Friday, December 5, 2014

Sammy so so

Sammy has been my trouble child as of late.

First she was the escape artist – I mentioned that she wandered off the first week we moved in. Instead of finding her way home, she found a person. Someone getting ready to leave for work at 4:45 AM!! They called us and Hubs hightailed it to pick her up.

So we know better than to take our eyes off her. How about letting her get some outside time when we are inside? We decided to try a tie up in the back yard and had some success. So much success that I thought I’d leave her on the tie up for a couple hours while we had somewhere else to be.
Our escape artist of a dog freed herself of her collar- the one with any/all identifying information- and went exploring. We came home to find the collar secured to the tie, but no dog. This time we were more worried. We KNOW Sammy will find people. She is more likely to jump in someone’s car than be hit by it. But how will said people find US? Social media to the rescue. After calling the dog warden, the police non emergency line and any other group we could think of, I took to the computer. I posted on craigslist and facebook. It was about 1AM when I got a craigslist reply that linked me to our Neighbor who posted on facebook that she had found a dog. The craigslist reply connected the two of us and resulted in a happy reunion at an ungodly early hour.

Then there were the pooping incidents-
Those of you with dogs know, if they have an accident in the house, they always do it in the same spot/room, right? Our childhood dog, Max, always did it in the dining room. At the old house, Sammy always did it in the basement. Now that we are in the new house, I guess she had to find a new spot. Well she found her spot, Caroline’s room! The first time it was on her rug and it was so runny/messy/gross that the rug got tossed. Luckily for cleanups sake, I hadn't had time to replace the rug before the second infraction. It would have been easy enough to clean and disinfect the hardwood if I wasn’t carrying a sleeping Caroline when I discovered it.  Stepping over the land mines and through a fog of stale poop smell, I laid her down in her bed. She woke up to hear me cursing under my breath.
“Sammy poo pooed my room?”
"Yes, Sammy poo pooed in your room." I muttered
"Sammy bad dog”
“Yes, Sammy’s a bad dog. Caroline STAY in your bed, while I clean this up!”
“Momma I have milk?”
“Yes, when I’m done. STAY IN YOUR BED!”

Cue me running down and back up the stairs with the necessary cleaning items only to be greeting halfway by Caroline. Yes, she follows instructions well.
I maneuver past her, on a mission to try and finish scrubbing and disinfecting. Despite mopping the floor twice, the poop scent remains. We move our ionizing fan to her room without any other solution. I go to track down Caroline and begin the night night routine for a child that is no longer sleepy.

Lets hope we can get through the holidays without any more major Sammy events!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Moo!

Man, time flies.

At one year old, you have 6 teeth, weight in over 21 lbs, are sleeping through the night (except last night, but we’ll blame teething), pull up on everything, love to chase and be chased around the house, adore your sister, and are HUNGRY all the time.

Right now it’s all about inclusion. You want to be wherever your sister is, doing whatever she is doing. If anyone else is eating, forgetaboutit, we’d better have something for you too.

You dad has even said that you’ve started to demand a snack in the car when he picks you up from the sitters. As soon as he gets settled in the drivers seat, your hand shoots up expectantly, while you grunt your demands, “eh, eh, eh”.

Your first word was dada, but it didn’t take me long to coerce a ‘mama’ from your lips.

You love to dance and sing in the car. I love that when music is playing in the car I can look back and see you and your sister bopping your heads or kicking your feet to the beat.

At home you love when I swing you around and hang you upside down. You are a thrill seeker. The more wildly I fling you around, the louder the laugh. Oh how I love your laugh! It does make Dada very nervous though.

You LOVE your dada. When you see him, you almost launch from my arms to bury your head in his chest, kicking your legs in excitement.

I can’t believe you are a year already. Can we slow things down a little? I love you so much and can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkins, Costumes and Fall Stuff

It's OCTOBER. That means pumpkins, Halloween costumes, and all things fall weather. This past weekend we went to a local farm to get pumpkins. Really it was just an opportunity to let Caroline play on slides, pet the dogs (they are goats, but she thinks they are dogs), climb on farm equipment and generally run around like a wild child. And run she did. Oh, did I mention she insisted on wearing her "Let It Go" dress? It's an Elsa dress from Frozen that she rarely takes off. At least she permitted the jacket - it was cold!



We were taken aback at the cost of the pumpkins. Do they know we can get similar pumpkins for $4-$6 at Kroger??? But of course we Jonathan forked over the cash for the two pumpkins that spoke to us.

Sunday brought us gorgeous weather so we set up camp in the yard and carved the pumpkins. Sammy wanted in on the fun too (or really wanted the banana in Caroline's hand)


Maggie was the official pumpkin inspector

Caroline scooping the guts - notice the banana still securely in the other hand

This is the best I could do to get a picture of the girls with the pumpkins. BTW what is with all the pink?? I don't think they've ever been so pepto-bismal.

Maggie's already outtie

Evidently when our pumpkins spoke to us, Jonathan's said it was scary and mine said it was sad (or pooping, according to Caroline).

Fast approaching is Halloween. Caroline's request for costume has changed several times. At first she wanted to be a ghost. I don't know where she learned about ghosts, but it is her current obsession. Then, when shopping for costumes, she HAD TO HAVE a lady bug costume. Now, she wants to be a cat. And of course we have the aforementioned "let it go" dress that was handed down from a friend. It will be a beggars night decision.


As for Maggie, we are looking to dig up the spider costume that we used for Caroline when she was that age. If we can't find it, we'll head to the kids consignment store to find something quick. If that has to happen, I'll bet we'll end up with another option for Caroline too.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Birthday Cake Challenge - Year 5

The birthdays continue. This past weekend was Biscuits 30th birthday!! And you all know what that means – Birthday Cake Challenge!

The birthday cake challenge started in 2009 – yep, 5 YEARS AGO – with the crepe cake 

 Subsequent challenges have led us to the following tasty destinations:
This salty caramel chocolate goodness
The Rainbow cake - detailed here
Last year's Pavlova that I don't think I blogged about
This year biscuit sent me a recipe for a pineapple upside down cake. She must think I need a break because this only required me to follow a straightforward recipe. I even had a helper this year.
We made the cake and went to sing Happy Birthday and enjoy the cake.
It was good, but next time I’d probably search out a recipe that makes it in a cast iron skillet so the pineapple caramelizes and the sugar gets all crunchy on the outside edges. Next time, I’ll take your challenge and raise the bar.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dear Maggie,

Oh my moo, you are so awesome. I am excitedly planning your first birthday, while simultaneously wondering where a YEAR went. While I do miss the snuggly, tiny infant you were, I’m really enjoying the toddler you are turning into. And who wouldn’t? You are such a happy baby. People are always commenting that they want to take you home. You have a light that shines and spreads joy. It is a guilty pleasure spending time with you. I’m soaking it all in before you tire of me and my patty-cake antics. Before I know it you’ll be rolling your eyes at me and stomping away.

The other day I got a glimpse of your future and it looked like a childhood that resembled my own – You were crawling furiously to catch up to your sister and your cousin. Hearing their giggles from the other room, you were determined. So determined in fact, you climbed that step into the kitchen like you had done it a hundred times before, quickly and adeptly, just to see what all the fuss was about.

Being the second born, I know. It’s hard always wanting to play with the big kids. I’m going to warn you now baby girl, you will get shut down, turned away and maybe ignored. But just like that step, you will conquer and be stronger because of it. And then there will be the times that Caroline plays with you and protects you. Those times will feel all the sweeter and will bond you two together, forever.  Sisters are a treasure. I should know, I have two of them!
There is this time of day that I love. It’s after you’ve eaten and your sister is settled into cartoons or a puzzle. I sneak away with you and your bottle to do our night-night routine. I change you into your PJs, not before I get in some good tickles, and we curl up in the rocker.  You kick and squirm as you eye the bottle. You even spit out your pacifier in preparation, only crying if I take too long and miss all your non-verbal cues. We rock together as you drink your nightly bottle. Sometimes you are so tired that once finished, you snuggle into my neck before transitioning to bed. If you aren’t too tired, then it is play time! I bounce you and nibble your neck until the room is filled with your laughter. It’s only about 15 minutes of the day, but it’s all ours.

I promise I will always look for ways to have one-on-one time with just you.

I love you.

The momma.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Love

To my partner in crime,

Happy Birthday! It’s hard to remember what my life was like before you!
I hope you aren’t underwhelmed by your birthday this year. I fear it will get lost in the new house/old house drama. Please know how thankful I am that you are in my life. I know I’ve been the high maintenance one lately. Thank you for keeping me grounded.
It’s funny how our birthday celebrations have changed through the years. Birthdays are more fun with kids, don’t you think? While we may be less than thrilled about another candle on the cake, their excitement is contagious. I can’t wait to sing happy birthday to you with Caroline, a smiling Maggie happy to be a part of the festivities.     

This year you won’t be showered with gifts, trips and parties. Instead there will be cake, candles, singing and all your girls surrounding you on this special day.
We love you.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Move

So we are OFFICIALLY in the new house. The address has been changed in all the required places and the kitchen is unpacked. There are boxes in every room. I know the majority of the boxes will remain untouched and continue to taunt me for years to come, but the KITCHEN IS UNPACKED.

So how is everyone handling it?

The cat’s first order was to pee on everything. He has now been banished to either the basement or outside. Since there are no feral neighborhood cats to fend off anymore, I think he’s quite happy.

The dog “ran away”. I use quotation marks because I think it was more of a casual meandering, smelling her way through the new neighborhood. No matter how casual it was on her part, we spent one long sleepless night exploring the neighborhood with flashlights. We didn’t find her. Instead, she found someone getting ready to leave for work at 4:45 AM!! They called us and Hubs hightailed it to pick her up.

The girls adjusted the best to the new house. It probably has something to do with our increased intake of fast food and more outside playtime.

My extrovert of a husband is socializing with all the neighbors and inviting everyone to tour our new castle. He’s generally enjoying the new digs.  

This girl? This routine, predictable, OCD, introvert? She is not handing it all so well. I’m like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, unable to get comfortable, relax and generally settle in. My anxiety is on overdrive. I’m contemplating medicating myself.

The list of what I want to do to the house is a mile long and I want to do it NOW. Conversely, I don’t want to spend all my valuable time doing house stuff and miss out on time with my baby girls. They are just growing too fast. I am paralyzed by enormity of it all.

Then there is the old house. The house we are trying to rent, but still doesn’t have a tenant. The house that can’t be ignored and needs cleaned, painted, maintained and PAID FOR.  Oh No, here comes the panic.

Please be kind to my family, they have a crazy woman to deal with right now.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Moving On

I had this long, lovely post written about the sadness I feel about leaving our first home. It was chock full of memories, with eloquent nods to how we laughed, cried, partied, remodeled and generally grew up in that house. I just needed to put a few finishing touches on it in the morning. So I closed my computer yesterday and headed home. 

Once home and through the door, it took an embarrassingly long time to ascertain what had happened, why all our belongings were splayed across every surface, cabinets open and drawers askew.  

The house was broken into and we were robbed.

There wasn’t much that the burglar perceived as valuable, just some prescription pills and a laptop. The TVs were still intact, an indication according to the police it was one person. Sadly, the most expensive item stolen was our sense of security.

So yeah….

Today I was still thinking about posting my thoughts, just editing them to emphasize to the crummy I guess the universe is trying to tell me something-


Friday, July 25, 2014

House Hunting

So we I knew we would need a new house once I got pregnant. I had the wisp of an idea that maybe we’d buy and sell before the baby came. Like all my ideas, I romanticized it. We’d bring the new baby home and rock her to sleep in our new beautifully decorated home. There would be multiple bathrooms so we could easily potty train Caroline and life would be better.  BWA HA HA HA….
Well that idea daydream evaporated as we focused on other things. Fast forward to this Spring and I’m ready to make it a reality. 

So here is The Plan. The Plan is smart and executable and will get us to where we want to be.
Details of The Plan. We will prepare and list our house for sale. We will price it higher than market value to give us some time to hunt for the next house.  If someone loves our house so much that they are willing to pay the higher price, that would be a pretty good situation. Realistically this higher price would allow us to take time to shop for our forever home. You know the one, lots of space, in the perfect neighborhood with good school districts and no updates needed. All within our price range…. Once we found the forever home, we’d lower the price on the current one to sell it.

Sounds good right?

Ok, I know you see the holes in The Plan. As I type up The Plan, I realize how idealistic it was. I mean, nowhere do I consider how I will clean the dog-and-cat-hair-littered, overflowing-sink, laundry-landmine-covered, toy-explosion house for showings.  

The showing of the house, which means getting everyone including the dog, out of the house AND making sure it is in pristine condition.  One day I came home from work to do a surface clean and collect the dog prior to a showing. I was on my way out the door grabbing the dogs leash only to find a fresh pile of dog poop in the basement.

Then there is searching for our forever home. Sounds like fun right? It was until I realized how aggressive I was going to have to be to fight off all these other people with the same idea.  WTF people, how am I going to decide if it is the right house for me if I can't even GET IN TO SEE IT. Three houses literally went into contract as we were touring them. Another 4-6 only made it to the list of ‘must see’ when they went into contract. The urgency of the market meant we were often piling into the car on a weeknight and rushing around town, handing nuggets to the backseat passengers, and keeping them up LATE.
One such crazy excursion was when both girls got pinkeye. Only one got in to see the pediatrician.  I was leaving the next morning on a business trip the antibiotics for the second had to be secured pronto. During that madness I admit that I hauled two goopy-eyed kids through three houses prior to several desperate attempts to secure eye drops at both the minute-clinic and urgent care.

So how did The Plan actually get executed? 

Sale of the current house – Fail Change in direction
Luckily for me and my cleaning schedule, we only had about 6 showings. Unluckily (is that a word?) for the sale of our house, we only had about 6 showings.  So we are going to keep the house and rent it. We’d probably fail an inspection anyways. The Updated Plan is to rent out the current house. The Updated Plan will prove to be more lucrative, renters paying us money every month, making me a real estate mogul. There are no holes in The Updated Plan AT ALL. 

Purchase of the next house – pending.   
That’s all I’m going to say about that right now. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

Please be kind to me for the next month….

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

I just reread my last blog post and it was kinda a downer. I was just getting over being sick. Hey, we all have those days/weeks.

Time for some more positivity! Today (Wednesday) is my Friday! And it's a long, holiday weekend!!

We are hosting our 8th(?) annual Fourth of July party on Friday and It may be the last one at our current house. I'm not necessarily sad about that, more nostalgic. Believe me, I'm looking forward to hosting the party in a house where more than three people can stand in the kitchen and we have a place indoors to place all the food. I am unsure that the next house and future neighbors will be as accommodating to our HUGE and probably illegal fireworks display, home run derby competition, and general mayhem that the party stirs up.

In the sense of nostalgia, there are a couple of fourth of July events that make me smile when I think about them:

Friends of ours that met at our party, and are now getting married this year ON THE FOURTH.
There were a couple years that we had Uncle Jack and Cousin Brad DJ - It was awesome.
There was the giga-ball that didn't make it through the night....
Last year was the epic ping-pong battle IN THE RAIN. The boys brought the table outside into the driveway. The BAC (Big Ass Canopy) died trying to keep it dry. The boys blared the music from the dry sanctuary of the window and played until the sun came up - literally. You should have seen the look on Caroline's face when she woke up and saw some of the boys sleeping on the couch.
We had a neighbor very angry with us over the use of fireworks. Hubs made it better with a hug.
Then there was the year we had the Eisels, minus their eldest who was at camp, all spend the night. 
And we've had all kinds of weather- Dry and hot, hot and wet, intermittently storming and just overall downpours. This year might be the best year yet - dry and mild.

Here's to another Fourth of July celebration.

FYI - look how big the girls are getting!!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Summer - just out of reach

Summer – it’s here. Or at least it’s right outside my front door. It’s my favorite season, the heat, the pool, the long days and warm nights. So why do I feel like it is passing me by?

Because I have two young kids and the logistics of tending to them takes up the majority of my day.  Also, naps. One is either just waking up or just falling asleep all day long.  

You’d think with the longer days, there would be a chance to enjoy the weather during the weeknights, right? Not a chance. I have two very tightly packed hours in which I have to cook dinner, shove food in everyone’s face, clean up, and start bedtime routine. Just because the daylight lingers past 9:30pm doesn’t change the fact that bedtime for the baby is 7:30. 

There are those few and fleeting moments I relish, soaking in the warmth and freedom that summer allows: Taking the trash out to the street, barefoot; The extra 20 minutes I save each morning by not having to bundle each child and scrape snow/ice off the car; the long rays of sunshine that filter through the trees once everyone is in bed and I get a minute to sit down. 

This weekend I’m going to TRY and take the girls to the pool. Lathering sunscreen on two wiggly, excited, pasty-white girls, making sure you don’t miss a spot, might be more difficult than bundling them up in their snow gear.  By the time I have them sufficiently protected from all the UV rays, gathered the towels, snacks, back up diapers and toys, it inevitably starts raining. 

I know summer just started. I keep telling myself there will be time to enjoy it, but then I remember we are in the middle of selling our house and have a move in our near future….