Tuesday, February 26, 2013

That one time...we went to Houston...back in December!!!

Ok wow - I realized when I was posting the last post on play dates that I never got around to posting about our trip to Houston and I keep going back to reference Vanessa's fabulous post.  So really, if you have read her post that she was very timely with, you probably don't need to read this one, as you are already well informed of the trip. However, I need to do a post of my own for my own blog records.  Because at some point (yes, at some point), I would like to make this blog into a yearly book and this was for sure one of the exciting things we did!!!

And here we go.

December 26...the day after Christmas we are at home, our little family of 3, working to take down all the Christmas decorations and packing for our first road trip over 6 hours as a family.  We made the 6 hour trip to Iowa earlier in December and Charlie did pretty good.  So we decided we were going to brave the approximately 12 hour drive to Houston, TX to spend a few days and some quality time with our friends the Calcara's!!  Hallmark closes down the week between Christmas and New Year's, so Jimmy and I both already were off work and the Calcara's had headed back to Texas after being in Kansas for Christmas just the day before, so it was perfect timing.  We decided (after some advice from them on the trip up here with Arden) to leave at Charlie's bedtime on the eveining of the 26th.  So we packed all day and got ready and after much back and forth texting with Vanessa because of the weather, we decided to leave at 7PM.  My cousin was staying at our house to watch our dogs while we were gone and once he arrived, we hit the road.

By the time we got to Wichita, Charlie was already awake and crying.  But we stayed strong and knew he was just tired and moving around, so I kept him in his car seat, Jimmy stopped for some caffiene and then we were back on the road and Charlie was back to sleep.  And he slept.  We drove through Oklahoma and made it to the Texas stateline.  Then Dallas.  At some point, Jimmy almost fell asleep so I started driving.  Then I kind of got us lost...we turned around...realized I was right before and turned back around.  I lasted driving for like an hour and a half and then had to stop and get some gum and sunflower seeds at a gas station.  I haven't had any caffeine (I'm crazy, right??) since Charlie was born, so I was trying my best to keep myself awake naturally.  But then Jimmy took over again.  Until 6:15AM.  Yep, Charlie slept that whole time and it was amazing.  Amazing I tell you.  We stopped at McDonald's, I fed Charlie, Jimmy got breakfast and a red box to watch in the car for me and we only had about an hour and a half until we were in Katy!!  Holy moly, best road trip ever with a 5 month old.  He was perfect.

And when we got there - it was just so exciting!!!  Walking in the door to their house this time not pregnant (because last time I visited Vanessa, we were BOTH pregnant but were so early we were both keeping it a secret.  But guess what?  Big fail because I didn't blog about that fun trip, but it did get a mention in this post) and with my little boy to hang out with my bff and her little girl - yep, it was going to be a good trip.

What did we do the whole time?  Whatever we wanted to...but per the usual these days, our lives and timing revolved around the kiddos.  The four of us hung out, ate, watched Arden and Charlie interact, comment on how cute and fun they are, hung out, ate, drank, and repeat.  With feedings and naps worked in of course.

Lots of sharing toys!  And Charlie hitting Arden.  Is he being a bully or a flirt?
There was lots of staring into each others eyes
Lots of dad drinking.  Um...beer belly anyone?!  Haha!
There was lots of loving on Hazel - she's just the cutest and sweetest!
There was more staring and toe eating and pictures! 
And of course posed pictures - they are just too cute!!
The boys posing with the delicious dinner they made us one night!
Charlie LOVED Arden's exersaucer Christmas present
The girls and the babies took a fun trip to the mall to walk around in our strollers, grabbed some lunch and did some shopping while the boys watched basketball at a bar.  Pretty much a fantastic day.  Then we had a day where the boys went to a movie in the early afternoon and then we traded and Vanessa and I went to a movie.

We did make it out to dinner one time all 6 of us to a delicious Mexican restaurant.  It's crazy to think that just 2 months ago these babies didn't sit up or anything, so we they were stuck in their car seats or in our laps during dinner - now they are both sitting up and rocking car seats at restaurants.  Shows you just how fast things change!!

Arden was not happy because her bow went in her eyes - poor thing!!

Just flirting after dinner (dinner was at like 5PM!)

Seriously - it was the best trip ever.  I have been in desperate need of just some time to hang out with Vanessa and talk and laugh and do nothing.  It was like we were back in our townhouse in college senior year (minus Emily and add 2 husbands and 2 babies...).  Perfect.  And it was so hard to leave because I literally wanted to move in right next door and both stay at home with our babies and hang out all the time and go to the super awesome new Kroger together during the day.  In a perfect world, that is exactly what would happen.  (Just so you know, when I get really stressed out and think...man...I would love my life to be X...the "X" is just that + be a millionaire, right?  one can dream....)

But then New Year's Eve rolled around and Vanessa wasn't feeling well at all.  That's not fun in general, but even less fun with a baby and EVEN less fun with houseguests, so when she decided the party they were hosting was off because she didn't want to infect anyone...we decided to hit the road.  So at 9AM, on 12/31...we set off back to Kansas.  Charlie did good...we stopped at Chipotle 2 hours in for lunch and that might have been the beginning of the disaster.

Literally, we got back in the car and he wouldn't nurse.  At all.  So I got frustrated and put him back in the car seat and just pumped in a bottle.  And that's what happened every time the whole way home.  After trying to nurse.  Not fun.  Oh and then he screamed and cried.  Like for 4 hours straight.  No clue what was wrong with him.  He wouldn't nap, he wasn't dirty and he would't eat.  Silly kid!!  Well, on top of that fun drive home, the weather was getting really bad.  We had decided to make a pit stop in Oklahoma City to visit our awesome friends Courtney and Brian.  They were SO sweet and made us some delicious dinner and got to hang out with Charlie.  Well - Charlie was not the best sport, but we finally got him to sleep in the nap nanny in their guest room while we ate and were trying to decide if we should stay with them for the night or brave the weather.

Ultimately, we just wanted to get home so bad and after looking at all the national weather channel info, we decided the turnpikes looked like they were ok.  Still not sure if that was the best plan of action as Jimmy said it was the worst driving conditions of his life and he had white and sore knuckles from concentrating on driving so hard.  But FINALLY - Charlie went to sleep.  We made a final stop in Wichita on the turnpike for gas and to change Charlie's diaper.  Good thing he slept the rest of the way home because I literally used the LAST diaper and the LAST wipe.  Talk about packing precisely!!

We rang in the new year driving in the middle of the night on icy roads.  So glamourous.  We need to do something fun next year to make up for this.  Finally, at 2AM on 1/1/13...17 hours later...we pulled into our driveway.  My cousin was staying at our house watching our dogs and he was so sweet to stay up and help us unload everything while I put Charlie to bed in his crib.

Charlie was NOT happy.  It was freezing too.

And that was that.  We had made it home.  We survived a road trip to Houston with a 5 month old.  People said we were crazy, but it was so fun and so perfect.  We loved getting to spend time with the Calcara's and especially getting to give some love to sweet little Arden.  It's so fun how much Charlie and Arden grow and change in just a short amount of time.  I'm so thankful for social media because even though we are away from them, we still get to see her grow through pictures.  Just cannot wait to get to hold that sweet little baby again soon!!

Vanessa and Chris - we wish you lived closer, but we had SUCH a blast and cannot wait for next time.  And next time it won't take me 2 months to blog about it.  And I will take more pictures.  Like at LEAST one of me and Vanessa and one of us and our kids.  #momfail

One thing that we did do - was put Charlie in one of Arden's headbands.  And we decided he would make a good looking baby girl too.  We are horrible.  And even worse, we documented it.  I'm sorry 10 year old Charlie - but you are just too cute!  And the weird thing that happened?  When I putting you down to nap one time you looked up at me...and all I saw was myself as a baby.  It was crazy.  So I had my mom send me a baby picture and check it out.  I think we look alike.  Love it.  So glad we have these babes now to keep us entertained!!!

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Snow storm: Round 1

Well it happened. The snow storm that was built up all last week actually came and dumped almost a foot of snow on the Kansas City area. I really thought nothing would happen after all the hype...but it did and we were snowed in yesterday!!

Check out a picture of our backyard.

I was all set to work from home because Charlie's school had announced it was going to close the night before, and Jimmy was going to play it by ear. Luckily he just decided to take the day off and stay home with us! We watched cars getting stranded on the highway and even had a few cars her stuck on the street right in front of our house (Jimmy got dressed to go out and help them...but by that time they had gotten unstuck!). Check out a picture of I35 that was on the news. Scary!!!  Usually people are just flying on this highway.

So we stayed warm while mom worked and dad changed the tvs around...and Charlie?? Well little Mr Independent just hung out. I was a little sad when I was working and could hear him just playing away right around the corner with all his toys. It's so bittersweet. I love his growing independence and hate everything about it all at once.

After a good nap and lunch, Jimmy went outside to tackle the driveway and I needed him to keep playing to finish up some work. He was bored with jumping and his toys...so we found a new toy in the kitchen spoon. It was a winner!!!!

And finally...I bundled him up and let him go outside with his dad. At least for a couple pictures. Boy am I glad I did- these boys are just the cutest!

We ended the evening with some school work, hot chocolate and watching Shark Tank. It was magical ;)

Charlie's school was canceled again on Friday and I had some meetings at work I needed to be at...so enter my parents, as they were having a snow day too...and were so nice to make it all the way over to our house and come at 6:45am!!!  Based on the videos and pictures that they were sending me all day and that my sister sent (she went over there too and then my cousin did when he got off work), they had a good time!

This is his "I'm EXCITED" face!!

My dad also got another driveway to play with his new toy...his snowblower...that he got last year but never really got to use because we didn't get snow.  Well....glad he has it now because our driveway was spotless.

So here we go for round 2.  Charlie's school closed early today and it's already closed for tomorrow (sheesh!!!), so that means this mama is working from home. And Jimmy was told to stay home from work too...so another family snow day!  How many days until SPRING!??  I think only 23....

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Mommy and me: 2nd edition

With a busy last few days involving 10+ inches of snow and a few snow days...we didn't get much blogging done. I intended to, but it just didn't happen. Had some laundry, work, school work and of course playing with our little guy that took priority.  And guess what?  It's snowing AGAIN!!  Holy moly!

One thing I did remember and was able to do?! Get a fun picture of me and my sweet boy this morning!!

He already looks like he's embarrassed of me.  Son - you better get used to it.  I'm pretty much obsessed with you...so I will make faces like this to get you to smile any day of the week.


Happy snow day #3 Kansas residents!! Stay safe and warm!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Pictures and memories

My friend, Vanessa, recently started participating in a "Mommy and Me" on Mondays on her blog, linking up to Dear Owen and Everyday Love. I thought it was such a cute idea but decided to not join the linking fun because really...how many GOOD pictures do I get of me and my little man?!? Very few. And really, I'm always the one taking the pictures and our self portraits are all but flattering. So I just figured I would skip it. Sounded like fun and liked looking at her pictures of her and Arden, but not for me.

And then on the intranet at work today, they had a link to this article which started a movement of such (read it, awesome article). A movement to not focus on getting "the perfect" picture but realizing it is taking the actual picture and capturing those memories and moments with your little one they matter. Read it. See what you think. I read it and teared up - like lump in my throat I wanted to start sobbing but I was at work and had to pull it together.

So there you have it...now on Monday's you'll see a pic of me and my man (hopefully, if I can remember). Whether we look cute or not, it's the moment and memory that matters.  I just wish that I could capture all our precious moments on camera - those laughs that we have every day and those sweet moments in his room when I'm rocking him and holding him.  I love every one of them.  Thank you for this article and this link up for helping me realize this.

My sleepy little man (and HEAVY 6.5 month old!)
Mom and Charlie before church on Sunday morning

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Valentine's day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  It's half way through February already - wow!!  

Hope you got your special someone a Valentine's Day card - Hallmark of course, right?  Only if you care enough to send the very best...and by the way, Hallmark did not make up Valentine's Day.  Don't believe me?  Well wikipedia knows all, so check it out here.

As we do for Valentine's Day and Halloween every year, we had to keep up the tradition of sending out Valentine's Day cards to our family members and a few close friends.  And this year, well it was a little more fun with Charlie here.  We made him Cupid (duh!) - completed with his own bow and arrow to shoot at the dogs.  Here are our cards:

Check out our cards from 2012 and 2011 also.

Here are a few outtakes from the photo shoot - it was interesting because I attempted to take there when Jimmy wasn't at home.  So I was VERY lucky to get even a few good ones.

it looks like Charlie has a 5 o'clock shadow in this picture....
Not quite sure about this...
And we're sick of pictures, so we'll chew on the bow
And then I had to take a few of Charlie by himself in his adorable "Single and Loving it" outfit that he's sporting at school today for their Valentine's Day party.

Funniest thing?  Vanessa sent me this text message on Tuesday afternoon saying that she loved the cards...however...Chris was wondering why I would send a card out of Charlie throwing up.  What?!?  Check out what they got in the mail.

Looks like it got messed up in the mail - however, it was the perfect spot that it literally looked like he was throwing up.  I was crying I was laughing so hard.  This is something that belongs on David Letterman.

Speaking of - I had a panic attack on Tuesday night about Valentine's for his classroom.  Since we just started at this new school, I didn't even think about it, but the classroom newsletter said something about it and to only bring them for the class if you want to.  Well - OF COURSE I want to.  So it was off to the Hallmark card shop I went.  Here's what I sent with him to school today...

On the inside was the only "semi-homemade" part.  Just a little circle that says "Happy heart day!  Can't wait to play!"

I tried to spruce up the front of the envelopes.  If only I was a lettering artist versus a financial analyst!  I do think it's hilarious that they are having a party in the infant room - but kind of neat.  The one year olds get cheese puffs as their "treat" and Charlie and his friends get rice cereal.  Haha.  Not much of a treat - but just a little something extra I guess!  I think Charlie made us something on Wednesday at school because he came home with red paint on his shirt and his teacher warned me that it wasn't blood, just paint.  I can't wait to see it!!

Finally, we don't have any plans for tonight since I have class on Thursdays.  But I'll be loving on my boys and then tomorrow evening, Jimmy and I are off to dinner together and then to the Zach Brown Band concert at the Sprint Center.  Cannot WAIT!!  These tickets were Jimmy's Christmas present and are just perfect because he's wanted to see ZBB play so many times but something is always happening or comes up.  So it means even more to him!!
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4 year blog anniversary

I cannot believe that it was 4 years ago today that I randomly started this blog with this silly post. I had no idea I would keep blogging for 4 years in a semi-consistent basis. But oh what changes my life has gone through these past 4 years. I'm so happy that I have had this space to document the good and bad.

Lets see- in the past 4 years my life has pretty much completely changed.

 On February 13, 2009, I:

  • Lived in a condo with my 2 dogs downtown KC
  • Was dating Jimmy but not engaged or married
  • Had a job in retail finance at Hallmark
  • In my spare time I volunteered for Pi Phi as an advisor

February 13, 2013, I:

  • Live in a house that Jimmy and I bought together in May 2009
  • Have been married to Jimmy for almost 3 years
  • Still work at hallmark, but work in sales finance
  • What spare time?? I am finishing up my MBA part time, work full time and have a sweet baby boy...spare time is non existent!

Crazy just looking at that super short list...as there are some pretty huge life changes in them. And how fun to have it all documented. And if you have been following along for even a short amount of time, you know that the documentation was of the good, the bad and the ugly that came with all those changes. This is my journal. This is now my family's journal. And I intend to keep it up and continue to be honest...as I want to look back and remember it all someday.

So thank you for following along. I know some of my friends and family have literally read all all 600  posts in the past 4 years (oddly enough it's exactly 600...this is the 601st post published - craziness). And some you might have thought I was over dramatic, provided you with TMI, or was just plain silly. But no matter what you thought- it's an honor to me that you've taken the time to come back and read them. It really does mean a lot!!!

What about some of my favorite posts?? Well here they are:
It's amusing to me looking back what I used to blog about.  I kind of miss those random posts - maybe I will bring some of them back.  Gym stalking one still gets me every time.

Blog goals for the next year!? Hmmm- keep it up and not to only blog about Charlie. I can't promise that because he's just so cute and consumes my life and heart, but there is other stuff that I think about!! Oh and I really want to make a yearly book. A blog book. So I can have something tangible. Because I love cyber space, but sometimes it's nice to have your stories literally in your hands.

Cheers to 4 years of blogging and lots of fun. I also have absolutely loved following other people's blogs so much. I feel like its this little community and I get more and more excited about it. So also a thank you for those that have your own blogs I follow, it's a pleasure and an honor to follow along your life!!!

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Week 28: Big changes

We started this week off with your 6 month appointment that was rescheduled from Monday to Tuesday.  You are a big, brave boy.  You did GREAT!!  Mom had to go with you alone and you didn't cry for too long.  Super healthy baby - besides this cough that you cannot seem to kick (and now I'm paranoid about RSV).  But you got a clean bill of health.  And guess what?  No shots at your 9 month appointment you lucky boy!!

We finally got some quality time together, just the 2 of us, and I loved every second of it.  Took me back to the good old days of maternity leave when we had all the time in the world to do whatever we wanted.  It was heaven.  And the nice weather had something to do with it too!

A big first?  The first time out to eat and you sat in a big boy highchair.  You loved it and so did mom...it was crazy seeing you sitting there looking so big.  I just cannot believe how much you change and how fast it happens.  Acting so big already!!

Finally, this week came the end of your first school/day care.  It was sad.  Really sad.  What was even more sad?  On Monday, taking you to the new school.  It was our decision and we think it was a good one for the future.  However, there was nothing wrong with where you were - you loved it and so did we, so it made it REALLY hard.  And I didn't realize how hard it would be on me to make that transition.  I trusted and knew the people at your old school.  They loved you...I knew it.  And I'm sure we will all warm up to the teachers at your new school - all we hear is great things - but it was just a change.  A big change and an adjustment for all of us.  And guess what?  You took three 6 oz bottles at day care and ate some rice cereal in the morning!  What the heck kid?  That is 3-4 ounces more in bottles than you've ever taken plus morning cereal.  I'm blaming the fact that you were "full" on why you wouldn't eat the green beans I made you for dinner.  AHH!!  It will get better and we'll get more comfortable and adjusted.  I'm just looking forward to having that feeling again because all I wanted to do was hold you all night long.

Here's to a better and more adjusted next week!!

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Mom-worthy catastrophes

I rarely ever cried or got super emotional before I got pregnant.  I, of course, like all women had my moments but I tended to follow the “I’m-mad-I’m-going-to-yell-lots” versus crying.  Something changed after carrying a baby around for 10 months inside my stomach and then pushing him into the world.  Just like that, I became a crier. 

First time I realized it was in June of 2012.  I cried.  At work.  I never do this.  My friend and co-worker, Lindsay, even commented on it.  What made me break?  The day care that we wanted to get into returning my phone call in which I let them know we were “so excited to have made the decision after 2 long days of thinking about it to take our son there”.  She told me they accidentally gave our spot up and he couldn’t come until February.  Cue all out sobbing and a tearful phone call to Jimmy to start the day.

And don’t even get me started right after Charlie arrived.  Any new mom can tell you.  I cried about everything.  Anything.  All things.  Who knew what was going to set me off.  I even got good at it…so much so that I could have tears streaming down my face and carry on a normal conversation.  My mom was a little freaked out by that.

I thought it would pass.  I am 6 months+ post-partum.  Back to normal, right? 

Ha.  I have realized that my emotional self might just be the new normal. 

Little things still set me off, but luckily it usually only equates to tears swelling up in my eyes and then I attempt to pull it together before they roll down my face.  Like staring at my sweet baby sleeping or seeing him sit up and grab toys out of the toy bucket all alone (those are the “growing up too fast tears”).  And even non-Charlie things can set me off…being so tired or overwhelmed I start crying or going through a tough time with a friend and being her shoulder to cry on. 

This weekend was one for the record books though.  I truly lived up to the “crying over spilled milk” phrase.

My worst nightmare happened.  The deep freeze where my liquid gold (aka breastmilk) lives was left cracked open.  I noticed it while I was changing the laundry…there was some water on the ground and I got a pit in my stomach and knew.  I just knew.  I opened the deep freeze and saw that things had started to thaw and I lost it.  I screamed as if I was in a scary movie and about to get murdered.  Then I started bawling.  Jimmy was in the middle of feeding Charlie his breakfast (rice cereal and banana) and he came running downstairs.  He thought I was dying.  I told him – “a little piece of me was”.  My MILK!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily…LUCKILY…I think the freezer had only popped open for a short amount of time.  I went through and got the 5 bags that had completely thawed that were right by the opening and then got a few that were for the most part thawed.  It was devastating.  I think it was 6-7 bags, completely wasted.  Makes me sick. Luckily, I was making baby food that we were going to use that day (versus freeze), so I used some of that and then took 3 fully defrosted bags to day care this morning.  So saved about half of it.  But I cried for like 15 minutes.  Jimmy actually was very sympathetic, which I appreciated.  That milk is my HARD work of pumping 3 times a day.  Staying hydrated.  Not drinking caffeine.  My liquid gold for my number one guy.  Thank God I caught the freezer open when I did – I’m not sure I would have been able to make it if all was lost.  I’m sure other mom’s that nursed, tried to nurse, or anything can sympathize.  Never thought I would cry so hard over it though.

It was a mom-catastrophe.  One that I still get a sick feeling in my stomach tinking about.  One that makes me want to run downstairs and check the deep freeze.  I think I will.

So I guess I’m going to have to accept the fact that this is the “new me” that cries over silly things and can also celebrate silly things (like Charlie having a HUGE poop at 4AM because he hadn’t pooped in 2 days…).  This is the mom-me.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 27: time is flying

Time flies when you are having fun, right?  Oh this couldn't be more true. You are growing up before our eyes and it's so awesome to see you learn and grow everyday.  You are sleeping better (hope writing this down doesn't jinx it) and eating lots more solids now.  It's crazy!!  You roll ALL over the crib when you sleep and found your voice...which means you are "talking" to us like crazy now!  You found out how much you love the dogs.

Mom and dad had a fun night out with friends this week on Saturday night and it was great for you to get to spend time with Nana and Papa and for us to get out.  We had a blast at Aquinas trivia, but I'm pretty sure I just showed people pictures of you the whole time.

Also - another PLAY DATE!!!  I need to blog about this one because you had so much fun hanging out with Arden and Jackson.  You guys are freaking adorable together.  Please always be best friends.  They are such good kids AND their parents are pretty cool too.

We ended this week with a superbowl party...you spent some quality time with Uncle Dr. Dan.  And you got to hang out with Mister the dog - you have a thing for dogs I think!

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