marvelous adventures

stories about Beatrice and Jovia

08 Sep

Indianapolis Canal Walk

I had an unexpected day off of work so the girls and I packed a picnic and went downtown to the Canal Walk. Beatrice had requested this outing, which made me happy because the canal is one of my favorite places so it’s exciting to see that she likes it as much as me! 

We saw ducks right away! We fed them our stale hamburger buns.

Well, Beatrice and I fed the ducks - Jovia just ate the stale bread.

And then Beatrice said “sorry duckies” (literally) and started eating the bread too. 

When we passed Fresco, Beatrice asked for some ice cream. We’ve clearly been to the canal a time or ten this summer. She knows the drill. 

At our picnic spot Beatrice ran around and Jovia licked everything. Cement, sidewalk, grass, everything. 

That mouth. Good grief.

I tried to get a picture of the two of them together. This exchange was the closest I got:

Sorry Jovie. Can’t even play with my nasty shoes without getting them swiped.

During our walk Beatrice asked me to fish a styrofoam cup and pop bottle out of the water. Her words: “littering is not nice”. LITTERING IS NOT NICE. I’ve never been more proud. Seriously, I think I was more excited about today’s anti-littering campaign than when she got potty trained.

04 Sep

A Visit to the Doctor

The girls had checkups today - 15 months for Jovie and 3 years for Beatrice. 

We promised Beatrice that she wasn’t going to be getting a shot, and prepared her by watching the doctor episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and going over what would happen, so she walked into the office with her head held high. 

When Beatrice turned two, the nurse wanted her to remove her beloved red sparkly shoes before getting weighed. Obviously, Beatrice became crazy and delirious over this idea, sobbing uncontrollably, and was unable to snap out of it for her entire visit. I had to get on the scale, and then get on the scale while holding her so that they could get her weight.

This year the nurse asked her to remove her shoes, Beatrice looked worried, and the nurse said it was ok, she didn’t have to. Then the nurse saw the red sparkly fanciness on B’s feet and remembered us. Apparently after the sparkly shoe incident of 2013, she no longer requires toddlers to take off their shoes if they don’t want to. So… there ya go. 

Beatrice Reynolds: Toddler Rights Activist

Beatrice did a really great job at her appointment, even if she was distracted and spinning circles during her eye test, and at one point smelled her feet and asked what that stinky smell was (the smell of her shoes could make a grown man faint). She was very brave during the appointment and I was impressed. My favorite part was when she was supposed to walk across the room and just… couldn’t… walk… normal… She did tippy toes, skips, spins, and eventually worked up to the naked Beatrice dance. 

What can I say, she just gets excited.

Beatrice stats:

Height: 36.25 inches, 30th percentile

Weight: 27.5 lbs, 20th percentile

She’s added a lot of height since last year but only gained 3.5 pounds. 

Our normally happy and easygoing kid is not impressed with the doctor. Jovia cried during the head measurement, the height check, being weighed… she is just not a fan. 

Take this moment to place your bets on Jovie’s size. Look at those thunder thighs and that belly in the above photo and remember what her favorite thing to do is (eat).

Jovie’s Stats:

Height: 29 inches, 10th percentile

Weight: 20 pounds, 10th percentile

Head: 47.7 cm, 90th percentile

TENTH PERCENTILE. What. NINTY percent of kids are bigger than her? This is not right. She’s huge! 

Apparently I don’t know what huge is.

When it was time for Jovia’s shots, Beatrice was supposed to sit by her head and comfort her. Instead, Beatrice stood up and stared in shock at the needles plunging into Jovia’s legs as Jovie screamed and I pinned her down. 

It’s a good thing Beatrice doesn’t have another shot scheduled until she’s five, because what she saw today will probably give her nightmares for a very long time.

Both girls are perfect and healthy! I will never stop being thankful for that!

20 Aug

Beatrice: First Day of Preschool

Beatrice has had a history of disliking people/social situations/being away from her parents/etc – and while I know most all kids have issues with those things, hers seemed worse. John thought preschool was necessary to get her over her fears, while I thought me quitting my job and homeschooling her for the rest of her life was a much better option.

I lost that argument.

Beatrice has grown up a lot since she turned 3 in July, developing a love for other kids and constantly chatting my ear off about who her friends are and where she wants to go with them. She’s been talking about her birthday celebration at the Children’s Museum for 6 weeks now, and that only included a whopping two friends.

I didn’t know what to expect with preschool, but on the classroom orientation day she made friends with a girl who was wearing a princess dress with princess gloves up to her elbows, and a little boy who shared the construction trucks with her. She went to the gym with the other kids without giving me a second glance. After the orientation she told me that on her Leader Day she’s going to bring her donkey as her show and tell, share bananas for a snack, and she’ll get to be the line leader. I’m pretty sure she has no idea what a line leader is, but that didn’t stop her from being excited about it.

Yesterday was the big first day of preschool. She woke up saying she was excited. We packed her backpack. She ate her entire first-day-of-school donut (as if we don’t have donuts every day around here…). She decided to forego the pineapple dress that she bought for the occasion, and put on her trusty flowered frock and red sparkly shoes instead. If it ain’t broke, right?


Do you think her backpack is big enough?

When we got to school we walked down the long hallways and passed multiple crying moms. I thought to myself, “come on ladies, it’s 2 days of 3 hour preschool each week. Get a hold of yourself.” Beatrice found her name outside of her classroom and hung up her backpack while some kid yelled, “LOOK MOM A LIGHTNING MCQUEEN BACKPACK! LOOK MOM! LOOK MOM!”. Beatrice thought this was funny. I took her into her class and she said hello to her teacher and… that’s it. She walked off and didn’t look back. No tears, no nothing. Just a big kid going to preschool.

That’s when I became one of those crying mothers in the hallway.

I tried to fight it. Couldn’t.



Beatrice: Age 3, First Day of Preschool: 8/19/2014

I feel teary right now just thinking about it. Motherhood has made me terribly soft.

Since I am an overprotective basketcase, I arrived way too early to pick her up from school so I had time to spy on her. There was Beatrice playing duck duck goose, having absolutely the best time of her life. I probably would have cried again if our new nanny hadn’t been with me, and one time of crying in front of her was quite enough. Beatrice looked like the happiest and most enthusiastic kid in the class. They had a story time after the game and she literally skipped to the mat. She spotted me halfway through the story, but just waved and went back to listening.

Who is this child?

After class she hugged Jovia over and over and kept saying, “I missed my sister!” which was the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. She talked nonstop about her new preschool bff, wondering when she can come to her house. I asked John if I should get the girls phone number from B’s teacher and he said no. Apparently that will peg me as a crazy mom.

So I’ll probably wait until, you know, next week to ask.

Beatrice told me about her snack (strawberries, graham crackers, chocolate milk), and about the story they read (Clifford’s First Day of School), and about the tree she painted, and about how some of the kids would fall down in the gym (with a demonstration). Kids falling never cease to amuse her. Later that night we played Duck Duck Goose as a family and she continued to talk about her bff, although her friend’s name morphed into a different name as the night went on.  She wanted to know if we’d like to go on the Sheep Farm Field Trip with her (duh, of course we will).

She is going to thrive in preschool. I’m so proud of that little rascal I could cry (again).


 Typical Jovie - not caring about anything but the food.

How do you drop your kids off at COLLEGE? I’m going to need sedatives for that one.  

03 Aug Tonight Beatrice got her first haircut-  at the age of three years and one month. I snipped it as she colored, which is, uh, interesting. 

Her hair looks so much better now. I feel bad for waiting so long to do it!

Tonight Beatrice got her first haircut- at the age of three years and one month. I snipped it as she colored, which is, uh, interesting.

Her hair looks so much better now. I feel bad for waiting so long to do it!

03 Jul



I am dropping off the face of the earth more and more frequently these days. A lot has happened around here lately. My sister got married. Jovia turned one and Beatrice turned three. Soccer and school are both over, and since I only work 4 days a week, it’s a three day weekend every weekend! This summer is the best and we’re taking advantage of every minute of it.

Around here lately:


- is now one and could care less about walking. She get’s downright angry if you try to make her walk while hanging on to your hands. If she was my first child I’d probably be freaking out, but since she’s the second she get’s a “whatever”, because surely she’ll walk eventually.

- loves, loves, LOVES water. She drinks a ridiculous amount of water and crawls around with a cup hanging out of her mouth. She puts her hand in any cup left unattended. She wants to be playing in the water table/bathtub/sink/etc whenever possible.

- she mimics the noises we make. My favorite is her fake snore.

- before she goes to sleep she needs ample time to flop around on our bed. It’s really weird but it’s probably the best part of her day.


- includes ‘Reynolds’ in our names (Mama Reynolds, Daddy Reynolds, Jovie Reynolds)

- she says the same word twice with an ‘and’ in-between. Examples: yummy and yummy, no and no, stinker and stinker.

- Remember Lambchop? Jovia has a Lambchop puppet, which has become B’s favorite thing of the moment. This means I spend much of my day talking in my Lambchop voice to Shamu, who is Lambchop’s bff. Lambchop even reads the bedtime stories these days. 

- as excited she was about her birthday, she still won’t own up to being three. I think this is because she knows three means potty time. 

John & I

- We go on bike rides almost every night. This is so fun for me that each time we go I think that maybe we should stop having kids. If we have another baby that means I’ll either be way pregnant or fresh off of childbirth next summer which means no bike rides either way. If you know me well, you know that these bike rides must be really great if they make me not want to have any more babies. 

- We’ve been in our house for a year and are FINALLY making it our own by painting and doing other little projects. It’s addicting and exciting. 

- We need a nanny asap. If you would like the job, let me know.

11 Jun

We’ve been singing the Brown Squirrel song, and today Beatrice told me that she doesn’t have that movie yet but would like to get it.

Unfortunately for her, the Brown Squirrel song is from my preschool days, circa 1988, and not from a movie. Although I think we have a vhs tape lying around somewhere, with my siblings and I singing our own version of the song (maybe while wearing thanksgiving costumes made out of paper bags? I’m not sure.).

Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.
Wrinkle up your Little Nose.
Hold a Nut between your Toes.
Brown Squirrel, Brown Squirrel, Swish your Bushy Tail.

19 May


15 May

Every night looks like this. For some reason their bath always makes them wild, so they run around like little hooligans. As soon as their pajamas are on, they are calm again.

14 May

On Growing Up

I remember the night before Beatrice’s first birthday like it was yesterday. I didn’t have a smash cake for her and went out late at night to find one. I roamed the aisles of Meijer, having a panic over the fact that the first year was already over. It happened so fast - too fast. I mourned the end of her babyhood, and worried about whether I was missing it all by going to work every day. 

When Jovia turned 10 months old those feelings returned. I would find myself staring at her, wondering where the time went. On the nights when she would fall asleep while nursing, I would rock that little girl for as long as I could. I couldn’t talk about her upcoming birthday without getting choked up. I want these girls to be my babies forever. 

A friend of mine unexpectedly lost her 2 month old baby this weekend. Suddenly I’m looking at the passing of time differently. Time is precious, and I should be celebrating each moment I’ve had with my girls, not mourning days gone by. 

After work today I laid on the floor of Beatrice’s room while she and Jovie played. I watched Beatrice lick her toe, and I laughed. Both of their little heads shot up and they crawled over to me, climbing right on top of my body while giggling. Jovia snatched my glasses off of my face and when I got them back on and my vision returned, there were two little sets of eyes staring at me from 4 inches away. 

There’s a quote by Kurt Vonnegut that says, “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realize they were big things.” Today, Beatrice’s toe-lick, their giggles, and these matching sets of brown eyes were one of those little things that I’ll remember forever. 

10 May

Books for the Two Year Old in your Life

We are a book loving family and our collection is wonderful. We both had a lot of books before we became a couple, but our preferences are different and I don’t think we had a single overlap. I brought the fiction and classic literature to the table, while John added his history and nonfiction books. Now that we have the girls our collection continues to grow with not only baby books, but also books I think they’ll like as they grow.

There are books wherever you turn in our house and we are always adding to our stock. I read on my kindle half of the time, but there’s nothing like having a proper book in your hand. Besides, I feel like we’re constantly staring at screens and I think it’s good for the girls to see us looking at an actual book instead of yet another screen. 

Our Beatrice continues to be a creature of habit, so we’re reading the same books, in the same order, every single night. This latest set is only 2 or 3 months old, and in our world that means they’re practically brand new. When we’re still reading them in September, come save us.

Now Presenting, Beatrice’s favorite books at 2 years, 10 months, and 7 days old (in the order that they are read every night):


Richard Scarry’s Great Big Schoolhouse

This is an enormous book and we don’t read all of the pages. It is vital that we visit the recess page (and play ring-around-the-rosie with the car of B’s choosing), and the doctor page. The doctor page is really out of hand. We act out a whole visit to the doctor. Sometimes her cars visit the doctor. Sometimes I cry because I’m so tired and just want to go to sleep. These big Richard Scarry books are great because there’s so much to look at on each page. My grandma Yoder had them when I was a kid, so it’s like a blast from the past every time I read them.


Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

Obviously Bearice is obsessed with this book - are you surprised? She’s really great at finding Goldbug on each page. She asks me questions about vehicles she hasn’t seen before (like the steamroller) and then is excited when she spots them in real life. This is a good church book because of the whole Goldbug aspect. He’s hidden just well enough that it takes awhile to find him, but not so long that Beatrice gets bored.


Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

A couple of months ago John lost his mind after reading Our Town for 6 months straight. We packed the girls in the car and went to every book-selling store within a 20 minute radius looking for something new. Beatrice snubbed every book we found, but finally this one peaked her interest. Of course, when we got home she decided that I would be reading it, not John. 

That night Our Town disappeared… desperate times, you know…

Anyway, this book is great. It has little rhymes that are easy to remember and we tend to recite them as we watch the construction trucks in our neighborhood (perks of living in a new development). This is one of my favorite kids books. I’ll probably be buying a copy for all of the upcoming baby showers I attend.

Because of this book Beatrice is now obsessed with the idea of getting a yellow cement truck for her birthday.


Tiger Can’t Sleep

We’ve held a pretty strict 3 book rule at bedtime, but a few weeks ago Beatrice started slyly slipping this book into the stack. It was hilarious to watch her be so sneaky, and I guess she caught me at the right time, because now this one is in the regular rotation.  

This book has lots of sound effects - booms and QUIETS and kerthumps - and I often hear Beatrice making the noises after I’ve left her room for the night. It’s another fun book to read, mostly because it cracks Beatrice up, which in turn cracks me up. She reads along with me and her favorite line is “my eyes popped open”, which she then does her own impression of.

This book was given to me at my baby shower by my sweet friend Elizabeth Koch. She wrote a note in the front and it makes me smile every time I open up the book.

Four books and 5 hours later, it’s John’s turn. Beatrice is very particular about what books are to be read by me, and which ones are John’s, so I haven’t read the following books very often if at all. He reads:


Mr. Seahorse

John has been reading this book forever. We’re talking 8 months I bet. I’m not sure how he does it. He has different voices for each of the fish, which is probably how he got in this hole. This is one of Jovia’s top 3 books too. 


K is for Kick

This is the book that replaced the late Our Town. I’ve never read this one, but Beatrice and John seem to like it. 


Go, Dog. Go!

Ah, a classic. Beatrice has loved this book forever. It was in my set of bedtime books a year ago, but now it’s John’s turn to read it. Beatrice loves dogs and cars, so it’s only natural that she’d be obsessed with this book!

*all links are affiliate links