Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Memories

Sadly, Christmas is over.  All that build up and in a blink of an eye it's over.  POOF!

Abby had a super exciting day and has not put her Jesse toy down since she opened it!  It even came shopping with us yesterday (for the record, shopping the day after Christmas is not a good idea with 2 kids... AAHHHHH).

I hope that Santa was as good to all of you as he was to me!  I got a snazzy new camera that is so fancy, I was actually afraid to open the box!  I have got a lot to learn but I'm super excited!  My husband is too good to me sometimes!

One of the gifts that meant the most was actually not given to me, but to Abby.  Attached to her gift bag from my Aunt was an ornament.  We thought it was so strange that the ornament had a G on it but I thought that maybe she just hadn't noticed it.  Turns out, this was one of my Mom's ornaments from when she was about 18 and they lived together.  It's been on my Aunt's tree every year since then and she decided to take it off this year and give it to us.  How sweet is that?

The cool part is, that me and Dan collect ornaments.  Most of our ornaments are sentimental and hold memories from places we go.  Our wedding favors were even handmade ornaments!

We started during when Dan came home from Iraq and we went to Niagara Falls.  Unfortunately, that one is lost somewhere in the tree right now... can you see it because I can't!

I even have an ornament given to me by my Grandmother on my very first Christmas.

I'm crazy when it comes to labeling because one year there were a bunch that I wasn't sure where they came from.  Now that the season is over, all of these ornaments and memories attached to them will get tucked away in a closet.  We'll collect new ones throughout the year and reminisce as we decorate for Christmas 2012!

Hope you all had a Merry Merry Christmas and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fa La La La La

We are in full Christmas mode but have so much left to do!  Abby is literally counting down the days until Santa comes!  She still won't take a picture with him but was ambushed yesterday.  We went to see some Christmas lights and Santa was there.  She debated whether to go see him but she couldn't resist the candy cane!
I wish I was just a little quicker!  
We've also been spending time making salt dough ornaments, which is apparently serious business!

And, making (eating) a gingerbread choo choo train!

Oh, and we've been wrapping presents like crazy.  Well, the ones that are here.  Did I mention I have a terrible habit of mailing things to the wrong address?  I know I'm an airhead!  A few months ago I had something mailed to my old apartment, which my old landlord thankfully intercepted for me.  This time I had stuff mailed to my mom's house which is where my brothers still live.  So, wrapping won't officially be done until Christmas Eve but we're close!

Tonight starts the baking extravaganza!  Too much to do and too little time, especially with an infant who has a tendency to scream from 8 til 11 at night!  I feel an all nighter coming up soon!

What are you all up to for the holidays?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No Momma... No Santa!!!

We have been hyping up Christmas around here since before Thanksgiving mainly because we love Christmas and partly because Abby is totally fascinated with Halloween still.  This is the first year that she actually 'gets' the holidays which is super fun to be a part of.

However, we did not anticipate that she would fear Santa.  It's something I really wish I would have known prior to going to a tree lighting and standing in line freezing my buns off for an hour.  All was good until we had an 'accident'.  You know, the 'I've been doing so good at potty training that my parents forgot to remind me to use the potty before we stood in line for an hour' type of accident.  Here we are, in line, just me and the girls and Abby announces "I have to go pee pee momma."

I try to quickly think where, in this crowd of hundreds of people, I could take her and Lilly who is in a stroller.  I am quietly cursing my husband and dad for going to get food at the worst time because clearly they should have known this would happen.  I try to ask her if she can hold it for a minute and she panics while screaming, "I HAVE TO GO PEE PEE!"  By the time the words came out of her mouth, she was already going.  AWESOME!

The nice people in line ahead of us tell me that they'll hold our place in line but, more importantly, let my husband know where I went since I (of course) forgot my cell phone.  Not that it matters because Dan never carries his phone anyway, but that's a whole other story.

We try to maneuver as quickly as possible to the nearest bathroom.  Big clunky stroller, hysterical toddler, and crowds do not mix!  We make our way to the nearest coffee shop and are second in line, thanks for nothing lady who wouldn't let us go first!!!

So, we clean up and go back to line.  I'm sweating but Abby seems happy again so we're good, or so I thought.  We get back in line a few minutes before the parade starts and the excitement of seeing Santa starts to build.

Well, for all the kids but mine.  Abby becomes hysterical again.  "No Mama, No Santa.  I no like Santa!"

What?!?  Who doesn't like Santa? Totally crazy!  We thought that she would eventually come around but no such luck.  She was begging us to take her home.  She wouldn't even glance at the parade.  She wrapped herself around whoever would hold her with a death grip.  I felt like I was literally torturing her with every extra minute we stood there.

Needless to say, after an hour in line and a pee pee fiasco behind us, we had to leave without seeing Jolly Old St. Nick because Abby doesn't like him.

You would think that this would mean that we could go ahead and skip the whole present thing but apparently the big guy is good enough to bring her gifts because she has requested:

  • Lightning McQueen
  • Beast (from Beauty and the Beast but I think she means Belle)
  • A Horse (black one and a brown one)
  • Snacks
  • Snow White
  • Pooh Bear Movie
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Water
  • Puddles
  • Doll house
  • Doodle Bear
  • Jessie Doll
Does anyone know how to gift wrap puddles?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bye Bye Baby Weight!

One of the best parts about having a baby, aside from the obvious being Lilly, is losing the weight after.  I have always struggled with my weight and gained entirely too much with both pregnancies.  It wasn't as big of an issue after Abby because I was still smaller than I ever was at my heaviest.  This time it's different because I was still carrying the extra fluff from the first time so even though I gained less with Lilly, I am now heavier than I have ever been.

That was enough to make me really WANT to change things this time, hopefully for good.  So, 5 weeks have gone by and I'm down about 25 lbs by just eating healthier!  WOO HOO!!  I had a little setback with Thanksgiving (far too many cookies and too few people to share them with) but I finally made up for it!

The biggest hurdle I've always had to overcome was saying NO to all the goodies.  I'm a snacker and if I have it in the house then I'll eat it.  I mean, I will go to bed wanting it and then wake up craving it and will not be satisfied until it's gone which leaves me feeling guilty.  I will quite literally hide in the kitchen stuffing my face!  Yes, I am a fat kid at heart.

Holidays are the worse because they revolve around food, especially the cookies and cakes.  The thought of limiting what we bake is painful to even think about!  So, my goal is to lose at least 5 lbs by Christmas so that I don't set myself back to where I was for Thanksgiving.  It's going to take a lot of planning and will power but I'm in because my long term goal is to lose 40 more... 20 will put me back to where I was pre-Lilly and another 20 will put me back to where I was pre-Abby.

I plan on keeping you all updated throughout my journey and would love to hear any tips or tricks you may have!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fast and Furious!

No pregnancy is ever complete without the birth story and the story of Lilly's arrival is definitely entertaining... to all those who didn't have to experience the pain!

Since Abby was 2 weeks early, I figured Lilly would be too.  I at least knew enough to be ready.  So, I was pretty much packed and had all the important numbers I needed to get in touch with Dan and my sister.

Here's a quick breakdown of how Lilly arrived:

October 27th (our wedding anniversary):  3 cm dilated so every twinge put me on high alert.  That made for a great dinner celebration, let me tell ya!

October 31st (Halloween):  Still not here but now my back is starting to hurt so I was sure tonight would be the night!  I was confident that all the walking would accelerate the process.  When I started having contractions that night, I called Dan home but by the time he got here they were gone.  OOPS, false alarm!

Fearing that I'd become the 'girl who cried labor', I started keeping things to myself so that I would be sure the next time.  Days went by and on November 2nd I went back to the doc and was still only 3 cm dilated.

That night, I started having contractions again but I kept telling myself it could be because of the exam. So, I kept things to myself until later that night.  When they were 3 to 4 minutes apart but not too strong I called Dan to come home again.  Since they weren't strong and sometimes only lasted about 5 seconds I figured this was another false alarm and tried to get some sleep.  My thoughts were that if I could sleep then it's not labor because no one could possibly sleep through labor, right!?!

Around 3, my contractions woke me up but they still weren't steady nor were they that strong.  My water had broken with Abby so I thought it would break this time too.  Even though it hadn't, I called the hospital and asked them what I should do.  They said that since my contractions weren't steady and were only lasting anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds then I probably wasn't in true labor.  She told me to stay home until they were about a minute long unless the pain increased.

So, I stayed home.  Almost a BIG mistake!  Thankfully, Dan and I started getting ready anyway just in case.  A couple hours later, I took a shower and by the time I got out I could hardly move to get dressed!  In true airhead fashion, I wasn't sure if this was it.  The contractions still weren't a minute long but now they were coming every minute or less!  Off to the hospital we went!

The 15 minute car ride was unbearable!  We pulled up at 5:37 and Lilly was born at 6:33... after the longest hour of my life!  No epidural meant there were lots of 'mother effers' thrown out there (sorry nurses!) and my poor husband definitely got beat up a bit (only a little sorry for that)!  The doctor literally walked in, suited up, and she was out in two contractions!  Fast and furious for sure but well worth it!

So, lesson learned.  Contractions will not always be a minute long or steady.  For those of you who are expecting, if you think it could be labor then it probably is!  I probably could have had her in the car on the side of the road!  Thank god it wasn't too bumpy of a ride!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Here I Am Again... with Someone New to Introduce!

Could it be... am I actually going to update this little blog of mine?

Yup I am!!!

After a long hiatus and a couple random posts in between, I've decided to try my hand at blogging one more time.  I miss it... lots.

It's not that I haven't had tons that I've wanted to write about, because trust me when I say that there is always something going on, but I've been focused too much on the negative things going on.  This blog was meant to be a place where I celebrate the bright side of things or poke fun at the things that drive me crazy.  Unfortunately, laughing at things was hard for a little while.  Maybe my pregnancy hormones were affected my brain because I was just dwelling on negativity.  So, finding inspiration was hard even when I know it shouldn't have been.

But, I'm starting to think of things a little different.  I'm slowly starting to feel like my old self.  The things that were troubling me are still there and will tug at my heart until they change but I need to focus on the good things.

Good things.... like my girls!  Yup, Lilly was born on November 3 and she is absolutely adorable!

Of course, to me she was instantly just another member of our family and I loved her to pieces.  I wasn't sure how Abby would react towards her.  For months she's been waiting for her to come out of my belly.  For months she's been talking to her and giving my belly kisses.  But all that is way different than seeing a real life baby!  It amazed me and warmed my heart to see how she instantly accepted her as her sister.  She adores her and can't wait to see her every morning.
How proud is she?  She's the best big sister! And she put that awesome outfit together all by herself too!

On the other hand, she has become a bit more clingy and she's been testing us a bit but I'm sure we'll work that through.

So, now that I got my mind retrained to focus on all the goodness in my life, I promise I'm back!  Can't wait to catch up with all of you!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Here I Am!!!

Wow, another long break in blogging for me.  It has really been hard for me to keep up with blogging during this pregnancy (and really hope you all are still reading).  I am just so TIRED!!!  I am also an emotional basket case... up and down, up and down... I just never know how I'm going to feel from one moment to the next.  It's frustrating, especially for my poor husband.

Other than mood swings and being tired all the time, this pregnancy has been going great.  I'm 28 weeks along and had to take my sugar test today.  I am a little nervous for the results since I had gestational diabetes last time.  In anticipation of not being able to eat anything fun soon, I stopped at Panera on my way home from the test for a bagel and an iced caramel latte with soy milk and whip cream.

After that last statement, I'm sure no one is surprised that I gained a little too much wait this past month.  Oh, and the month before.  Oops!  But in the big picture my weight gain is on track.  Basically, I gained very little the first few months but made up for it this past two.  It will always amaze me how such an itty bitty baby could make a person so hungry!

In my own defense, I have been working out regularly.  I love my Youtube exercise videos (I highly recommend this series of workouts) and run 1.5 miles 3 to 4 times a week on the elliptical.  It's not crazy intense but it's something.  So, I'm hoping this extra weight gain is more baby than fluff but we shall see.

By far the cutest part about being pregnant is Abby's reaction.  She can not wait to meet baby sister!  She's been to the past few doctor appointments with me and behaves shockingly well!  Except for the time when she was confused why baby sister was still in my belly and kept lifting my shirt yelling, "OPEN MOMMA!"  Guess she was ready for baby sister to be here.  I'm hoping that she's just as excited once she's here!

Notice how I referred to her as "baby sister?"  Well, the prepared parents that we are have yet to pick a name.  Or order a crib.  Or move my sister out of her room (and into the bedroom downstairs).  Or get a car seat.  Or get anything else one would need to care for a newborn baby.  With Abby, things were ready so early!  We had a name, a plan, we were good to go!  This time... not so much.  It's crunch time!

One last thing to catch you up in this long update.  I am forever in awe of how fast Abby grows and changes.  When we went on vacation last year,  she absolutely hated the sand and the water.  This year, she was such a brave girl.  We couldn't keep her out of the water and the sand!  Not to mention how many more rides she was able to go on at the amusement park and all by herself too!  It's amazing to see how quick things change.  I can't wait to see what next year's vacation is like with baby sister!

Monday, July 18, 2011

When She Grows Up...

Everyday Abby learns something new and everyday she makes me laugh.  One of the things that I love to do is just watch her play.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm getting a sneak peak into her future and seeing the start of a life long passion.

For example, she LOVES shoes.  She insists on wearing new shoes out of the store.  Her love of shoes recently went a step further when I saw her doing this:

I asked her what she was doing and she told me that those were her shoes!  There she goes designing her own shoes already!  Perhaps she'll be a fashion designer!

Then theres her love of singing and dancing.  I mean take a look at this face... is she a future rock star or what?

Then theres her natural artistic ability.  The concentration.  The use of colors.  Totally a budding artist!

Or maybe tattoo artist?

I can't forget the drama.  She literally stood in front of oven one day, staring at her reflection and practicing her sad face.  She has even learned to cry on demand!  Maybe she'll be an actress or a model?

The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

It's Hard to Believe 2 Years Have Gone By

Here we are at the 2 year mark.  Two years since my Mom has been here.  It's hard to believe.  There are so many times I still want to call her.  Sometimes whether I told her something or whether she was somewhere is fuzzy... I can picture her talking to me about something but then realize it would be impossible.  She was just always there, always available to chat so sometimes my mind plays tricks on me.

It's crazy to think of all the things that she wasn't here for.  The little things. Abby's first words and steps.  The funny things she does.  The gossip from family get togethers.  Then there's the big things.  A new baby.  A new home.  Family tensions.

She's been missed, by so many.  The longer she's gone, the more I learn, the more I admire her.  The pain is still just as raw but it surfaces a little less now.  I'm sure it will always be there.  I try not to focus on the sadness because I know I need to move forward.

I read this the other day in Mitch Albom's book "Have a Little Faith" and I thought I would share.  It follows a story as told by Rabbi Albert Lewis during one of his sermons.

"My friends, if we tend to the things that are important in life, if we are right with those we love and behave in line with our faith, our lives will not be cursed with the aching throb of unfulfilled business.  Our words will always be sincere, our embraces will be tight.  We will never wallow in the agony of 'I could have, I should have.' We can sleep in a storm.  And when it's time, our good byes will be complete."

There is no greater lesson we can learn and losing my Mom so young has taught me this lesson well.  Do what's right, treat people right and keep your regrets to a minimum.  Make sure the ones you love know it and try hard to bite your tongue when you're angry.  When I think back to how I treated my Mom, I think I was pretty good to her.  However, there are some things that I wish I wouldn't have said or done.  I was young, stressed, tired.... so many excuses.  But those moments are ones I can't get back.  I try to remind myself daily to not make the same mistake but it's sometimes hard.  All a person can do is try.

Mom, I miss you every day and I am forever grateful that our last words to one another were "I love you."  

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Celebrating with a BBQ, Fireworks, and Reptiles?!?

The 4th of July always meant big family parties when I was a kid.  There would be family, food, and laughs and a strong sense of patriotism.  Over the years the party has gotten smaller as family has moved away, including myself.  With Dan's schedule as crazy as it is (he's working midnights right now) and family 4 hours away or more, we typically celebrate some holidays much smaller than my childhood memories.  Small is not always a bad thing because we're flexible enough to pick and choose what we want to do and yesterday proved to be a crazy sort of day filled with surprises.

My sister and I took Abby to a bouncy house first thing in the morning.  She had an absolute blast!  She's one of the toughest kids I've ever met and held her own with the older kids.  I held my breathe half the time and after 45 minutes my nerves were just shot!  We left, she cried hysterically, and went for lunch where they gave her all the necessary accessories to become a pirate!  Awesome!

After a much needed nap (not for me unfortunately), we sang some patriotic songs.  I discovered 2 things:  one, I have forgotten most of what I learned as a child and two, there is a serious shortage of upbeat patriotic songs.

When I finally woke Dan up Dan finally woke up, we went outside to BBQ and have some fun in the sprinkler before getting ready for fireworks.

This is where it gets a little crazy.  We drove all the way to the fireworks and paid $5 to park our car.  We walked from our car to the actual fireworks location which took about 40 minutes since Abby refuses to use a stroller (and hasn't for at least 6 months now).  At which point, Dan looks at me and says there is no way we're getting back to the car and getting home in time for him to be a work.  So, after a million "What do you want to do?  I don't know... What do you want to do?", we walked back to the car and made our way out of the busy lot to find a location further away but less crowded to see fireworks.

The only way to get Abby to go faster than the first walk was to promise her ice cream so we stopped at McDonald's on our way.  As we walk out of our car we see this:

and this:

Apparently the owner of these animals rescues them and does kids parties.  I'm still confused as to why he was outside McD's but it was interesting to say the least.  Abby, as always, was fearless and enjoyed eating her ice cream cone surrounded by Boa Constrictors!

We then left McD's and could not decide where the best place to park was.  We also couldn't figure out where to look.  We also couldn't figure out what time it would actually start.  Finally, we decided to drive over the bridge and back.  As luck would have it, traffic on the bridge closed on our way back as soon as the fireworks started so we got to see the show from what I think was the best spot!  Abby's face was priceless!

I hope you and your family had an fun filled holiday!  

Thursday, June 30, 2011


Hi Everyone!!

Well, it's been way too long since the last time I posted.  I have a million excuses.  We've been busy and I've been tired... and hormonal.  My emotions with this pregnancy are all over the place and there are some days that I feel down right depressed.  If I'm not happy than I don't write because who wants to listen to me be a downer?  I don't even like myself when I'm like that!

So, anyways... we got some good news today!  Much to my surprise, we're having another girl!!  I'm so excited but totally shocked!  Everything is so different with this pregnancy that I was convinced I was having a boy.  After 3 checks from the ultrasound tech today we are 100% certain that my intuition was wrong!

The cutest thing ever had to be when we gave Abby the picture of her baby sister.  She smiled ear to ear.  Held it all the way to the store and while we were shopping.  She showed it off to woman at the register. Proud as can be!  I hope she stays that happy to be a big sister once November gets here!

So, for now, I leave you with a picture of Baby Girl #2.  I hope to not be gone for so long this time because I miss blogging a lot.  Not blogging has caused me to become addicted to entirely too many tv shows.. NCIS is my newest fave and I even found myself watching a NY Ink marathon the other day!  Hope everything is going good in your neck of the woods!

Monday, May 2, 2011

First, I really need to say a big Thank You to all of our troops!  Let's pray that today marks a turning point for our world to return to peace again so that all of our troops can start coming home!

So, I really didn't intend to take such a long blogging break.  I thought that confronting my block would help but life has been a bit hectic and this little blog of mine has been terribly neglected.  Honestly, I have only been spending about a fraction of the time I normally do online.  The strangest thing is that I still don't feel like I have gotten any thing extra accomplished with my day.  Go figure!

The first exciting thing to happen these past few weeks was that we went out and finally bought a new car!  I can not tell you how happy I am to finally have some wheels on the days that Dan works.  I am not too happy about the payment but I guess that's just the way it works.  I am also not too happy that gas prices are so incredibly ridiculous which makes road trips still hard to plan.  If only I could just win the lottery!!

We also had a very special birthday to celebrate!  Abby's 2nd birthday was filled with lots of family and fun.  The party was on Sunday but half the party showed up the day before so it was a jam packed weekend!  All the cleaning, planning and cooking was definitely worth it because Abby had a blast!
Then we took her back to Clark's Farm on her actually birthday so she could run around and pet some of the animals.  She loved it!!  I tried to recreate some of the photos we took the year before but she isn't all that cooperative in front of the camera.  She either doesn't look at me or she runs up to me yelling "Cheese!" which makes my picture look like this:

We also got a new room mate!  My sister decided she wanted to live closer so she's going to be staying with us for a while.  I have been so far away from family for the past few years so I couldn't be happier having her here!  Abby is absolutely loving all of the extra attention too.

We were also lucky enough to have some beautiful weather so we've been trying to get outside to enjoy it.  We did some Easter egg hunting and we even walked to our local beach!  Abby can't wait to jump in the water!

And the biggest news!  The news that I have been dying to share but wanted to tell my Grandmother in person before I told any of my bloggy buddies is......

Yup... baby #2 is on it's way!  The expected due date is November 19th and I am super excited!  This wasn't exactly a planned thing but it's definitely a happy surprise.  This is probably the biggest reason that I haven't been blogging lately.  This baby has totally wiped me out.  I was nauseous day and night and just looking at the computer screen was making my world spin.  Thankfully, I think I'm slowly getting past that and I'm hoping it's smooth sailing from now until November.

So, there you have it.  We've been celebrating some pretty big things... birthdays, Easter, pregnancy... oh my!  We've also had lots of visitors and my sister moved in.  All that on top of morning sickness!  But, the good news is that I'm back and I can't wait to catch up with all of you!
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Thursday, March 31, 2011

I Ain't Got Nuffin'

I have 3 posts in draft right now.  I also just deleted a 3 paragraph post about 10 seconds ago.

I am blocked.  There is nothing that I feel really compelled to write about except for one thing.  The problem is that it's the one thing that I can't share... right now.

I think we are all careful what we write sometimes, good or bad.  It's not an easy thing though because sometimes the one the thing you can't right about is the biggest thing going on.

Like I said, I keep trying to write something but it feels fake.  It feels forced.  So, I just keep going back to the drawing board.

I promise I'll be back.  I promise I'll fill you in and won't be so vague.  I promise that sometime soon I'll have something to write that I'm allowed to write about.  Soon.....

But for now I'll leave you with a funny website that you'll hopefully find as hilarious as I did!  http://damnyouautocorrect.com/

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Midnight Snack?

There were times in college that I'd be studying for a big test and I would fall asleep right there on my books.  I would always hope that I absorbed some knowledge through osmosis but my test results would disprove this theory.

Abby, on the other hand, may be on to something.  She loves books and even asks for a book when she goes to bed.  How cute, right?

Well, I recently discovered that she has a very nontraditional way of getting her knowledge as well.

Does ingesting a book make you really smart?  


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