Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The time has come... is officially time.

For my new site to launch. And also for you to update your bookmarks (please do this...please...pretty pretty please).

The new site is located at:

yup...I'm a dot com now...yay me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Carter's hair

I didn't know how to explain Carter's hair... so I drew you a purty picture...enjoy:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maclaren Post 4: Review Wrap Up

I am sad to report that this is our final review post on Maclaren (unless they would like us to review more...I say with a big smile, nod and wink):

The kids have had such a great time reviewing these products (as have I...and Chad...and my parents....and some of our friends).

In fact, our friend Chris came over the other day and Carter ran to get his Maclaren Arctic puzzle to show him (I think Carter is proud that he can finally put all of the pieces together correctly... which in all honesty - can be hard (heck, it takes me a few tries)).(or maybe it's because the blue whale (bet you can't locate that in the picture below) matched his button-up perfectly), and then Carter made the animals line up in train-format. I know you're shocked. After that, madness ensued.

(I promised I bought him pants that fit after this)

Avery munched on her toys more (and her feet, her hands, my shirt, the corner of the couch, my hair, a passing cat (just kidding peta) and every other object she could get ahold of).
And, of course, I blogged about it. The funny part was that when I told Carter that I was blogging about the Maclaren toys, he made another train with the critters by my computer... and then lined them up to "watch mommy bog." I wonder if the animals find my blog as riveting as the other 4 people that read it...maybe they will follow me on twitter.

If they were to mention this post on twitter...what would their hashtags be?

Here's my guess:

Hmm, somehow I got off topic. Anyways, we have had a fabulous time reviewing all three of these Maclaren products.

1.) The Arctic Puzzle:

Photo From the Maclaren Facebook page (which you can "like" on Facebook by the way)

2.) Plush Stroller Toys (with bunny, balloon and octopus):

3.) Plush Stroller Toys (with plane, race car and sailboat):

Chic design + practical everyday use + fun and entertaining for kids...I guess you could say, I’m a Maclaren fan for life.

Disclaimer: Maclaren sent these toys to us to review - but did not compensate us in any other way and of course did not ask me to say happy, shiny things about them. All opinions are very much my own.

Monday, January 17, 2011

To sum up the day so far

Disclaimer: I know I said I would not talk about poop as much this year. But... some rules are just meant to be broken. Carter could attest to this.

You know something isn’t right when you wake up with a killer migraine. Is this the universes way of telling me to get a sitter and go drinking for the day? Did I say that out loud? Because, the weird thing is, I’m just not one to get migraines (I can honestly count on one hand how many I have had in my life (and I mean actual migraines...not just really bad hangovers that I tried to pass off as medical conditions)). And since hiding under the covers all day in the fetal position isn’t an option (although I totally did this for an hour while I made Chad wrangle the kids and get them breakfast)...I had to get up.

And it began:

Carter was on a rampage from a renewal of energy after having been sick. He tried to fly (down the stairs on his belly), he tried to “bump the dog” repeatedly (whatever that is), he tried to break anything breakable, throw anything throwable, beat anything not moving (and some things moving...sorry kitty), he smeared his own spit across the window, he screamed (mostly the word “NO” when I tried to bring up any fun activity we could do that didn’t include destruction). He was just... unstoppable.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw nap time slowly approaching. I know this makes me sound like a monster. But before you judge me...ask yourself this...ok no...just go ahead and judge me. In fact, leave me a nasty comment about how much I suck... it’ll be the cherry on top of this shit-tastic day.

Anywho, halfway through lunch (also known as: the-mommy-refuses-to-make-mac-and-cheese-fight) I start to smell something, and it’s coming from the general direction of Avery’s diaper. This can’t be good. She’s my rose-smelling child.

Upstairs we all go. Avery, cooing happily away (I mean, after that disaster in her diaper...of course she felt better), Carter screaming “no upstairs...I fly down stairs” and me...wishing it were last night again and I were laughing at all of the shoulder-pad abuse by hollywood's female stars at the golden globes.

I’ll skip through all of the gruesome details of the diaper explosion and just say... Avery needed a bath. And heaven forbid Carter play quietly in his bedroom while Avery had a bath....nope...Captain trouble had to be in the bathroom with us...and insisted that he too get a bath.

Now, If you’re wondering how the logistics of two kids in the bath at the same time (but not in the bath tub together) works, it’s like this:

I put Avery in her inflatable ducky tub on the bathroom floor and Carter in the bathtub and pop a squat on the bathroom floor between the two tubs. I’m a magical multi-tasker (seriously, if I can carry a carseat, hold a toddlers hand and hold the spastic dog’s leash into Petco for the spastic dog’s grooming appointment...I can for sure handle a dual bath). Hear that potential future employers? Magical Multi-tasker.

If you think you have the picture pretty well formed in your head...just remember to add the fact that I am smiling more and more as nap time inches closer. I need them to both nap today. I need this. Need it.

And just as the smile reaches it’s point of almost-bliss....I hear farting noises and the following conversation takes place:

Me: Carter, what was that noise?

Carter: I fart

Me: you need to sit on the potty?

Carter (after more air bubbles and noises): No, I pooped mommy


Carter (now holding his own feces in his hand): I pooped...see...poopy!

I could go into how I had to now run him to the shower to clean him off, disinfect the bathtub, how he peed down the side of me on the way back from the shower and then also on his blanket ...but I won’t.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sometimes I'm Dumb. Other times I'm super dumb

This picture is unrelated to this post in every way except that it accurately displays just how dorky I was (read: am).
This picture was taken during the height of my dorkiness (although this is arguable),
when I was in the marching band. Plus I didn't have a picture of the following event.

A few years ago, a coworker and I went into a Chipotle (no, this is not the start of a “walked into a bar” style joke - it’s merely a quick and very pointless “I’m super dumb” story).

A little background: I hate cold weather. Correction, I hate being cold. Anyways, I was wearing a powder blue turtleneck sweater (it was the early 2000’s... don’t judge me), a long (almost floor length) tight skirt (again see note about the year), and knee-high boots with heels (I still wear these...and they're back in style now - yay me).

And a man (who was clearly on a date ... maybe even first date (I am guessing due to the awkwardness between he and his date)) looked at me and said, “excuse me, that is an interesting outfit of no skin showing what-so-ever” and then giggled uncontrollably by himself for about 3 minutes while (his date and) I blankly stared at him.

And my reaction (I know you’re hoping was witty, funny or at least rude)... nope... I smiled really big and said, “thanks” and thought, "what a nice man..."

Did your head just drop... and shake back and forth repeatedly?

The thing is, in my head ... he was thinking “I bet she’s warm.” And I was.

It wasn’t until the car ride back to work that my coworker clued me in that he was being sarcastic.

If you’re wondering why this story just popped into my head... it’s because I was thinking “I could go for a good turtle neck sweater today” when I got up. I love me some warm clothes.

Monday, January 10, 2011

She's come undone (almost)

Perhaps my children have banned together to see how quickly I can unravel.

A little recap of last night:

9pm - I go to bed early. Headache

11pm - Avery up - needs a binky

12:30am - Avery up - needs a bottle

1am - Everyone is asleep....ahhh

2am - Carter is up screaming “Mommy!!! Mommy I pooped! Mommy come clean my butt!”

2:10am - Still yelling...I should go in. He had better not be faking it to get me in there

2:11am - I realize he’s faking it. He just wants to tell me about his day at Disney on Ice

2:15am - He’s back in his bed and seems calm enough that I can go back to bed.

2:30am - He’s screaming and crying again. And now it’s starting to wake up Avery (but not Chad)

2:45am - I give Chad Avery’s monitor and head for Carter’s room...not sure how this will work out...

3am - I find myself convinced into sleeping on the floor in Carter’s room. About 10% of my body fits on his “Cars” sleeping bag and I am curled in a ball under his fireman blanket.

The following conversation ensues:

Carter: Mommy in Carter’s room

Me: Yup - now go to bed. Ok buddy?

Carter: Mommy, you on my cars blankie

Me: Uh huh

Carter: Mommy, my butt hurts. Want mommy to change me

Me: Carter, you’re clean - remember....we just checked

Carter: Butt hurts. Kiss my butt. Put ice on my butt

Me: Carter - your butt is fine. Just go to bed

Carter: Mommy, I have boogies

Me: Go to bed

a few minutes go by

Carter: My boogies hurt. Kiss my boogies.

...........breaks into laughter........................

Me: Not funny. Go to bed

Carter: Done napping Mommy, go downstairs maybe?

Me: No

Carter: Watch mickey on tv maybe?

Me: No

some time passes....ahh...silence

Carter: Saw a famboni today mommy

Me: I know buddy - we talked about the zamboni at dinner. Go to bed

Carter: Rode on a train today mommy realizing that responding is egging him on.....silence from my end

Carter: Train mommy....train....train mommy. TRRRRR....AIIIINNNN mommy


Carter: Boogie. FAM BONE EE. Train. BOOOOOOOgie

more time...more me hope that he's asleep

Carter (now climbing out of bed to lay next to me on the floor): I lay by mommy

Carter: Mommy, you napping?

Me: Carter, mommy is sleeping...go to bed

Carter (now trying to pull my eye lids open): Hi Mommy. HIIII

Me (checking the clock and seeing that it’s now 3:30am - am now feeling desperate): you want a timeout?

Carter: Yes timeout....timeout downstairs...then watch front end loaders on tv maybe?

Me (realizing that he’s utilizing a timeout to get downstairs): sigh

Carter: What’s that smell?

Me: I don’t know...go to bed

Carter: I FARRRRRRT. Fart. Fart. Fart. Fart fart fart fart. Ahh haaaa haaaa

Me: Seriously...go to bed or you’ll get in trouble

Carter: Sorry mommy....

This went on until just after 4am. And then he woke up at 6am.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Three Days Later

Ahh the difference three days makes in Northeast Ohio. Here is our yard three days after the last picture.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maclaren Reviews ... Post 3: The one where I put the smack down...ok no...I still like them

After a few weeks of harsh clinical studies (read: a lot of playing and chewing), here is what I have to say about the Maclaren toys sent for us to review (last month)

For Avery to test:

Avery is sort of an equal-opportunity teether with her toys ... but as these have carseat/stroller attachments (see below)... it bumps them to the head of class. This makes them teethers (for when she’s in her swing or high chair) and entertaining toys for when she’s in mobile-mode. Score and score.

And the puzzles Carter tested:

Well... they’re still in train-mode. That, or maybe they’re migrating? Regardless, they’re still entertaining him. Another score.

My review (what? Mom’s count too):

I would recommend these to a friend, a grandparent, a talkative stranger, and local companies (to stock Maclaren toys...why don’t they by the way?). And for me to recommend a toy takes a lot. It either has to educate, entertain (without the child getting bored quickly), hmm..what else...easy to clean (don't judge some toys can be hard)...and I am pretty particular about a toy’s quality. These toys have passed every mommy and kid test that we have put them to.

Next test - playdates. Tune in for more.

Disclaimer: Maclaren sent these toys to us to review - but did not compensate us in any other way and of course did not ask me to say happy, shiny things about them. All opinions are very much my own.

Wordless Wednesday

Ok, a few words:
I fully understand that it's Thursday. But I took this picture of my backyard on Wednesday... so it somehow works (in my head). Plus, it's all gross and snowy today - what a difference a day makes in Northeast Ohio.
And also...let's pretend that those dark piles in the yard are just crud or mud or something... and not at all related to the dog and my laziness. I've ruined the picture now haven't I?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A special note to two very special people on their anniversary

I will make this short and sweet (so I don’t get a “damn you, you made me cry at work” text).

One year ago today, you made it official (although we already all knew how much you meant to each other). But little did you know... how much you meant and continue to mean to all of us.

Then (with the cutest ring bearer ev-ah):

And now:

I know that today is very difficult to celebrate apart (traveling can be hard). But I hope you smile when you think of the very special love that you have for one another - and that we all have for you.

Happy Anniversary!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A day full of disappointing my children with normal-ness

The holidays are over. Our Christmas tree is gone (I certainly didn’t expect the massive toddler meltdown - I’ll be sure to promptly forget about this new tidbit of parental wisdom so that I can be shocked and unprepared for the meltdown again next year), our decorations have been packed up and put away and life at the gotfam household is back to “normal.”
Little did I know though (another new bit of parental wisdom) that having had so many people constantly around the kids...they would grow accustomed to getting a ton of attention and whatever they wanted.

So you can imagine how happy they were with me this morning. If there could have been word balloons over their heads, they may have read things like this,

“a poptart for breakfast....where are my homemade pancakes, home fries, fresh fruit and puppets playing with me while I eat?”

“why am I stuck in this exercaucer? Why isn’t someone holding me constantly and telling me how cute I am 24 hours a day?”

“NAP? Um No.”

And here are a few of my favorite conversations (so far) from my day of getting-back-to-normal with the kids:

I went into Carter’s room to get him up this morning and he looked at me slightly disappointed...

Carter: No Chrissy, want Daddy

Me: Did you just call me by my first name? Call me mommy please. Mommy is going to get you up - because daddy’s at work.

Carter: Papa?

Me: Papa went home ... to Michigan

Carter: Santa?

Me: You have quite a while to wait for Santa to come back little dude

Carter: Phone Santa please

Me: Avery, eat your squishy food

Me: Avery, stop spitting your squishy food at me

Me: Seriously Avery, stop spitting food out

Me: Spit your food out Avery

Me: reverse psychology doesn’t work yet?

Me: Ok kids...we’re off to the store

Carter: Get trucks from Santa

Me (thinking oh crap..what?): Uhh...santa gets his toys from his workshop...remember we talked about the elves?

Carter: Truck store mommy

Me: We’re going to the grocery store...and I doubt they have trucks there

Carter: Get mac and cheese

Me: Sigh ... at least say please

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chairs, Puzzles and Bunnies (where could that go wrong?)

This past week (three weeks ... um no ... month) seems to have flown past quicker than imaginable (just like my gain of almost 8 pounds (read: ok ten ... err ... eleven ... stop judging me - I’m on a diet now ... honest)).

We celebrated Christmas (post and plenty of pictures to come on that), we had a few toddler melt downs, we celebrated New Years (see note about posts to come), had more toddler melt downs, had a ton of super cute kid moments, celebrated more (read: drank more), cleaned up our celebrations... and now it’s back to life as usual.

One thing we set up (and are now enjoying) is the new activity table area. Technically, we set it up last year (the table was Carter’s Christmas gift from Nana and Papa last year). And this year they brought the kids two adorable chairs. So we used this as our chance to talk to Carter about appropriate areas to do crafts, color, play with puzzles and books, (pick his nose and rub it under the table...oh we said not to do that), etc. Even though we fully know (and support the fact) that he (and eventually Avery) will end up dragging their crafts, crayons, books, boogies (we don't support that so much...but we accept it) and puzzles all over the house (again).

One thing that we proudly placed on the activity table - Carter’s Maclaren puzzle. I just can’t get over how uber-trendy designy it is. My uber-techy-and-design-dorky family loved it too. My dad started to rattle off all of the design influences the puzzle’s creator must have had (he and I have a lot in common... a ‘history-of-design’ documentary and some popcorn would be both of our ideas of the best entertainment ever).

And Carter hasn’t seemed to bore of it either. I can’t say he uses it correctly ... but what can you expect - he would just much prefer to make everything transform into a train, truck, or plate of mac and cheese.

He likes to dump the pieces out, create a train out of the animals, crash a truck into them, and then stage an accident scene - that his fire truck (or other misc rescue vehicles) can arrive at - in a real hurried fashion. And then there is all sorts of mumbling that seems to occur, of which I can only assume is his version of the rescuers discussion of what must have happened at said accident.

Regardless, it keeps him entertained. So, I don’t question.

My only comment (this is more for kids that use it correctly) is that the outlines on the puzzle can be slightly too small (not to scale). The only reason I know this is because I was playing with it ... and it took me a few tries to get the pieces into the correct places (which speaks sad sad volumes about my intelligence).

And Avery (as you can probably imagine) continues to chew on her stroller toys lovingly. The bunny has already had to be wiped off (due to copious amounts of carrot (oh how appropriate ... nicely played Avery ...) squished into it’s fur).

Disclaimer: Maclaren provided the puzzle and stroller toys that I referred to in this post (free of charge). They did not, however, compensate me in any other way.

Note: hold onto your panties - a change is a-comin'! (in the form of a new website! I'll let you know more ... well ... when I launch the new site)