the action in the living room.  My choice to let my child sleep in her own bed, in the silence & tranquility of her own room, to let her soothe herself to sleep is not and never has been a situation of distress for her.  She’s been sleeping through the night since she was about 10 weeks old.  I didn’t “sleep train”, I fed her until she was satisfied, and she was able to make it through the night (read: 11 or 12 to 6 or 7).  We did what worked for us.  I got her on a feeding schedule and never once in her life “fed on demand”.  She didn’t need it.  She thrived on her schedule.

If you met my daughter, I don’t think you’d say she was damaged!

I’ve given lots of advice to friends/family since I’ve become a mother.  I’ve always noted that I’m explaining what worked for ME and MY FAMILY.  I say, if you’re struggling with something, you try everything until you see what works.  Anything you try, has to work for your baby AND you.

There are many methods of parenting that I don’t agree with.  Some I’ve mentioned here on this blog, but truth be told, it’s a personal decision & you can make it if you want to!  As far as these studies being done…I think they’re great.  But I don’t think they are law.  I don’t believe in “the right way” to raise a child.  I’ve read approximately 5 chapters combined of parenting books…when I was so frustrated that I needed someplace to turn that wasn’t my usuals.  After those 5 chapters I decided that it’s all BS.  I did my research…I chose the books with scenarios from all different types of kids.  None of them were “mine”.  Unless you are evaluating your actual child, none of these books are a bible to be followed…because they aren’t about your kid!

If 999,999 kids were damaged by “crying it out”…well Miss A is 1 in a million!

My happy girl!

If you parent differently than I do…and you have happy children…good for you!  After all, that is what it is all about…happy, healthy children!