My grandpa passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon. He was 94.

He was the only grandfather I knew, and he was such a great one.

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We will all really miss him. I’m so grateful that I had so much time with him! And I’m especially grateful that he got to meet Luca. I never met any of my great-grandparents, and I’m happy that as Luca gets older and we tell him stories of his great-grandpa Irv, I will have a few pictures to show him.

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It had been a long time since he had to hold a squirmy toddler…

Rest peacefully, Grandpa. We love you.

We had a few snowy days over the past couple of weeks, which gave the three of us some time to decompress at home. Luca and I had a blast playing with all of his favorite Christmas toys! Here are a few gifts he received that he (over a month later) still can’t get enough of. Believe me, if a toy can hold his attention for over a month, it’s a GOOD toy.

Cozy Coupe

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It’s an old classic. The Cozy Coupe. Time has changed this toy, though. The car now has a face! Maybe that’s Little Tikes response to Pixar’s Cars? Who knows!? All we know is that Luca loves this thing. It’s been too cold to take it for a spin outside, but he’s been pushed all around our house.

Teddy

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The best gift award might have to go to my uncle. He picked up these giant teddy bears for all the grandkids in the family. They are huge! This bear fit perfectly next to our couch, and Luca will snuggle up with a snack and sippy cup and relax in his lap. Teddy was also Luca’s best bud when he was home sick. Not the decor we were expecting for our living room, but I don’t see this guy living in the basement anytime soon.

Go Go Smart Wheels

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Luca is into trains and cars right now. He received a few VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels  sets (a fire station and a loop-de-loop racing set.) Each car/vehicle has its own set of sounds and phrases, which are triggered by different points along the tracks. With one, maybe two cars, this is a really cool toy. Very inventive. With five cars all whizzing and whurring at the same time, it’s the most annoying toy ever. I’m constantly turning off half the cars to keep the noise down.

Vacuum

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Who would have thought a little Dirt Devil would be such a hit in our house? Luca is an emulator, he’s a copycat. Whenever Lauren would vacuum, Luca would follow her around to help out. Now he can grab his own little vacuum and help. There’s nothing high-tech about this toy – it’s doesn’t actually do any cleaning, but it makes some noise and lights up when you press a button. For an 18-month-old, that’s all you need.

Books

“Books for Christmas?? What the heck is that?”

We got some great books for Christmas this year, and Luca has been happy to read the same few over and over and over and over again.

We especially dig Potty, and My First Colors: Let’s Learn Them All!

He’s a spoiled kid! We should have plenty to hold us over until the spring when we can start to play outside more.

Sorry for the lack of posts and content this week, and I’ll take the time now to apologize for any future lulls. We are currently working on a side project that’s eating up a lot of our time. But we’ll return to a normal schedule soon!

With that said, there’s not too much going on in our land, anyway. We are getting extremely antsy being ‘trapped’ indoors. The North East has been hit with a very harsh winter. Our snow totals are nothing to impress anyone but the temperature has been in the single digits more times than I can count.

And, like a typical winter, germs are out of control. I am such a #firsttimemom right now, but after dealing with Luca being sick for weeks (and Tom, and myself- twice), it is something I am trying so hard to avoid us picking up anything else.

That said, I’ve chosen to rule out many indoor play areas this winter. It’s a shame, yes, because that means we are spending the majority of our days at home. But everywhere we’ve been there are kids dripping with boogers and coughing all over everything and just … no. (Can’t wait to look back on this post in five years and laugh at this… probably.)

So, I’m bored. Luca doesn’t seem to care if we do the same puzzle a dozen times a day, but I do. I’m itching to get outside! In the meantime, you can find me day dreaming about playgrounds, boardwalks, jogging stroller runs, frozen yogurt, and barbecues.

25 days until spring!! Hang in there, everyone!

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At a music show at the mall. Luca was not impressed.

Thank you for the great feedback we got from Tom’s post last week!

I don’t know if Tom was feeling extra mushy because of my birthday and Love day (did you know on Daniel Tiger they’re not allowed to say Valentine’s Day?)- but I truly appreciated Tom’s opinion on my current ‘job’.

I’m here to talk from my perspective as a stay at home mom about how it affects our family.

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Holding off desperately for a haircut…

I did a little test this morning. Setting a timer for five minutes, I tallied the number of times Luca said “mom.” Total: 29. So, 29 x 12 = 348 in one hour. I estimate that he’s awake for 10.5 hours a day. So then 348x 10.5 = 3,654 times he says “mom” in one day (give or take).

Let me repeat that. 3,654 times he says “mom” in one day. Yep.

Don’t get me wrong. I do truly love that Luca talks a lot. And I do love that he’s obsessed with me (he is). But every once in awhile I get tired of it and really miss silence!

Since I stay at home with Luca instead of working, I am with him 1-on-1 for the majority of the week. He is a bonafide momma’s boy. He is extremely comfortable with me and comforted by me. And that’s a mother’s dream! Really!

I think it’s ingrained in a mom to nurture and comfort their child.  And I’m sure there’s a scientific reason why- hormones and stuff- but it makes you, as a mom, feel great.

Let me catch you up. Since we’ve been transitioning to one nap, Luca is overtired at bedtime and is hard(er) to put down. Once he falls asleep he’s okay usually, but it’s the act of falling asleep that’s been tough. As I told you all before, Luca is comforted by this mole that I have.

I’ve been putting him to bed more often than Tom lately because it’s easy for me. Every time Tom has gone through the routine, it’s ended with “No! Mommy! Please!!” And I try to resist him but ultimately, I’m weak.

So Tom is getting frustrated because all of the work he does to get Luca to sleep is reversed when I go in after him, and I am frustrated because Luca only wants me.

So that’s where we’re at right now. We are both pro-cry-it-out once we know that everything is okay (full belly, dry diaper, healthy, etc) so we will need to go for it again. We will update you on the progress that we make!