Monday, December 30, 2013

The Christmas Season

So there's been some radio silence over here on the blog and my facebook and everything else social media like and that's because my husband had the flu, which subsequently turned into bronchitis.  The day before Christmas Eve is father actually took him to the hospital because his fever hit 105!

Crazy huh?

You know what else is also crazy...trying to take care of two kids, wrap presents, cook, bake and assemble a 50 million piece train set by yourself.  Also, when you're hosting Christmas dinner and people hear the word "flu" they scatter like sand in a hurricane.  Can't say that I blame them, the flu is a nasty business that had Andy shivering, sleeping, coughing like mad which sent me into Lysol overdrive after I quarantined him in the basement.

Taking care of a 7 month old and a 4 year old by yourself is not easy.  Forget the house it literally looked like a Toys R Us exploded in here for awhile and there was one dreadful night when Isabella, my four year old, was up for almost 2 hours in the middle of the night for No Good Reason!  Then the baby was up 30 minutes later and I drank coffee like it was my job.

Now he's finally better and I am so happy to have him back and to make up for some lost family time (this is my winter break after all) and to catch up on putting all of the loot we got for Christmas away.

Christmas Day was amazing, aside from him being sick and our extended family not being here.  Christmas is magical when you see it through the eyes of a child who truly believes and Arya was good as gold.  My parents and sister were here and we opened gifts, had a long breakfast, played with toys, drank wine, ate a nice dinner.  It was wonderful.  Andy came up and watched the girls open presents before he went back into his pit of sickness.

He was so sad to have missed it!  But Christmas is more than just a day...It's a season.

Here are some highlights of our Christmas season (I'd edit them to make them purtier, but I have neither the time or the inclination)

A Very Furry Christmas at Sesame Place

Sesame Place

Sesame Place

Oscar the Grouch

ginger bread house
Ginger Bread house making

7 month old baby
7 Months Old!

Christmas pajamas
PJ day at school

Polar Express Train Ride



Waffle Cone Christmas Trees

Making reindeer footprints






My secret elf

Secret Santa girls dinner










Things might be a bit slow around here for the rest of this week.  I'm trying to enjoy what's left of my vacation before I go back to work and now that I have an extra set of hands I might actually get to relax a bit.  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and have an amazing New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Isabella Update

Every month my littlest gets her own update, but now it's time to update on my biggest.  The girl who made me a mommy and who amazes me everyday.

Isabella is 4 and half.  Shut up right?  I can't believe it either.  She's a spitfire.  She loves to dress up and the only time she wears regular clothes is when she's going to school or when we're leaving the house and it's cold.  Other than that, she's in a dress, tights, fancy shoes, and a tiara.  She loves to play pretend and has a crazy imagination.  She loves arts and crafts and handles a scissor mighty well.  She would color and draw and paint all day if she could.

She's doing awesome at school.  In the beginning she was painfully shy and would cower by the teacher, which is so unlike her giant personality at home where she demands to be the center of attention, but Andy and I have been working with her teacher and she's opening up and playing with the other kids.  My bestie's daughter is in her class and they're little BFFs too, so she always has someone to play with.  She's starting to sound out words and recognizing some sight words, she's great with numbers and loves to write letters to her cousins.  She's so smart with the things she says and the things she remembers that she blows my mind.  The other day she told me her favorite color was crimson.

Isabella is a great big sister when she wants to be, singing and reading to her sister.  Other times she just can't be bothered.  I thing she's still struggling with having to share the spotlight, especially now that Arya is smiling and babbling and more interactive.  Isabella thrives on attention.

Some of the things that we're struggling with is her listening and cleaning up her mess.  Isabella likes to do things on her own time frame and she's very very sensitive and dramatic.  More than once she's stormed off to her room and shut the door.  I have to really remind myself (often) to be patient with her because even though she's smart, she's just a little girl.

She loves anything with sugar, especially tic tacs and ice pops.  Eating can be a battle sometimes but we're pretty consistent in having her at least taste things.  She's bizarre sometimes.  She'll eat raw corn muffin mix but not the cooked muffin.  Drives me bananas.

She's a typical four year old, excited everyday to find her elf, pushing us to our limits, "forgetting" to clean up her mess, and loving her family.


This is the dress she wore when she was 2

Sesame Place A Very Furry Christmas with her cousins


Reading to Arya

With her BFF the praying mantis

Monday, December 23, 2013

T'was Days Before Christmas

2 days until Christmas and I've officially hit panic mode.  The shopping is 95% done, I just have to pick up one present from my girlfriend and hit up the liquor store.  The wrapping is 75% done and I hate wrapping presents so I'm really dragging my ass on that one.  The food shopping is 0% done and again I'm really not feeling dealing with the mad house of the grocery store.

And then there's the best part...Andy is sick in bed with a 102 fever.

I swear to God you just can't make this shit up.  I was so looking forward to a long leisurely holiday break where Andy and I let each other sleep in and we got to spend some good time together as a family, now I get to take care of 2 kids and a husband.  Grrrrrr.

I really am all alight with Christmas spirit I just need to vent a bit.  I know that it's not his fault that he's sick, but I really really wanted this break to be a reconnecting one after the hecticness of the holiday season.

Currently I'm stuffing him full of medicine and orange juice and saying prayers to the powers that be that no one else gets it, especially my littles, and that it's not the flu.  Maybe it's like a 24 hour bug.

I hope that all of you have a very Merry Christmas and that it's full of health, happiness and laughter!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Gift of Sanity

It's crunch time!  Christmas is almost here and if you're grappling with what to get some of the women in your life, try giving the gift of sanity via the book that I co-authored with 29 other fabulous bloggers, The Mother of All Meltdowns.


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Monday, December 16, 2013

7 Months

Weight: unknown


Height: unknown (Her next appointment isn't for a few weeks)


Sleeping Habits: Arya is a keeper, not a sleeper.  We're still not sleeping through the night.  She still needs to be nursed/rocked to sleep all the time.  She goes down around 7 and will either wake up once at three to eat and then go back to bed until 5:30/6 or she'll wake up twice, once at around 11 and then again at around 3 and still up at the ass crack of dawn.  Then there was that one super fun week where she was up for 2 hours in the middle of the night for no good reason, not crying, just up.  Hanging out.  Thank God that's over...at least for now.  I did make one attempt to let her cry it out and then broke after about 30 minutes of crying.  Not sure what we're going to do, but I'm open to suggestions ::yawn::  Her naps are awesome at least.  2-3 naps per day 1.5-3 hours long.  Woot woot!

Eating Habits: We still EBF and she takes bottles of pumped milk when I'm at work.  She eats every 3-4 hours.  She'll take 4-5 ounces in a bottle. She's eaten sweet potatoes, peas, carrots, bananas, peaches and apples, some purees, and some table food. Sometimes she loves her food and other times she's only about the boob.   

Milestones: Sitting like a boss.  She's got it down pat.  We also have two razor sharp baby teeth poking through on the bottom.

Best Thing This Month: All the Christmas festivities.  She went to see Santa, decorated the Christmas tree, and went on the Polar Express train ride.  I love this time of year. 


Challenges This Month: It's still sleep, it will probably always be sleep.  

Looking Forward To: Christmas.  I'm loving everything about this season.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Stupid Internet Quotes

The internet is a dark and creepy place with stupidity lurking in every corner.  I've decided to debunk some really stupid internet quotes.  Partly because it's fun and partly because I don't have a whole lot to write about.  


I beg to differ.  I've had a lot of conversations with both students and adults that revolved around really stupid questions.

Me:  You can put your backpacks on the back of your chair and come to the rug.
Student:  Where do I put my backpack?  (30 times a day for a million different things!  No one listens to me!)

I also had to listen to my mom ask me about a bajillion questions on how to cook tatertots before I told her to just look on the bag. 


Thank God not all moments last forever.  If you've ever stepped on a Lego or bit into a scalding Lean Pocket you know that some moments need to expire as quickly as possible.  


Aren't we all a little nuts sometimes?  LOL sorry I couldn't resist. 


Obviously the person who wrote this has never tasted a cupcake or pizza or wine or anything with melted cheese.  Yum!


Is this one even for real?  

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bedtime Battles

So Arya is 6 and a half months old (crazy right?) and she's still not sleeping through the night, which I'm kind of ok with.  I mean I don't love it because who loves getting up in the middle of the night?  No one that's who.  But I understand it.  She's still little and she still needs to eat.  She is usually only up once to eat around 3 and then right back to sleep.  And, if I'm being honest, it's not too tough on me, Andy gets her, changes her diaper, brings her to me where I nurse her lying down, and when she's done he takes her and puts her back in her crib, so I really don't ever have to actually get up (except when he's on midnights and then I'm on my own).

It's the going to bed that's driving me bananas.

Arya goes to bed around 7.  She's had the exact same routine since she was pretty much born:  books, bath, nurse, bed.  I nurse her to sleep and if Andy or my mom is doing her bedtime, they give her a bottle of breast milk and rock her to sleep.  She is also rocked to sleep for naps.  She has sleep crutches.  So she still won't put herself to sleep.  Sometimes she does.  Sometimes I put her down drowsy but awake and she'll fuss to sleep, but only sometimes.  Most time her fusses turn into cries and I go in and help her fall asleep.

I know it's bad habits and she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own consistently, not just sometimes.  Andy wants to start sleep training her over my Christmas break.  She'll be 7 months old.  And even though I did it with Isabella and it made a world of difference, I really don't want to with Arya.

Well that's not true, sometimes when I'm in her room for the third time trying to get her to go back to sleep I totally want to just be like "eff this crap, let's do the training." So right now I'm just biding my time and hoping that she "gets it" before Christmas break, because he's all armed with his research and junk and it is really annoying to have to rock her and walk her and nurse her to sleep for every nap and bedtime, but she's still just my wee little baby.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy

I'm happy.  Like deep in your bones, glowing happy.  I'm tired because we're still not sleeping through the night.  I still can't keep up with the housework.  Work is crazy busy.  The scale has crept up significantly since I decided that leftover pumpkin pie is a nutritious breakfast.  It doesn't matter.  I'm happy anyway.

I'm happy that the house is all lit up with Christmas lights.  I love that Isabella wakes up every morning so excited to see where her elf on the shelf is.  I'm happy that we were able to host Thanksgiving and instead of it being stressful, we all pulled together to make it an amazing holiday.

I'm so happy to be in this house and to be creating memories with my little family.  I'm just so happy for all that is happening and all that is yet to come.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

$50 MasterCard Giveaway

Just in time for some post-Thanksgiving shopping deals I have an amazing giveaway for you.  One of you lucky readers can win a $50 MasterCard Gift Card, which is completely awesome because you can use it to buy almost anything, however you will be required to provide a W9 in order to receive the gift card.  I had to do it and it's no biggie.  And don't we all sort of struggle to find the perfect gift?


 Here are some tips when it comes to finding the perfect gift:

  • Dining with a Top Chef? Box seats at the Super Bowl? MasterCard helps you give the gift of experience with its Priceless Cities program, which gives cardholders extraordinary experiences, exclusive offers and privileged access to culinary, shopping, sports, travel and entertainment events.
  • Want to avoid the unfortunate yearly tradition of returning or re-gifting? Give your tweens or teen a SpendSmart MasterCard Prepaid card. The card will help teach how to budget and with instant text alerts, keep you connected as purchases happen.

Some tips from MasterCard in regards to holiday shopping:


  • Divide and Conquer:  Don’t do everything yourself. Empower your kids to make their own gift purchases. Set budget limits by loading a MYPLASH Reloadable Prepaid card for them—it works everywhere Debit MasterCard is accepted.
  • Build a Budget:  Write down how much you can afford for gifts, travel and other expenses. Use one credit or debit card for everything to help keep an accurate record. A prepaid card limits spend to the amount on the loaded on the card.

When you're traveling for the holidays

  • Fuel Your Trip: Join a free loyalty program that helps save money at the gas pump. MasterCard’s partnership with Fuel Rewards Network  allows members to do just that.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway

**I received a free gift card in exchange for hosting this fabulous giveaway**

Thankful

So many wonderful things to be thankful for this year.  Here's a top ten to keep it short and sweet.

1.  My two little girls.  Love them both to bits.  They bring me to my breaking point daily, but they also bring me to peaks of happiness.

2.  Andy.  I couldn't do this thing called life without him.  He has my back in all things, as small as making my lunch and as big as supporting me through all the ups and downs.

3.  My house.  I always joke that this house is a money pit, and it totally is (cue $2,500 to replace the fireplace), but it's in a great neighborhood and I love that my kids have a huge backyard and a basement to play in.  I love all the holidays and memories that we are making in this house.

4.  My job.  The commute sucks.  The politics sucks.  But I love being a teacher.  That moment when a kid "gets it".  When I hear my words coming out of my student's mouth, or even better, when they take what I've taught them and put their own ideas into it.  There's nothing better than that.

5.  Weight Watchers.  I am currently down to 126 lbs.  One pound away from my pre-pregnancy weight and 6lbs away from my goal.  However I am not counting calories today so those numbers may be skewed.  It's a sin to diet on Thanksgiving.

6.  Friends who became family and family who became friends.  Christie, Meaghan, Crotch, Lara, Christina, Teresa, Ally, Monica.  I've grown in my understanding of what friendship means.  It doesn't mean spending every weekend together.  It doesn't mean talking on the phone all day long.  It means being there for each other, showing up for each other and understanding that everyone has their own lives and respecting that, but also trying to fit in the time to be present in each other's lives.  I'm happy to share my life with them and am happy to share in theirs.

7.  My mom.  That woman saves my ass on a daily basis.  She drives me nuts and I drive her nuts, but I'm sure my own daughters will pay me back in their turn.

8.  Coffee and alcohol.  'Nuff said.

9.  A disposable income.  It's not as large as it once was (see #3), but we're able to go out to dinner or take the kids out for ice cream or go see Disney on Ice on occasion.

10.  Isabella's teachers.  She loves school and I know it's because of them.

What are you thankful for?


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Girl

My cousin Christina just found out that she's having a baby girl and I'm so excited.  She's a close friend of mine, besides being family and I think it's so awesome that her and Arya will not even be a year apart.  My cousins and I all grew up so close together and I think it's wonderful that all of our kids are close in age so they can recreate our childhood experiences, without all the bad 80's hair of course.

And I might just be biased because I was never able to shop for a boy, but shopping for little girls is just so much fun!  I love Miss Grant dresses from Strawberry Children and adorable little diaper covers and headbands with obnoxiously sized flowers on it.  I know that she'll wind up with a ton of stuff because we have the same family and I had a ton of stuff for both of my girls.  I had newborn clothes that neither one of my kids got to wear, so I'm thinking instead of just getting her the standard newborn or 0-3 outfits I can get some baby girls designer clothing range from 6 months and up.

It's so great that she's having a baby and it's also so great that I wont be the only friend in our crew to have kids.  I always feel like such a stick in the mud because I can't always meet up with them for dinner or wine, cheese, and crackers or for a stoop party.  I need like 24 hours advanced notice of anything so I can make sure I have someone to stay with the kids and that I have enough bottles to pump into.  I know that as Arya gets older it will get easier, but I really miss my friends and I'll be glad to have one on this motherhood ship with me.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Getting Your Halls Decked

We are full effect in getting ready for Christmas over here.  We're sorting through decorations and scouting out places for our creepy, hypocritical Elf on the Shelf to hide.  It's been about a year since we've moved in.  I remember the first night that the three of us spent together in this house was Christmas Eve.  I remember rushing to just get the tree up so we could have ourselves a proper Christmas morning.  I remember feeling my baby move and kick inside me, wondering if it would be a boy or a girl.


A full year later and I can't believe how far we've come!  We've taken the money pit and turned it into a full fledged home.  There's still a lot to do though.  Our bedroom is in dire need of some TLC.  Even some cheap eyelet curtains would help bring things together.  I'm looking for something in yellow to tie in with our throw pillows.  I'd also really love to redo the floors in the family room because they're tile and they freeze my feet.  And the green carpeting in the attic needs to go, but it costs a lot of money to recarpet stairs, so we're holding off. 

My favorite part about spending the holidays in the house is the fire place.  I love how cozy it is, how homey.  When I was little I grew up in an apartment and I always wished I could have a fire place and it's so nice to see Isabella getting a chance to enjoy it.  I wrote a week or so ago about my Halloween party and how we played beer pong outside, I think it would be awesome to get a wall mounted flame effect fire type thing for the back porch to keep us warm while we're out there plus bringing in the fire place effect.  

It's been a trying year in regards to the house.  A lot of stress, a lot of money, and a lot of things breaking and/or getting struck by lightening, but I'm still happy to be raising my kids in this house.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

6 Months


Weight: 17 lbs 8 oz
Height: 26 inches

Sleeping Habits: We're a bit on and off with the sleep lately.  Arya is still going to sleep around 7:30, usually nursing to sleep (I'm creating a terrible habit right?) she sleeps in her crib on her tummy and she'll wakes up either once to eat at around 3 and then will sleep until around 7 or she sleeps straight through and is up around 6.  Or sometimes she totally throws us off and is up for the day at 5:30 am or will wake up twice to eat.  Usually she goes right back to sleep, but sometimes she's party rocking for an hour in the middle of the night ::yawn::  Her first nap is epic 1.5-2.5 hours but everything after that pretty much sucks, I'm talking like 30-45 minute naps.  

Eating Habits: We still EBF and she takes bottles of pumped milk when I'm at work.  She eats every 2-3 hours.  She'll take 4 ounces in a bottle. We've also let her try sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots.  She loves sweet potatoes and peas and is so-so about the carrots.   

Milestones: Sitting.  She still needs someone to "spot" her, but she's doing great with sitting up all by herself for a few minutes at a time.  

Best Thing This Month: Her Christening!  Such a great day and she was such a good girl.  She's a really interactive and happy baby.  She loves being around people.  


Challenges This Month: Getting her to go to sleep on her own.  I love rocking her to sleep at night, but I'm hoping that I'm not making bad habits.  What if that's the reason she's waking up at night and her naps are so short? Just want to make sure I'm not turning her into a psycho killer or something.  

Looking Forward To: Thanksgiving!  I love when the house is full of people and there's always something so nice about having a baby around for the holidays.  



Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Gifts

It's so that time of year again and there's something just so magical about Christmas, especially when it's Arya's first Christmas.  While I love almost everything about Christmas, the decorations, the lights, the treats, being together, sometimes I can get major anxiety about what to get people.

The girls are easy, Arya would be happy with anything that I let her put in her mouth and Isabella is happy with anything that is covered in glitter or has to do with art.  Easy.

It's the other people on my list.  I know that Andy loves watches and Tag watches make a great gift so there's always that option.  My mom likes anything with pictures of the kids on it and my dad likes anything that comes in a wine bottle.

It's those little people that creep up on you, like your office secret Santa or your new mom friend who you're not even quite sure that you're exchanging gifts with.  My sister has also been hinting at a new watch, womens Cartier watches are amazing and she has been really awesome this year doing all my keratins for free and coming up to help with the kids.

Then I have to get something small for my students because I need to give them at least a little something.  And it has to stay little because I have 26 of them.

I feel my bank account bending under the burgeoning weight of Christmas costs and I know Andy's cheap butt will blow a gasket at the cost of all these presents, but unless he's willing to take over the reigns of Christmas shopping he's going to have to get over it.  I've been chewed out before, Christmas is worth it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

God Bless Arya

Arya's Christening was last weekend and it was such a beautiful day.  It really was.  My sweet bug was so good.  She was all happy and smiley and she was "talking" so loudly in church it was hilarious.  We had a great party afterwards and she just kind of soaked up all the people and the music.  She's such a good girl.  And her big sister actually got on the microphone to tell everyone how much she loves her sister.  ::melts::

Big shout out to Godmother Nicole :)

Here are some shots of her special day.











Overall it was a great day and I couldn't have been happier.  Like my dress?  Stitch Fix.  Huzzah!