Monday, April 30, 2012

Drowning Under a Mound of Laundry

Please excuse my little hiatus!  I haven't been able to catch up since Abby's party.  Then there was a trip to the zoo and a visit to New Jersey for a long weekend. I don't why, but it takes me forever to recover... cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, oh my!  And of course, we also had a virus run through the house!  So FUN!

I feel like I have been trying to get the clutter off my table for the past two weeks.  Every time I make a dent in it, mail comes and there's even more.  I finally got the thank you cards written and mailed so the stack cards can finally go away but we still have sorting to do.

And let's not talk about laundry!  I do most of the laundry in the house.  Dan will do his uniforms occasionally (when he NEEDS to).  I did loads upon loads of laundry before we left for NJ and then came home and did just as much.  Never ending!  Although, I did come home to a surprise in my laundry room that makes up for his lack of laundering:

These replaced two old brown cabinets (sorry, no before pics!) that were in there making the room seem dark and small.  I absolutely LOVE it!  We have one more shelf to put in right over the washer and dryer but that should be done soon!  Can't wait!

Speaking of laundry, I made even more laundry for myself by rotating Lilly's clothes.  She's moving into the 3-6 months size already.  Some of the newborn stuff from her and Abby was packed up and shipped off to my cousin who is expecting her first in May.  I have to say, I cried a little.  It's so hard to say good bye to the newborn days since I am pretty sure we are sticking to just 2.  I'm ok with that but it's still bittersweet.

Off to do laundry... yet again! Does anyone else agree that the worst part is putting it all away?  Especially those little tiny baby clothes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Let's Hear it for the Birthday Girl!

My little baby celebrated her 3rd birthday this past Saturday.


It is hard to believe that it has been 3 whole years.  In some ways, I feel like she's always been here since I can't imagine my world without her.

In other ways, it has gone by in the blink of an eye.

It's hard to imagine that this dancing, running, climbing bundle of energy was once a tiny newborn who could barely open her eyes.

From itty bitty new baby, she turned into a smiling infant with a bigger than life personality slowly emerging.

From infant, she became a toddler who was running by her first birthday.  Her laughter is infectious and her energy literally comes out of her fingertips.

And now, she's a preschooler.  Any traces of baby are slowly leaving.  She is now a little girl.  A kid.

And, her personality is still larger than life.  She's my rockstar.

She's more than just a bit stubborn and always insists on doing things herself or her own way.

She is the best big sister and always looking for ways to make Lilly happy.  If I forget Lilly's toy, Abby will ask me to go back in to get it.  How can I say no to such an unselfish request?

She's smart.  She loves when I come up with 'lessons' and we sit and learn.  Right now volcanoes are her favorite and she loves to tell everyone what she knows.  I love to look on and the feeling of pride is sometimes overwhelming.

My Abby, the reason I have the most important title in the world:  Mom.  She came into my life right when I needed her the most.  During those dark days, she was my light.  A toothless smile was all it took to make me feel like no matter what, everything would be ok.

Now, instead of toothless smiles I get hugs and kisses and cuddles and the sporadic 'I love you'.  The words and phrases she picks up are so funny.  Like the other day when she just kept repeating, "I love hanging out with my family."

Her birthday, in her own words, was the best birthday ever.  Complete with her best friend and her first crush (yes, and she's been crushing on him for a year so this is serious!).  She got everything her little heart desired from a Toy Story cake to a Dinosaur Train toy and even fireworks at the end.  The firework request was at the end of the night and wouldn't you know that Dan had some stashed away.  Lucky kid let me tell ya!

But really, I am the lucky one.  I have a good little girl whose smart, caring, and responsible enough to let us know when her friends were making there way out of the drive way.  I am one lucky, proud Mommy!  Happy Birthday, you will always be my baby!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

I used to work for Estee Lauder (seems like ages ago).  I managed a counter in a department store and it was by far my favorite job.  It always amazed how a little pampering could turn a person's whole day around.  I made over all types of faces:  prom goers, brides to be, mother/sisters/aunts/friends of brides, new moms, cancer patients, and once even a transvestite (that's a whole other post).

I loved always being introduced to new products and became a bit of a product junkie.  My world revolved around samples, free gifts, and new product launches.  Since becoming a mom, I've had to cut back on some of the pricier things but there are some that I will NEVER let go of.

I'm linking up with Mama Kat's Writers Workshop and answering the prompt:  Share on of your favorite things.  Except, I couldn't pick one so I'll give you my top 3 items that I will splurge on:

#1:  Clinique High Impact Mascara
Did you know you should change your mascara every 2-3 months?  Back when I put makeup on every day, I did pretty much follow that rule which means I have tried TONS of brands.  This one, is the one for me.  The best mascara for super volume, length, and clump free (even if you apply coat after coat, like I do).

#2 Estee Lauder Idealist
Ah, my Idealist.  Hands down, my favorite product.  This goes on under your moisturizer and leaves your skin silky soft.  It's supposed to minimize fine lines and even skin tone and it honestly works.  I have been using it for about 8 year and have yet to find a product that compares to this!  I get anxiety if I'm even close to being out of this and have 2 full bottles hidden away!

#3 Shiseido Benefiance WrinkleResist24 Eye Cream
A new favorite of mine.  I am always leery of dropping almost $60 on an eye cream that I didn't sample first but this stuff is worth it!  It's ultra moisturizing and I do notice a significant difference in the little crows feet that were starting to pop up.  It could just be wishful thinking, but I also think my eyes look less tired (which is an amazing accomplishment).  Well worth the money and you only need the tiniest little dab!

I would love to know what some of your favorite products are.  What do you splurge on?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Enjoying Nature... As Much as Somehow who is Afraid of Nature Can

I am by no means a nature person but I understand the importance of getting kids outside to explore so I try to push my boundaries. Surprisingly, it has been pretty much a success.

And by success, I do not in any way mean that we have not cut some of our outdoor adventures short because nature is just creeping me out.

Let's use Easter as an example.  Dan and my sister worked which left me and the girls to celebrate the day together.  I didn't want to just sit home.  I also didn't want to attempt going out to a restaurant.  Honestly, I attempted church but it was packed and holding Lilly while wrangling Abby in a standing room only church seemed like more than I could handle.

So, we decided to hit up a local park and have a picnic.  It was such a pretty day and I didn't have a care in the world as I spread out the blanket.  In true Abby fashion, she ran around the grassy field like a maniac and Lilly was contently eating her bottle (after having screamed in the car for 20 minutes).

I called Abby over to get a bite of her sandwich and I noticed something moving amongst her ridiculously full tulle dress.

I didn't want to panic her, since I am desperately trying to not pass my phobias on, so I calmly called her over.  But then I noticed that there wasn't just one thing moving, there were several flies caught in her dress.  Probably from doing stuff like this.


I did my best to get them out without her realizing it BUT then I looked down at my blanket and saw a spider crawling across it.  Well, that was enough to make me stand and eat my sandwich.

I was itchy and felt like bugs were crawling down my pants.  Everywhere I turned I saw something crawling or flying.  After a total fiasco with the bubbles and disappointment over not being able to jump rope as well as she hoped, I finally convinced Abby to pack up our stuff and take a walk.

The wind started picking up and poor Lilly doesn't do well in wind but we I tried to walk in a different direction to shield her.  All the while Abby ran ahead like a mad woman.

Then I saw a turkey vulture.

And then another.

And then there was one that flew so close over our heads I swear it was going to swoop down and pick up one of the girls.

That was when I decided me and nature had to call it a day.  I also no longer cared about passing on my phobias because we needed to high tail it out of there before one of them was confused as prey.

Poor Abby.  Her picnic ended with her crazy mother yelling, "Abby we have to leave now!  Mommy's afraid of the big birds!"

Oy... way to not make her neurotic!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Scavenger Hunt

Being married to a cop means that there is never a guarantee that they will have holidays off, or weekends, or even a full day off sometimes.  Which I guess can be said for a lot of different jobs, which makes me to wonder why in world companies don't just let their employees enjoy holidays!

Right now he's working the midnight shift in addition to his extra hours he puts in at a grocery store.  Yes, the grocery stores where he works pay officers to be there to deter crime.  And yes, the grocery store was open all day today.  Those two statements are sad on so many levels!

Anyways, we had to get creative for Easter because he was only home from 7 until 2:30 and needed time to sleep.  Since I can never be sure what time he'll definitely be home, I decided to send Abby on a scavenger hunt.  We cut out little bunny paws and numbered them 1 through 5.

Clue 1:  Happy Easter!  I hid your basket but if you put on your Easter dress, you'll find Clue#2!

Clue 2:  (Hidden inside her dress):  Now you have to put your shoes on to find Clue #3!
Don't you just love the shoes?  She insisted that these are the ones the bunny wanted her to wear since they were closest to the clue!

Clue 3:  Go find all 10 eggs I hid in the yard before you peak at Clue #4!

Clue 4:  Daddy has Clue #5!  If he's not home wait patiently for him to arrive!

Thankfully, she didn't have to wait very long but poor Dan didn't even get a hello before she was asking for her clue!  

Clue 5:  Last clue and this hunt is through!  Go downstairs and find the baskets waiting for Lilly and you!
Pure Happiness!

Lilly slept through the scavenger hunt but Abby made sure to show her everything in her basket!
I did get a little Dr. Seuss at the end and would have liked to make all of them rhyme but my brain wasn't working.  Doesn't matter how it was said because she absolutely LOVED her hunt!  She hasn't stopped talking about it all day!  And, Dan got to see her go through her baskets and ate breakfast with us so it was a good morning!

Hope you all had a fabulous Easter!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Jokes on Me

Since it's the beginning of April, I decided to stick with the prank theme and am linking to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Except this joke became unfunny real fast.  I answered the prompt:  Write about the time you pretended to be someone you weren't.

Mama’s Losin’ It

My dear husband is against all things 'social network'.  He refused to get a Myspace page back when Myspace was cool so my brother decided to make one for him.  He was a ballerina dancer and in love with Gunther:
Taking a page out of my brother's book, I decided to sign him up for facebook the other night.  I was bored and waiting for Abby to stop singing to herself and FINALLY fall asleep.  That girl will seriously play and sing in her bed for an hour some nights.

He was sitting next to me so I had to be stealthy, which I'm not.

After a few failed attempts at confirming his account through his email, I finally just bit the bullet and asked for his password.  Now he knew I was up to something but I ran around with the laptop like a lunatic and wouldn't tell him.  Sadly, I had the password right the first time but must have typed it in wrong... FAIL.

Anyways, I had images of myself laughing as I made a mockery of him.  All in good fun, of course!  However, it turned not very funny pretty quickly.

As soon as I verified his account, I saw that he had a friend request.  So, I checked it out.  There was one from his sister but then there was one from his ex... WTF.

Honestly, who requests a friend on FB when the person doesn't even have one?  What is she doing, just hoping that one day he will open an account?  Yup, this joke just bit me in the ass and I wasn't feeling like being funny anymore.

I realize that it's just FB and lots of you are probably thinking I'm being a crazy jealous wife.  I do trust my husband BUT, what was I to do with this request?  Ignore it or accept it?  Neither option felt right.

By now he knew what I was up so I told him to do what he want's with that request.  I tried to help him set up the rest of his account but the request kept blinking that beacon from his past.

Finally, he ignored it.  Good man.

Oh, and the guy that swore he would never use Facebook went out and got an iPhone the next day.  The FB app was installed as soon as we got home.  Hah!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Moose Hunting

I have always had an immature sense of humor (I love watching NCIS but chuckle every time I hear the word 'Seaman').  My favorite types of jokes are lies stories and I am pretty proud of myself when I'm believable.  Usually, I'm not but sometimes things all fall into to place.

The BEST was a story I told my Mom.  We have been going to Vermont for vacation every year for as long as I can remember.  Well, since my Aunt moved there but I can't remember how many years ago that was but it was a long time ago.  Anyways, we always got a kick out of the moose crossing signs on the side of the road.

It just seemed so strange and we always wanted to see one.  Now I know that they are not very friendly and are also very massive but back then I thought it would be awesome to see.

I guess I was bored one day while we were at a lake surrounded by trees.  I went for a walk which probably lasted 30 seconds before I realized that there would be bugs in the forest.  Since I was probably picturing giant spiders attacking me, I quickly walked back to the beach blanket.

Maybe my Mom asked me why I was walking so fast or maybe I just saw an opportunity to see how gullible everyone could be.  I don't remember.  I do remember telling them that I'd seen a moose in the woods.  Everyone was shocked and my brothers insisted on going to take a look.

Off the three of them went and I put my head down and laughed at how gullible they were.  I sat there, in the sun by the water, talking to my Aunt and sisters.  I took a dip in the water.  Probably snacked on some chips.  Totally oblivious to the fact that my Mom and brothers weren't back yet.

Finally, my Aunt decided it was time to leave and she asked me where they were.  It still didn't click that they were moose hunting.  For sure they had realized I was lying and were swimming in the lake.

Off I went to look for them when from across the lake I hear:
Mom:  "KASEY... I'm gonna effin kill you!!!!"
Brother:  "WAAAHHHHHH my feet hurt!  WAAAHHHHH!"
Me:  "HHHAAAAHHHAAA... What are you doing?
Mom:  "Looking for the GD moose (yes she cursed like a sailor).  Your effin walking kid!"

Apparently, they got lost on their moose hunt.  My other brother kept leaving them and walking up the hill to the main road.  The cry baby brother went on the moose hunt without shoes on (dummy) and my poor Mom had to carry him part of the way.  By the time they figured out where they were, they were half way around the lake and had to keep moving.

I laughed as I watched them make it the rest of the way.  I laughed even harder when my cry baby brother had to be rescued because he wouldn't cross over a 5 foot concrete slab with about 3 inches of water on it.  He cried and cried about how slimy it was until, finally, a couple in a boat let him cross over their boat instead of the slimy concrete.

The funniest part though?

When I finally admitted there was no moose.  All my Mom could say was, "Do NOT talk to me right now!"

Epic prank and I barely even knew I was playing one!

Monday, April 2, 2012

When You Just Don't Know

About a month ago we took a 10 day trip to Massachusetts to visit some family.  Up until then, Lilly had been sleeping through the night.  Maybe one feeding but she was quick to put back to sleep.  She was also sleeping in our room, nice and cozy in the napper that attaches to the pack and play.

For some reason, during that trip she decided that sleeping through the night was not for her.  It was a struggle to get her to fall asleep (I'm talking sometimes over an hour) and then she would be up 3-4 times during the night.  I had a couple of theories:  new place, too cold, laying flat instead of slightly elevated.  I thought that she would definitely get back to normal once we got home.

I also had the crazy idea that once we got home, we would put her directly into her own bed.  She had been sleeping flat for all this time so why not go with it?

Well, here we are a month later and I have her back in our room and in her napper.  I don't know what it is but my guess is that she is uncomfortable on her back.  Maybe reflux?  I brought it up to the doctor and he seemed unconcerned because she's growing fine.  So, I'm trying different things here and there to try to figure out how to make this work for all of us.  I am also going to ask again if we're still going through this next month.

But, can I just get a little insecurity off my chest?  When she is screaming and I try to comfort her and nothing is working, I become frustrated.  Then I start to feel a little bit like a failure.

Ok, a lot like a failure.

I honestly just can not figure her out like I was able to with Abby.  I honestly don't know what is making her so cranky sometimes.  I honestly don't know how to get her to back to sleep in the middle and will (far too often) resort to giving her a bottle that she falls asleep drinking.  Then I start to fear that I'm not teaching her how to self soothe and she'll be messed up for life.

I am tired and frustrated.

I try to remember that she is getting what she needs:  love, food, clean diapers, kisses, cuddles.  I try to remember that she is a happy girl when she's not screaming.  I mean the girl doesn't just smile, she cheeses!  I try to remember that her face lights up as soon as I walk into a room.  I try to remember that JUST MY VOICE will wake her up from her nap.

She loves me, so I must be doing something right.  It's just hard to remember those things when we are in the midst of a screaming episode.  When all the comfort and love in the world can't calm her down.

I want to take away whatever is that is making her so agitated but I know that these types of things tend to just work themselves out and I will probably never know.  It's just so hard to hear your baby cry and not know what to do.  A mom is supposed to know... and sometimes I just don't.


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