Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas is for Kids

Ok so my last Christmas post was a little negative so I have come to redeem my Grinch attitude with some Christmas cheer. 

Christmas is all about the kids. The faces. The screams and squeals of joy coming from the around the Christmas tree. The pure excitement and anticipation as dad very slowly but carefully pries every toy from its box. The begging that ensues as they ask to go from one toy to the next without any care to clean up the first toy. Kids love Christmas. 

And I guess I do too. I mean look at the faces. 

It is hard to hate something that makes your children so happy. 

We had such a great day too. Family came over during the day and helped manage some of the chaos which really just ended up in a solid two hours of opening gifts. By the end, Nicky was just bringing me his gifts so I could open them for him. It was wonderful. They were so happy and grateful for everything - Nicky and I were too. Our babies are so loved and it makes our hearts happy. Unfortunately I had to work Christmas night so while Nick went to his families side, I took a nap and went to work. Not exactly the Christmas ending I had dreamed of but nurses don't exactly get Christmas breaks. 

I posted a video to YouTube but here are some pictures from the day. And the next day, which was when Isaac joined us for second Christmas. It has been a nonstop party for days. 

Now to get cleaning and organizing! I might need some extra hours in the day to get it all done. As soon as I pack up one toy, they kids open another one. This might be a task to do during nap time... 

Merry Christmas to all! And a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I hate Christmas. 
I figured I would lead with that. It is just not my holiday. I do not like winter. It's cold. And usually wet which means the roads are horrible. I am a terrible gift buyer. I hate giving gifts. I hate receiving gifts. If everyone could just make a 'Christmas Registry' like they do for babies and weddings, that would be great. Or just buy yourself a gift and open it in front of me. I do not like peppermint. Get those candy canes away from me. Unless I am really hungry and candy is my only option - which is more often than I want to admit. I love food and there is so much food. Winter weight is really people. Don't even get me started on Santa. Who is this guy? No Santa did not get you that bike for Christmas, you're mother did. That night that I had vomit on my shoes and blood on my pants. Yes, a horrible twelve hour night shift bought you that bike - not Santa. I could go on but I am even making myself depressed at this point. 

Everyone said that thing would change once I had children. 
Damn, I hate when people are right.

I still do not like Christmas but let me tell you a little about having children during Christmas. 

Marlee's eyes light up when she sees all the decorations as we drive down the street. They sparkle with excitement and joy. She begs to see more every time we pass one well lit house and are waiting for another. 
Nicky shouts "Ho! Ho! Ho!" every time he sees a Santa. It could be a picture of Santa, a toy Santa, or a Santa figurine. Nicky does not say much but he knows what Santa brings to the table and it's a lot of "Ho! Ho! Ho!'s". 
Isaac happily turns into dads little helper when its time to put up decorations. They put the lights up outside and come up with a plan together to make the lights shine just right. He is looking forward to cutting down the tree tomorrow which is our yearly tradition. Tree cutting and hot chocolate drinking at Pine Tree Barn. 

This will be our first Christmas in our new house. I already have a place picked out for the tree and while I am still a Christmas hater, I am a little excited to get the tree decorated and see the kids faces on Christmas morning. Just a little! 

It is still early so maybe a little more holiday cheer will come my way. 
We will have to wait and see. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fall in Love

The fact that it is the end of October and I haven't made a post about how much I love fall is quite embarrassing. Its my absolutely favorite time of year.
What is there not to like?
The perfect day would consist of browsing a pumpkin patch with a hot chocolate in hand.

Well a lot more has happen this month which is probably why I have been so busy and unable to blog. And an amazing month none the less though! I'll give the quick run down...

I turned thirty and my family planned a surprise party which was embarrassing and incredibly sweet. I am lucky to be party of such an amazing family for thirty years!
I surprised my sister by heading up to Cleveland for her birthday and was apart of a bike bar crawl. I might have had more fun than anyone there! My face hurt from smiling so much. 
Marlee is doing incredible in preschool and loves it so much. She had Grandparents day and her first Harvest party which were so sweet. She also had her first dentist appointment which went wonderfully! No cavities and I cannot say enough nice things about All Seasons Dental. I was really impressed with the place. 
Nicky has started talking more which has subsided my fear of him needing therapy which is a story for another crazy day.
Isaac did not have the best first semester at Perry Middle school but is starting to bring his grades up which is a good thing since basketball is right around the corner and he will not be playing with poop grades!
The Cleveland Indians are in the World Series! If this doesn't get you excited, then nothing else I say on here will either. Series is 3-2 and we play again tomorrow!
We already purchased our pumpkins and were a little late decorating them but we finally did it! It was incredibly messy but so much fun. I love watching the kids get creative. 
Trick or treating was yesterday and today which means costumes and candy! Hot chocolate is a must after the chilly weather we are having! Poor Nick seems to have a stomach bug though and was not feeling well. He stayed home with the grandmas yesterday while the rest of us pillaged the neighborhood for treats. Our first trick or treat in the new house was a massive success. I really do love the place we have chosen to raise our family.
Today, we did our second Trick or Treat down in Magnolia and I was able to squeeze Nicky into the doctors costume. He was not thrilled but was along for the ride.  
And I still work like crazy which makes me a zombie for about 90% of the time. Luckily this time of the year, it is acceptable to look like a zombie!

Now for the picture overload. Sorry not sorry!

And that was October in a nutshell! Tomorrow starts a new month so Happy November!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

First Day of Preschool

I have a child big enough to go to (pre)school!
Wasn't she born yesterday?

Marlee Jo had her first day of preschool today and all the nervous build up was for nothing. She did amazing. I knew she would but I was selfishly more worried about myself. Marlee is rarely away from me. And I mean rarely. Neither of my children are. Being a stay at home working mom (like that?), we do everything together. We play together, eat together, shop together, I get her dressed, brush her teeth, help her when she falls, make her chocolate milk, and the list continues. Working midnights allows me to stay at home with them while Nick is at work and not miss out on anything going on. 

So with school fast approaching, I was nervous. 
What if she didn't like it? 
What if she missed me? 
What if she fell down? 
Would her teacher kiss her boo-boo? 
What if she was hungry and didn't like the snack they served? 
Would she be nice to everyone? 
What if someone was mean to her!?
Are there little toilets? 
Who will help her if she can't reach the toilet?

I mean seriously? Can I just stay with her a day? Or two?

Marlee on the other hand was so excited. I mean she has been talking about this day for months. She is so smart and I was sure that she would do wonderfully. I was excited for her to be around other little kids. She needs that socialization. 

So today, off she went to school. Her book bag was as big as her. She is barely big enough to wear her own book bag! I dropped her off, gave her a big hug, and told her that I would be back later. She hung her name on the chart, letting her teacher know that she was there, and off I went. I did it! No tears or anything. And then I started to think. Should I have stayed a little longer? What did she do after that? I should have helped her find a seat. OMG what is my baby doing now?

But no tears. I did not cry. I just panicked a bit. At home, Nicky was still pouting over his sister leaving the house and he did not go with her. We did some coloring and some laundry to pass the time. Finally, it was time for Marlee to come home!

We stood in line waiting for the teacher to dismiss Marlee. The second she saw us, she ran into my arms. She was so happy to see me! And I was so happy to see her. My nose started to tingle with that awful feeling you get right before your eyes fill up with tears. We bolted out of there right away!

Marlee was so excited to tell me all about her day. They played in the big gym and picked out shapes. She said she has a new friend who is a "girl with a pink shirt." They ate pretzels for snack and drank orange juice. The teacher read them a book and they even sorted gummy bears! She had an amazing time. 

And the ugly cry started. I don't even know why. She did all of these amazingly fun things and I missed it. I did not get to see her play in the gym or sort gummy bears. I didn't get to meet her new friend. I still don't know if everyone was nice to her or if she was able to use the potty without help. I need a detailed update teacher lady! 

Then we got lunch. 
I am a crazy person. I already know this. I didn't need the first day of preschool to tell me this. I just love my little beans. I like to share in all the things they do. I love to see them grow and laugh and learn. I missed today. And today won't be the only day. They will continue to grow and have experiences without me. Eventually she will be starting high school and getting on and off the potty will be the least of my worries. This is the worst part about being a mom. It's not the temper tantrums or being up all night with a crying baby. It's not lunch time when they refuse to eat chicken nuggets, even though they said they wanted chicken nuggets. It's not cleaning up toys off the floor every. single. day. It's letting go. Trusting others to watch over them. Trusting them to be kind and caring to others. It's hard. And it's sad. 

Once we were home, I laid Nicky down for a nap and I sat and talked to Marlee some more. She talked and talked about school. She cannot wait to go back. I gave her the biggest hug. Possibly too big and long of a hug because she whispered "Can I go play with my OhDoe now?" while I was still hugging her. So now she gets an hour of quiet time while Nicky sleeps and I can catch up on laundry. 

Next Tuesday is her next day and and I think I am more prepared.
Hopefully I got all the ugly crying out of the way! 

Another milestone down. You can stop growing any day Marlee!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Zoo Fun and Canal Days

Staycation number two this year is over and complete. While the kids were sick for half of it, we were able to have a little fun too. I wanted to share some pictures from the Akron Zoo and Canal days which takes place down in Magnolia. 
The Akron Zoo is small enough that I felt safe taking the kids by myself but big enough to get the kids excited about all the animals. 

We saw penguins. 

And acted like baby chicks in this huge birds nest.

We saw some sleepy bears.

And fed some goats and lambs. This was the kids favorite part! Four crackers for two bucks and the kids went wild. There were baby goats and big goats which scared Marlee a little. She warmed up though and everyone was able to eat some crackers.... even Nicky.

We also saw a 'mommy and daddy' lion as well as explored in the aquarium. 

Last we saw some flamingos which were Marlees favorite! They were pink! So she bought a stuffed flamingo at the end. Nicky did not want anything... both kids were pretty tired at this point. 

On Sunday, we went down to Canal Days with the family. They have a parade and a small carnival if you will. The Tozzi's are always the best and served pizza and root beer floats for after the parade. The kids had a blast all day!

Marlee and Nick were loaded up with candy from the parade. I did not get any pictures of Marlee dancing but you can check out the video at my YouTube page. Seriously cute stuff. 

We had the best week together. Not even rain and sickness was able to hold us back! 
I love making memories with my family.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

No More Binky

Marlee is a huge binky fan. And when I say huge, I mean HUGE
We started phasing out the binky last year when we decided she could only have it at nap times and in the car. At this point, her obsession grew and not only did she need one binky, she needed two. Since then, she slept with one in her mouth and one in her hand. Yes, she had two binks at all nap times. Total pain in the rear. 
Have you ever tried looking for not only one but two binkies in the pitch dark? Not exactly how I want to spend time out of my day. Or have you ever forgotten the binky on a car ride? Worst mom everrrr!

Regardless of the reasons for getting rid of the binky, we knew the time was coming and it needed to happen soon. With Marlee's third birthday coming up, we decided to rip the tape off and just do it. We were going to be binky free if it was the last thing we did!

So I turned to my wonderful, old friend Pinterest and did a little research. I was trying to find a fun but positive way to be binky free. I knew this was going to be pretty painful for everyone involved. I obviously had no idea how painful...

We decided to make a big day of it. I have been telling her for weeks that we were going to Build a Bear and she could pick out any bear that she wanted. She was going to kiss her binkies goodbye and put them inside the bear. If she was ever missing her binkies, she could hug her bear really tight and feel better. She was 100% on board! She wanted a pink bear with a pink dress. We would go on her birthday so it was an added gift and we could do something fun for her actual birthday since her party wasn't until the next day. 
All systems go. 

So her birthday rolls around, we head to Build a Bear and had a wonderful time! The people at Build a Bear were amazing. Marlee was all for picking out a pink bear, stuffing it with a heart, put the binkies inside without any hesitation, washed the bear, picked out a pink dress, and even named her 'Sissy'. They gave her a birthday sticker and even gave her two matching bows to match her bear. Adorable! Marlee loved Sissy so much and she was so full of joy... until we hit the car.

About half way home, Marlee was just staring at her bear. The look was pure horror. Her face just shouted "What the hell did I just do?". All of a sudden, her bottom lip started to quiver and tears rolled down her face. She never made a single noise, just stared at Sissy with pure sorrow. I think the realization and she could not get the binkies back out was setting in. 

So I turned around and held her hand. I told her that everything was going to be ok. Nope. I should not have said a word because angry Marlee was unleashed. She screamed. Screamed! She threw Sissy across the car and demanded to have her binkies back. She cried and sobbed and was inconsolable. We decided to forfeit lunch at this time and just head home. Marlee continued to scream. I tried everything I could think of to calm her down. She marched right up to her room, threw Sissy in the closet, shut the door, and screamed for her binky. You would have thought that I took her best friend away. She ended up crying herself to sleep in my arms, my chest being covered in tears and snot. Half hour later, she woke and continued this tantrum. Nap time was over!

Later that night as I laid Marlee down to bed, the tantrum started again. Holy cow, I have never seen her act like that. Never in her life has she been so upset. She was hysterical. She never left her bed but to throw Sissy back in the closet and slam the door. She screamed and cried till she was covered in red spots to her face and chest. She was soaked in sweat. She confessed that she did not want a birthday party, she did not want to be three, she did not want cake or cookies or presents or to have her friends over. She just wanted her binky back. She didn't even want a big girl bed anymore, she wanted her crib back. SHE IS THREE! The hardest part was her ability to vocalize how upset she was. And listening to her try to negotiate her way back to her binky. 

I was devastated. I ruined her birthday. Why did I do this on her birthday again? I should have done it the day before. Not exactly smart thinking on my part. But it was done. The binkies were gone. Marlee was up that night until 11:30. She proceeded to search every drawer, every bin, every nook and cranny of her room for a binky. This little sneaky girl even went into her sleeping brothers room to see if she could steal his binky. Poor Nicky was about to be robbed in his sleep - by his own sister! I caught her though and finally got Nick involved. He went right in and told her it was time for bed. Wanna know what happened next? 
She said ok, rolled over, and went to sleep. 
(Insert all the eye rolling emojis!)

We are now one week later. Nick has been amazing with this whole process. Something about dads and their ability to calm and lay the law down at the same time. I was only here one night this week (workkkkk) but he has his routine and its been working great. He throws her in bed, tucks her in, and then checks on her every 10 minutes until she is asleep. Usually takes three checks but no screaming or crying with this method. He is the best and his patience is amazing.

So if anyone is stuck in the hell called binky-land,  I have some advice. 
Just take the damn binky away. Just throw it right in the trash. A forty dollar Build a Bear with two binkies inside currently resides in a dark closet covered in tears and sadness. Marlee hates the thing. A rather large waste of money.

But don't do it on their birthday. Its rather cruel. 
And good luck! Stay strong moms!

Update: Marlee has been doing great with no binky! She has not cried in a week. I even overheard her telling Nicky that he has a binky because he is a baby - but she is a big girl and has no binky!
So proud!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Marlee Turns Three

Every Girl Deserves Birthday Flowers
Happy Birthday Marlee Jo!

Three years ago, I was holding my greatest accomplishment, my sweetest gift, and the biggest challenge of my life, all swaddled in a blanket on my chest. Today, she wakes up and while she does not want to be cuddled on my chest, she continues to be the sweetest gift that God has given me. 
I say this as she demands chocolate milk without a bother to say hello. 

How do I sum up three year old Marlee into one blog post? Marlee is my strong willed child. A "three-nager" if you will. She knows exactly what she wants and exactly when she wants it. She can be shy at times but once she is warmed up, she is non-stop action and giggles. Marlee is a good mix of girlie girl and superhero. I am not sure where she gets it from but she loves anything pink, adores playing with make-up (especially Grandmas), and is convinced that she is a princess. I can blame her father for the last one. On the other side, Marlee loves to wrestle, run "super fast", and play baseball. I could watch her and Nicky run around in the backyard all day. Until one of them starts screaming of course...

Marlee is also quite the entertainer. She loves to sing and dance. She often makes up songs depending on what is going on around her. Her new song "I Am Sorry So Don't Cry Nicky" is sure to be a big hit. She also loves to color, draw, build blocks, and play her "Ohdoe" - which is just a Kindle that she has mysteriously named Ohdoe. Marlee is incredibly smart (I know all moms say that) and has a huge vocabulary with the cutest hint of a lisp. I love to ask her questions about her day because she remembers everything and in such great detail. 

I did a little interview of Miss Marlee of some of her favorite things:

What is your favorite color? PINK!
What is your favorite toy? My bear
What is your favorite food? Applesauce
What is your least favorite food? Seeds in the apple ("I don't like those.")
What is your favorite TV show? Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Peanut butter sandwich
What is your favorite snack? Fruit snacks
What is your favorite animal? Bear
What is your favorite song? "You Are My Sunshine"
What is your favorite book? Baby animal book (I have no idea what book that is)
Who is your best friend? "You! And Isaac and Nicky and Daddy!"
What is your favorite cereal? "The ones with the marshmallows in there"
What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play!
What is your favorite drink? Juice
What is your favorite store? Target! (That's my girl)
What do you want to be when you grow up? "A big girl!"

Hopefully I can remember to 'interview' her every year because she was so cute answering all the questions with such concentration. 

We are getting the house ready for Marlee's party tomorrow and are so excited to have everyone over to celebrate my baby girls third birthday. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I will have a three year old! Where does the the time go? 

Happy Birthday Marlee! You truly are my sunshine! Your smile brightens my day and watching you grow has made me so proud to be your mom. I hope today and everyday is amazing because you deserve the world. 
We love you to the moon and back!