Monday, November 25, 2013

Turkey for 4

Michael usually works on Thanksgiving because, well, power plants never close and people seem to want electricity on holidays more than any other day. Since we live several hours away from family we have spent several Thanksgivings without a turkey dinner. Since Morgan woke up the day after Halloween and bounced into my bedroom squealing 'it's Christmas now right?!?!' I have tried to make a big deal out of Thanksgiving. I mean it's an important holiday. It's when the pilgrims came over with Christopher Columbus in 1492 on the Mayflower to  Plymouth Rock and started the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have a BA a history. 

So I've refused to drag out any Christmas decorations or listen to any music and my house is still decorated with turkeys and pumpkins. I decided to attempt a small Thanksgiving dinner for the 4 of us to munch on. I got on Pinterest and made sure to type 'easy' at the beginning of each if my recipe searches. I found a simple crock pot turkey breast recipe, a stuffing, a sweet potato casserole, wrote down all the ingredients, planned to use Bob Evans mashed potatoes (thank you Jesus from all of us mothers for that wonderful invention), cans of veggies, and bread dough roll things that my mother in law always makes. 

Okay so Michael is 2.5 hours away today cutting firewood with his dad because since our house has no insulation it apparently takes electric, oil heat, and wood burning fireplace to keep us from turning into human snow cones. I'm not ashamed to say I wear an adult sleeper with hood to keep my teeth from chattering. My husband posted this picture on Facebook to try to embarrass me:

I was researching Dr. Who. And Morgan was slightly frozen to death next to me. 

So I was stuck taking both kids to Kroger alone. Jack has an ear infection and is cutting a molar and hates everybody and everything. Morgan has had a cough for 4 weeks that I think is wood burning fireplace induced asthma that might take a witch doctor to cure because so far nothing has helped. So I load red cheeked snotty slobbery cranky Jack into cart with his pink and purplish crochet snuggle blanky passed down from Morgan and Morgan proclaims (in between hacking) that 'her widdle wegs are soooo tired' so she has to sit inside the cart alone with the diaper bag and all jackets. Awesome, now I have so much room for everything on my list. 

I barely make it into the produce section when both kids start crying that they are 'so starving they could die and go to heaven and see baby Jesus but they aren't ready to see Jesus so mom please give us something to eat' or at least that is what Morgan said and I know it's what Jack's 'berf berf waaahhhhh' interpreted to. I aways pack snacks for my hungry hungry hippos so I start passing out Cheerios and 'squeeze fruits' while tossing items into cart and crossing things off list and dodging the crowd. 

The crowd. 

I realized it was pre Thanksgiving AND 'oh em gee it's gonna snow 1 whole inch tonight' mania in there and I was in the middle of it. I literally was trapped waiting for a 122 year old lady to ponder over which onion to buy and I wanted to scream 'by the beard of Zeus it's a friggin onion let's GO!!!' And then I finally trek to the frozen coffins of dead turkeys where humans were circling like vultures trying to decide which dead body would be best to feed their young. And I joined them. 

All I needed was a 3-3&1/2 lb boneless turkey breast. Easy right?

Apparently such a unicorn does not exist. 

If you want a 600 pound turkey with bone and feet, you're in luck. I bet you could even find a chocolate covered gobbler. 

I circled about 20 times and couldn't find what I needed. Every time I passed the liquor section I slowed down a bit more. 

And then I left. 

I walked past the women fighting over the last packet of butter, grabbed a Red Bull, checked out, and left with all my Thanksgiving side dishes. 

I'm planning to pour 5 different liquors in the crock pot with chicken broth and eat stuffing and pie. I like pie. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Awesome is awesome.

I had a mommy friend highly recommend a product called Awesome. You buy it from Family Dollar for a buck and it can be used to clean everything from your toilet to stains on your kiddos clothing. 

Awesome is indeed awesome. 

That 3.5 year old paint stain on the carpet in my dining room? Almost gone!!! 

The carnival pizza that stained Morgan's shirt and then sent her to the bathroom for half hour...not even shout worked on it. Awesome took care of it. 

I literally run around cackling like a happy witch while I look for stains on my carpet to spray and scrub. 

And it smells so clean. It doesn't smell all chemically. It smells good. 

However I do have to warn you that while I clean my bathroom, my eyes water and my nose burns. 

So this stuff is probably slowly eating my skin and lungs. 

But for now...

Makes me feel

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mayo free veggie pizza

It's well known among family and friends that I hate mayonnaise. No. I don't just hate it. I have a fear of it. I can't even touch the jar. If the jar is touching my beloved Red Bull I can't drink it until someone else has washed the can for me. Mayo is a key factor in so many delicious dishes and I'm always disappointed at parties and cookouts when I see something that probably has mayo in it but I'm too embarrassed to ask so I just skip it and end up eating chips on a bun or something. So I make it a personal challenge to try to make recipes and find a mayo substitute. 

This is one of my favorite mayo free recipes: veggie pizza!


2 cans of crescent rolls 
2 packages of cream cheese
1-2 packages of hidden valley ranch dip mix (depending on how ranchy you like it)
1 container 16 oz sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Various veggies - I always use broccoli, cauliflower, celery, carrots, and bell peppers


Spread crescent rolls out on nonstick cookie sheet, follow baking directions on can. 

While crust is cooking, in a bowl mix the cream cheese (soften in microwave first), sour cream, and ranch dip mix. 

Spread mixture onto cooked cooled crust. 

Dice up all veggies and spread on top of cream cheese / sour cream mixture. 

Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top. 

Voila! Ready to enjoy! 

I always use reduced fat products and it still tastes delicious. This dish is great for parties. And if you're gluten free you can use a cauliflower crust instead of crescent rolls! And if you're vegan/dairy the veggies?

Spread crescent rolls onto cookie sheet

Cooked crescent roll crust 

Mayo free mixture 

I don't use a lot of shredded cheese because I'm always trying to cut calories


Monday, October 7, 2013

Ticket to Mommyland

Whenever a Facebook friend posts a smiling, exhausted, sometimes drugged up picture of herself with her brand spankin new baby (what? I had a morphine pump didn't y'all?), I usually post 'yay welcome to Mommyland!' and recently I had somebody respond 'what's Mommyland?' 

So I've been pondering this. Usually when I vacuum. That's when I do my best thinking. 

'Mommyland' is different from 'Parenthood' or 'Organic mom with free range children' or any of those other perfect places that perfect parents dwell with their perfect lives and perfect children. 

Mommyland is far from perfect. 

Here is a sample checklist to see if you've earned your ticket to Mommyland:

You wonder why drug companies haven't invented baby sleeping medication. Or a diet pill that actually works. 

Your children look like a ad for Gymboree when you take them to school (matching top and bottom with matching shoes and hair bow) but you look like you're homeless wearing whatever you've dug out of the clean laundry basket that morning, hair in a bun, no makeup, and house slippers. 

You try to vacuum a Cheerio and find yourself screaming 'you satanic circle of whole grain I WILL DEFEAT YOU!' because Cheerios have supernatural powers and resist vacuum suction. 

You have a princess tent at your front door because that's the one toyless spot left in your home and whenever people ring your doorbell you have to yell 'hang on I have to move the tent to get the door open!' which is actually a great way to scare away Jehovah's witnesses. 

You're jealous of your child free friends' posts on Facebook. Not the posts about going to gourmet restaurants or out to the movies or on amazing vacations or to Kroger alone. The posts about sleeping in. I miss sleeping in. 

You lock yourself in a room to eat a snickers bar and drink a Coke not only because you don't want to share, but because you don't want your children to see you eating that junk when you have them convinced pop will rot their teeth and sugar will make their toes fall off. 

You stick a pacifier back in your baby's mouth after it falls on the ground/floor without washing it and shrug off the shocked stares from 'organic free range children' moms because you've seen what your kid usually puts in their mouth and a dirty pacifier is the least of your worries. 

You snicker to yourself at 'perfect mom' who brags about their 3 year old who can already read, speak Portuguese, bake bread, and has a black belt in whatever kwan do. Then you lovingly look at your child who is eating a booger and say 'yeah that's awesome. Mine is dumb' because the reaction you get is priceless. 

You silently laugh until you almost pee when your child drops their first curse word. 

You feel like you need to build bleachers in your bathroom so the kids and cats will have someplace to sit whenever you shower, brush your teeth, etc because obviously you can't ever be trusted to do these things alone. 

You constantly want a break from your kids but the moment you get one you miss them like crazy. How warped is that?

Your kid refers to Red Bull or coffee as 'mommy sippy.'

By the end of each day your clothes are crusted up with dried slobbers, snot, applesauce, and who knows what else. 

If you're laughing and nodding your head as you read this, welcome to Mommyland. We have pie. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Easy chicken pot pie for non cookers like myself

It's no secret that I don't cook much. I don't really enjoy it. When I'm hungry I don't feel like prepping and mixing and cutting and then waiting. I prefer easy meals like salads, cheese and fruit, Red Bull, etc. But apparently I'm supposed to feed my family, so I clear off my brand new stove and fire it up every now and then. I have 2 small impatient children that don't acknowledge my existence until I try to do something other than try to keep them entertained, so I highly appreciate easy meals that are hopefully somewhat healthy and hearty. One of my husband's favorite meals is a chicken pot pie recipe shared by a friend a few years ago that I have modified a bit. So I want to share with all other moms (and dads) that need an easy tasty family meal. 

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

You need:
1 can Veg All (I use the Kroger brand) - it has carrots, potatoes, green beans, corn, lima beans, and celery. 
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of potato
2 cans organic white chicken OR rotisserie chicken pieces OR leftover thanksgiving turkey
1/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp thyme
2 frozen ready to bake pie crusts

Oven - bake 375
In bowl mix all ingredients (other than pie crusts, hopefully that's obvious)
Place one pie crust in baking dish, pour mixture into pie crust, place other pie crust on top, use fork to make vent holes. Place in oven and bake for 55-60 minutes. 

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl

Place one pie crust into baking dish (I use fiesta baking dishes and love them!)

Pour mixture into pie crust 

Place other pie crust on top, use fork to make vent holes in whatever pattern amuses you. 

Fresh out of the oven


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Cardboard crafts

I love artsy fartsy stuff. I love to paint, crochet, work with fabric. I have a strange obsession with buttons. It appears that my daughter has inherited my love of all things crafty. For days she's been talking about some YouTube video she watched about a Lalaloopsy house made out of a box and has been begging for a box. Today while Jack took a nap, Morgan and I took the craft project of cardboard dollhouse making. It was fun! We only had about 2 hours to cut, paint, and decorate so it's not as detailed as I would like, and if I were to make another one I would make sure the second floor was a bit more sturdy. The floor in this one leans forward a bit which makes the furniture slide off during playtime. I used a hot glue gun, box cutter, acrylic paint, sharpie markers, and fabric scraps. 

I wanted to cut out windows and doors but Morgan said no. This is exactly how she wanted it. She helped me paint everything, she told me where to put things. She's using some of her dollhouse furniture and random small toys. 

And she has played with this for hours, more than her 'real' dollhouses. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Hey mommy, do you need beer?

Leaving the house with the kids...on my own. Why do I ever think this is a good idea? Jack turns one this week and I had decided that I don't have enough stress in my life, so let's add a cookout to celebrate Jack surviving his first year of life on top of expired drivers license and other fun things going on. Michael and I are always talking about having people over. The social side of me is all like 'bring it on!!! Let's rent a bounce house, hire NASA to give rocket rides, the works!!' But the OCD side of me is like 'people in my house? Will they make messes? What if they make messes I can't clean up? Like what if somebody throws up in my stove or something?'  

The social side won. 

And I did rent a bounce house. And now I'm checking into selling my liver to pay for it. 

So I had to go buy party supplies and today the kids weren't screaming as much as usual so I decided it would be a good time to go. 

We went to Walmart. We don't have many options locally and Walmart is one stop shopping, which is any moms BFF. 

After persuading Morgan that we didn't need the entire aisle of party supplies, and no I'm sure Jack would not want pink plates, and no the hello kitty napkins do not coordinate with the superman theme, Jack decided to have what we call 'fat boy meltdown' where he has to eat and can't wait one more second. So in the middle of the toy section I had to whip out a bottle and try to pour formula into it without spilling it while Morgan bounced toys off my head insisting she needed it ALL. 

So there ya go. Chubby bubby is happy. And using a stack of diapers as a pillow. We got a lot of 'looks' because Jack looks like he's about 2&1/2 instead of almost 1. 

We make it out of the toy aisle with a hot pink scooter in the cart and head towards the baby aisle. As I'm trying to find the pediatric drinks Morgan has for breakfast every morning, Jack pulls down half a shelf of yogurt puffs. As I'm trying to clean those up, Jack tries to climb out of the cart. As I'm trying to push him back down, I lose Morgan. Here's where I found her: 

'Hey mommy do you need some beer?'


Do not assume my husband and I are raging alcoholics, because although children can lure most people towards alcoholism, we know we've got to be 100% functional for our crazy kids. Morgan knows what beer is because she asks a million questions about everything. But still, every time she sees beer she's all like 'mommy do you need some beer?' And people stare at me like they are one step from calling social services. 

And besides, I like hard cider. I'm kind of over beer. 

As we purchased our goodies, Morgan is inviting everybody to 'baby Jack's superman party!!' as I'm trying to unload my cart onto the counter while picking out the random items Morgan has added and hiding them in the candy. Seriously Morgan. We don't need a watermelon slicer. 

Just another day in Mommyland. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Adventures at the BMV

So on our way back from my inlaws last weekend, Michael and I have a random conversation about our drivers licenses.  He noticed his will be expiring on his upcoming birthday and I was all like ' expires on my birthday this year too...I'm pretty sure....'


I dug through the spare pacifiers, My Little Pony underwear (not mine of course; they don't make them in my size.  *sigh*), and what felt like a half eaten banana, and found my driver's license.  It expired on my birthday LAST year. 

I immediately felt a stomach ulcer forming.

I whipped out my iPhone and started doing research.  You get a 6 month grace period after it expires!!  Awesome!!

6 months was a week before I realized mine expired.


I've been driving with an expired license?!  This just shows how often I get traffic violations and buy liquor.  I obviously don't get to whip out my ID often enough to know what's going on.

So I had to retake the written AND driving exams.  And I had to wait 3 days for Michael to finish up working night shifts before driving to the testing center, which apparently has been ever so conveniently moved 40 minutes away.

I was a nervous wreck.  I do NOT test well.  Especially tests with multiple choice answers.  There are ALWAYS 2 answers that look correct and I ALWAYS choose the wrong one.

Michael had to drive me since I was illegal.  And we had to take both kids because, well, we drag them everywhere.  I took a few practice quizzes online to brush up on my driving knowledge but still missed 5 questions (hey, you're allowed to miss 11!) but honestly, questions like 'what's the legal speed for driving a truck with passengers in the back' feel like trick questions because I thought riding in the back of a pickup was illegal and something only us rednecks do when the law ain't lookin.  But apparently the legal speed is 25 mph.  So there ya go.  Everybody pile into the back of a truck and go cruise, but keep it 25 and under. 

But I passed.  And then I had to go get my temporary permit.  And then I had to go take the driving exam.

Once again, I was a nervous wreck.  I've been driving since 1995, but I'm sure I don't drive the way they want me to.  The best part is when the lady was filling out my info for the driving exam, she asked 'do you have a vehicle that you can take the test with today?' and I was like 'yeah, I just have to unload my family out of it first.' She raised an eyebrow at that but proceeded with 'what sort of vehicle is it?' And I responded 'it's a Land Rover.' And she was like 'Who makes that?  Buick?' And I was like 'uhhh, Land Rover?' And she was like 'Dodge?' and I was like 'ummm, no, it's a Land Rover.  Land Rover makes Land Rovers...' and then she took my insurance card and stared at it like I was trying to pull one on her.  I totally get it.  The lady in line before me looked (and smelled) like she had rolled out of a dumpster, and the guy behind me was twitching like he was coming down from a meth high.  I'm standing there with my Michael Kors purse, having showered within the past 24 hours, and I'm totally blowing her mind that somebody of my caliber would actually show up at her counter.  She all but ran out to my vehicle like a kid at Cedar Point, excited to actually be giving a driving test to somebody that wasn't missing half their teeth due to bar fights.  Michael and the kids emptied the car not unlike a clown car at the circus, and I proceeded to take my driving exam. 

I was all paranoid about parallel parking.  I don't parallel park.  The last time I parallel parked was in 1995 when I took my driving exam at 16.  I will go out of my way to find a parking garage and walk an extra mile rather than parallel park on the street.  But lucky for me, Ohio doesn't include parallel parking in their exam. 

Oh no, they have something even more fun.

There are cones set up; you drive in between 4 of them and then veer off to the left to avoid hitting one in front.  I was like 'woot woot!' when I squeezed through in my SUV. 

And then she was like 'okay good, now do that in reverse.'

Say whaaaaa?!

I can barely back out of my garage.  I thank the Lord daily for the back up sensors that beep when I'm too close to something.  So I took it really slow.  The 'back up beepers' were going crazy because those stupid cones were way too close for comfort.  And I actually got 2 points deducted because I stopped and asked 'if I get too close can I pull forward and straighten up' I mean seriously?  I'm an overcautious driver!  What if those cones were endangered turtles or something? 

Then we took a cruise through the streets.  She was super relaxed and chatty but I was totally on edge.  I had to keep reminding myself 'hands at 10 and 2!!' and 'use your blinker!!' while she was telling me about her thyroid problems.  At every turn all of the crap in the back of the Rover crashed around.  I had several large baby toys I was selling and the lady that was supposed to meet us flaked out, so they slid and crashed and created a musical light show in the back of the Rover.  And then she noticed the empty can of energy drink and was checking it out and I was like 'it's not mine, I'm not all jacked up on caffeine I swear; it's my husband's, he worked his 3rd night shift last night...'


But anyways, I passed!!  There was one more little situation where I nearly failed the eye exam because it's been over 3 years since I've had new glasses, but thank goodness she wasn't paying attention and I was able to squint and read the smaller lines.  Don't worry; I have an appointment to get my eyes checked very soon.

So yay!  I am legal again!  I have my license!  It's the worst picture I've ever had taken in my life though; I'm holding on to Morgan while smiling for my photo and the end result is a double chinned strained smile.  Oh well.

Go check your license right now.  Seriously.  Do it.  Don't let it expire!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Baby Registry

Whenever I was pregnant with Morgan, I realized I knew NOTHING about baby gear.  I was like 'okay so I need a crib, stroller, and bottles right?'


Tiny humans require more gear than a person climbing Mt. Everest.  Registering for baby stuff can be overwhelming, especially if you spent your entire life avoiding anything having to do with babies (like me).  I realized I was absolutely clueless when it came to babies, so I reached out to my mommy friends for advice.  Then it was my turn to help my pregnant friends when it came time for registering (baby wipe warmer, meh, not really; margarita maker, yes definitely).  I have sent several emails to friends consisting of 'the list' and now I'm going to blog it for everyone. 

Items will be listed as they randomly come to mind (as I look around my house, which looks like a Fisher Price / Graco monster barfed all over)

SWING - it is a MUST.  I have a Graco and it has survived two chunky babies.  It has 5 speeds, reclines for when they are lifeless lumps that just stare at the ceiling, has a tray and safety belt for when they are crazy and need to be restrained for a few minutes while you run to the bathroom, plays music and makes weird sounds that babies love, like a heart beating.

TRAVEL SYSTEM - 5 years ago I would have been like uhhhh what?  A 'travel system' consists of a stroller, carrier, and carrier base.  I'm on my 2nd travel system, buying Eddie Bauer both times.  I love EB strollers.  Loved the first EB carrier we used for Morgan but not as crazy about the one we had for Jack; they changed where the slots are located on the bottom making it hard to put in shopping carts.  You don't necessarily need an extra base for addition cars because the base is easy to to pop in and out.  Just make sure you install it correctly.  Or you'll have carseat Nazis hexing you; trust me, there are plenty of them out there. 

CAR SEAT - After your bundle of joy graduates from the carrier, you will need a car seat.  You need one that is rear and front facing, because children are supposed to be rear facing until they are about 5 and front facing until they are 18 and ready for college.  Wait, that's not right.  Rear facing until at least age 1 and 20 pounds (I think?  It depends on your state law) and front facing until 40 lb 40 inches then they can graduate to a booster seat.  We have an Eddie Bauer car seat that we LOVE.  We used it for Morgan until she turned 4 and now Jack uses it.

UMBRELLA STROLLER - because sometimes you just don't want to take the 'monster truck stroller' as I call it.

CRIB - We bought one of those cribs that you can turn into a bed but honestly I'm not sure if it will actually ever be used as that; nobody wants a headboard with teeth marks all over it.  Our crib and matching dresser came from JC Penney, we used it for Morgan and now Jack is using it.  Make sure your crib passes all current safety standards.

MOBILE - because the kid needs distraction as you sneak out of the room.  Keep it simple; try to remember this is the place where your child is supposed to sleep, not party.

BLANKETS - about 5 basic thin blankets, 3 soft bigger blankets, and hopefully you know somebody that can crochet because they make the BEST baby blankets (*cough* I sell crochet baby blankets...)

SHEETS - about 3-4 sheets, I recommend white so you can bleach them.

CRIB SET - some people are against bumpers...I'm not.  Morgan had the thickest bumper I've ever seen.  Both of my kids had bumpers.  Their sets were ordered from Amazon.  Sets usually include: sheet, blanket, bumper, and dust ruffle.

BOPPY PILLOW - it's a U-shaped pillow that helps you hold your baby and that you can use to prop your baby up...especially to take pictures.

BOPPY PILLOW COVER - yeah...because who wants a naked pillow?

BREAST PUMP - ya know, if you're into that kinda thing.  I highly recommend Medela and Ameda.

BOTTLES - for Morgan I had to use Dr. Brown bottles (good for colic and acid reflux babies) but they are EVIL to clean - they have 7 parts to wash!  For both kids I used Medela bottles.  For Jack I use Gerber bottles with Dr. Brown nipple.  A lot of people really like the Playtex bottles with liners - you just throw the liner away and don't have to wash the bottle every time it is used.  I also have used Ameda bottles and liked them, but they only hold 4 oz.

BOTTLE BRUSH - you need at least 2 of them, because they don't last forever!

BOTTLE WARMER - mehhh, I used one with Morgan for a while.  With Jack I just used the microwave.

BREAST MILK STORAGE BAGS - any of them honestly, I used them all and I just recommend going with something cheaper.

BOTTLE DRYING RACK - get one that looks cool because it takes up space on your counter for a year.

BABY SPOONS - I love the longer ones by Munchkin because they fit down into the jar without getting my fingers nasty.

SIPPY CUP - I like Tommee Tippee.

PACIFIERS - these can be tricky; you don't know if you're little one will be picky.  Morgan only liked Soothies.  Jack would only take the NICU Soothie that you CAN'T BUY ANYWHERE! for months but now he takes whatever.  I like Avent the best.

PACIFIER CLIP - because you really don't want that thing to fall on the floor / ground if possible.

HIGH CHAIR - ours is by Graco and we've used it for both kids.  I really like it.  My mom has a high chair that straps to a dining room chair which is pretty cool, because you can take it with you to places that might not have a high chair.

PACK N PLAY - it's the modern version of the playpen.  Ours is by Graco and we like it.  It's easy to use and it folds up small and stores under a bed. 

CLOTH DIAPERS - to use as burp cloths!!! 

DIAPER BAG - I am currently using a thirty-one bag and I really like it.

JUMPAROO - once again, 5 years ago I would have been like whaaaat?  But now I know it can be a parent's BFF.  You stick your baby in it and he/she jumps and you watch and laugh.  And eventually you realize you can stick your darling in there and go get something done, like use that margarita maker.  Ours is by Fisher Price.

EXERSAUCER - sort of like a jumparoo but the baby doesn't jump; it just allows baby to stand upright, pivet around and play with all the attachments.  I like these because you can take them to the yard and stick your darling in it while you pull weeds or drink that margarita.

DIAPER GENIE - not sure what it's a 'genie' exactly, because if you rub it nothing exciting happens.  It's basically a special trash can that you shove dirty diapers into and it contains the smell.  You will also need diaper genie refills - the plastic bags that hold the dirty diapers.  Arm & Hammer also makes one.

BATH TUB - believe it or not, your baby won't be able to sit up for a while.  Lame right?  I mean come on, baby horses are like running around and hour after they are born.  So you need a special tub.  Ours has a little sling that fits inside it for infants, then you can take the sling out and baby can sit in it (or try to stand...or take a poop...)

BABY WASH CLOTHS - you need at least 10

BABY HOODED TOWELS - don't get a bunch because they outgrow them quickly; maybe about 3-4.  Then you need toddler hooded towels (we have several Jumping Bean brand from Kohls and love them).

BABY TOILETRIES - Desitin / A & D ointment for diaper rash (I really like creamy Desitin); Johnson & Johnson head to toe wash (it's very mild, I use it on both kids; don't use things with lavender in them and so forth until you know your baby doesn't have allergies or sensitive skin); baby lotion, Aquaphor (for all the random skin issues your baby will have, I love this stuff!), baby powder.

THERMOMETER - I have an ear one and a forehead scan one and I use them both every time I check the kids temps.

NAIL CLIPPERS - their nails grow crazy fast and you need special ones.

NOSE SUCKER THING - yeah I'm not sure what it's actually called, but you know what I mean right?

BUMBO SEAT - most babies love them, mine didn't...their fat legs got stuck in them and it was just nothing but drama.

BOUNCER SEAT - back to that whole issue of your baby not being able to sit up for a while...the bouncer seat is awesome.  You can carry it around the house (not with your baby in it!!) to use in various situations...'here baby watch me wash baby watch me use the baby watch me make margaritas...' ours is by Fisher Price and it vibrates and has an attachment with dangling things on it.

PAPASAN SEAT - or whatever they are called's a snugglier version of the bouncer.  Morgan actually slept in one for 3 months; it really helped her acid reflux.  And it vibrates; just make sure you have plenty of batteries, otherwise you'll be shaking that thing at 3am trying to get your baby to sleep...

BABY CARRIER - sometimes you just want to be hands free!  I have an Infantino one for Morgan but she hated it because she got too hot...and because basically she hated everything...and for Jack I used a Moby wrap - those things are really cool!

FLOOR GYM - sounds intense right?  Got a mental image of your baby doing squats?  Well it's not really a 'gym' at all; it's basically something to stick your baby in that has a light show, music, and random things hanging down for baby to play with (sounds more like a Phish concert than a gym).

TUMMY TIME MAT - you'll learn quickly that tummy time is important.

GLIDER CHAIR - make sure it's comfy because you'll be spending a LOT of time in it.

DIAPERS - various sizes from NB - 5; Huggies, Pampers, Luvs - you might as well register for brand name diapers because when you're buying them on your own you'll learn which generics work best.  We use Member's Mark by Sam's Club.

WIPES - anything unscented.  Your baby's skin is so sensitive!  We love Member's Mark by Sam's Club over anything else.  I use them for everything...wiping butts, faces, hands, cleaning my couch, getting stains out of shirts, cleaning out my oven...

GOWNS / SLEEPERS - gowns are AWESOME for the first few months.  It is much easier to pull a gown up at 3am and change a diaper rather than wrestle with snaps on a sleeper.  But you will need sleepers too. 

MONITOR -We used a basic one that just picks up sounds.  Some people have high tech ones with cameras and tv screens so they can monitor baby from their iPhone.  It's just really whatever you feel like you need for your own sanity. 

BASSINET - Don't go buy one, but if somebody has one you can use, borrow it.  For Morgan we used the one that has been passed down in Michael's family and she hated it.  For Jack we decided we didn't have room for it and we used a Fisher Price Rock and Play instead, which he loved, and we loved because we could easily move it around the house and travel with it.

I feel like I'm forgetting stuff...I just told Michael I was writing a blog about what baby gear I recommend to new moms and he snickered and said 'liquor.'

Seriously, we are awesome parents.  Don't call a social worker.

There are lots of other little random things like teething rings, rattles, rubber duckies, but I tried to cover the big stuff and the necessities.  Do not register for clothes because clothing is usually seasonal and hard to find.

And if you have the opportunity to use hand me downs, do it!  Babies don't use this gear long enough honestly, and most of it is still basically brand new looking when you're finished with it.  Never use previously owned car seats unless you are 100% sure it has never been in an accident, and make sure it hasn't expired.  All carriers and car seats have an expiration date on the bottom.  And everything on baby gear comes apart to be washed and cleaned. now go register!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Allergic to Shopping

Every time I attempt to leave the house with both kids alone, it's epic.  The things that happen during these outings rarely occur whenever my husband is with us.  I mean of course, that would just be way too easy, ya know, for everything to fall apart when I have an extra set of hands.

Yesterday I HAD to go to the mall.  I had been putting it off because I have been sick and going anywhere with both kids requires a lot of energy.  But today was Morgan's preschool graduation ceremony.  She didn't graduate, but she was part of the ceremony, and I wanted to buy her teacher and aide an appreciation gift...something that says 'thank you for putting up with all of my child's quirks and for not judging me for wearing dollar store yoga pants and my hair in a bun when I drop off / pick up my child with or without a snot crusted baby on my hip' I rolled myself and the kiddos into some clothes, shoved a diaper bag and stroller into the car and took off towards the local mall. 

The shopping outing started off normal enough.  We had some mall pizza.  Then hit Bath & Body works where Jack got nervous and cried and needed a bottle and Morgan ran in circles holding a bottle of something pink and sparkly.  Jack finally passed out from 'girly store' overload so I pushed my luck and went into Macy's.  I slobbered over some Sperry flip flops (I can't find any logical reason for spending $50 on a pair of flops...but I love them!), hissed at Morgan for attempting to put shoes on a mannequin, and even had time to try on a few tops (why isn't my diet working?  oh yeah...mall pizza...) before Jack woke up.  He doesn't sleep well in a stroller.  Or in the car.  Or anywhere really other than his bed.  So we wrapped up the shopping trip in a primitive store where I sniffed every candle and Morgan claimed a little area of rustic furniture as her house and attempted to decorate it with random items.  Jack started crying so I made a candle selection and while handing over my credit card, the lady said 'ohhh, you're baby is bleeding!'  Sure enough, Jack had a nosebleed and had taken his hand and smeared it up his face into his hair, plus his cheeks were bright red.  Red cheeks and nosebleed?  Two symptoms of high blood pressure!  High blood pressure is what kept him in the NICU an extra week.  So I panicked a bit.  The store clerk offered me tissues and asked if I needed to call anybody but I assured her I was going to call his doctor as soon as I got to the car.  At the car I attempted to clean Jack's face while people walking by stared at us.  I mean seriously, haven't you people ever seen a crazy lady holding down a bloody baby in the back of an SUV before?  Mind your own business.  Plus Jack had peed through his diaper so I had to strip him down and change his diaper in the back of the Land Rover.  I strapped the kids into their seats, put on a DVD, and threatened Morgan that I would throw away every toy she owned if she wasn't quiet while I was on the phone.  I called our doctor's office and they were pretty much like 'how fast can you get here?'  So I call Michael and tell him what's going on, I sent out a few texts to friends for moral support, and while driving towards the medical center I had to assure Morgan that Jack is not dying and that he has on no pants because he peed in his and no she can't take her pants off too. 

The doctor's office closes at 5:00 and I got there around 4:30.  We were basically the last patients of the day.  I walk in carrying my pork chop of a baby, wearing only a diaper and tshirt, with dried blood and boogers across his face and bright red cheeks.  I told the nurse 'sorry he looks like he's been rolling around in a dumpster...but at least his sister looks cute!' and at that very moment Morgan is shoving a tissue into her mouth and says 'What?  I needed a snack!' when she catches us staring at her. 

Hey, I'm doing the best I can okay?  She likes to chew on toilet paper and tissues like bubble gum.  I don't give her gum and she doesn't actually EAT the paper (anymore), she just chews it and then it usually ends up in the cracks of my couch. 

So it turns out Jack's blood pressure was fine.  And the doctor couldn't find any reason for the nosebleed.  He assumes it just from all of the temperature changes we've had recently...heater on one day and then air conditioning the next...there's a reason it's called Mother Nature and not Father Nature; women are way more moody.  Since Jack has been coughing and has had a lot of nasal congestion, the doctor put him on an antibiotic.  He explained that he normally doesn't do that without proof of an actual infection, but Jack is a special case due to everything he's been through. 

Yay a prescription.  That meant I had to make yet another stop with the kiddos.  I went to what we call 'Gucci Kroger' because unlike the one closer to our house, Gucci Kroger offers fun things like a sushi bar and 2 aisles of toys.  As soon as we get there Morgan announces she has to pee.  AUUUGGGHHHH.  Public restrooms, yay!  I had no idea what I was going to do with Jack while I helped her, but thank goodness the bathroom had one of those child seats to strap him to the wall.  He thought it was hilarious...until I had to actually step away from him to help Morgan use the potty.  Then he screamed.  I heard a 'somebody's not happy!' from another stall and I wanted to yell 'oh he's been screaming ever since I took his meth away.'  After that I found myself at the 'create your own 6 pack' section.  Six different bottles of hard cider!  Score!  Can I start drinking in the checkout line?

So anyways...Jack is alive and well.  He has had small nosebleeds before, but this one was bad.  I assume he's just highly allergic to shopping. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

sometimes you just gotta laugh so you don't cry...

**Warning:  this post contains material that might gross you out.

Michael had to work during Easter weekend so I decided to drive to my parents' house for a little Easter vacation with the kids.  It was filled with lots of family and friend festivities and lots of fun! 

...until the night after Easter.

Around 3:00 Morgan woke up and started flopping around in bed.  I kept poking her and telling her to go back to sleep.  Then she covered her mouth and started dry heaving so I grabbed her and jumped out of bed running towards the bathroom and as soon as I stepped in the door she exploded.  It hit the bathroom tile and splashed EVERYWHERE.  Then I slid in it.  Then she exploded again.  I dropped her in front of the toilet where she threw up on the lid, then lifted the lid where she threw up on the seat, then lifted the seat where she threw up all around the toilet.  She had a peanut butter sandwich and milk for a late dinner and way too much water so the entire bathroom floor was covered in a watery peanut buttery layer of vomit.  I yelled for my mom to come help and she jumped out of bed screaming, which made my dad jump out of bed and grab his shotgun, and Jack wakes up from all the commotion and starts screaming.  I strip Morgan down and run a bath, slipping all over the disgusting wet floor with every step I take, and yell for my mom to please bring me something to start cleaning with.  She is so disoriented at being awakened in the  middle of the night to deal with a puking child and screaming baby.  She runs downstairs and returns with a container of baby wipes and a bottle of Woolite.  The best part?  I didn't have my glasses on so I had no idea what I was attempting to clean with.  I started spraying down the floor and opened the wipes...and after pulling out two wipes, the container was empty.  So basically I could clean about one tile.  My mom finally shows up with an armful of what we refer to as 'hair color towels' so I can really start scrubbing.  Poor Morgan is shivering in the bathtub, dry heaving into a cup, watching me slide around and clean the bathroom with Woolite.  I step into the tub to wash off my feet, dry her off and send her out of the bathroom, and finally get my glasses...and that's when I realize that I'm cleaning the bathroom with carpet cleaner.  I found the bathroom cleaner and started over and Morgan walks down the hallway wearing Wonder Woman underwear and says 'I'm not sick anymore!' and I can hear Jack laughing from his room, so at least the kids were happy.  But it was 4am and I was dry heaving from the smell of peanut butter vomit and internally hexing any possible culprit that might have shared their germs with my children over our busy weekend.  I made Morgan a little nest of old towels and sheets in the floor (I'm a firm believer that sick children do not belong in bed or on furniture) and rubbed her back until she went to sleep.  Then I sent my poor mom back to bed and rocked Jack to sleep.  Sometime around 5:30 I finally went to sleep and thank goodness the rest of the night was uneventful, until Jack woke up at 8:00 and I could hear him pooping.  I was so tired and all I could think was 'I'm so over cleaning up body functions...'

How is Morgan?  Fine.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that she's fine so far, but it's so frustrating to go through all of that and not even know what caused it.  Was it a virus?  Something she ate/drank?  The fact that Baby Jesus grew up and died and came back from the dead blew her mind?  No idea.  But she woke up this morning, grabbed a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, and ran in circles singing 'bad kitty bad kitty, what you gonna do, what you gonna do when they come for you..'

Soooo....wish me luck tonight....I will have the bathroom cleaner out just in case...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

shopping expedition

'I'm feeling bloggy...' I say to Michael who raises one eyebrow at me.  'Get it?  Instead of 'I'm feeling froggy' 'I'm feeling bloggy'....I giggle at my own awesomeness even though it's a tough crowd from my couch.

This past week was spring break for my mom, who is a Kindergarten teacher 'back home.'  So she decided to spend 4 nights in my crazy world.  One of these days we took the kids to the Tanger Outlets in Washington PA, which are conveniently located about an hour from my house.


With a 4 year old and 8 month old.

In an 'outdoor' shopping center.

In 30 degree northern weather.

Yep.  It was epic.

It takes about 4 hours to get myself and the 2 kids ready.  Okay...I'm exaggerating.  It only takes 3 hours.  I have to feed everybody.  Then everybody has to potty.  Then I have to dress everybody. Then everybody has to potty again.  Then somebody slobbers, pukes, spills, poops, etc. on their clothes so we have to start over.  I have to make sure I have everything I need in the diaper bag...then recheck what I've packed...and I still usually end up forgetting something (like a bottle for Jack, which is traumatic for everyone involved).  Then I have get shoes and coats on everybody.  Then we have to potty again (don't judge me, I've had 2 bladder is dysfunctional).  Then get everybody strapped into their car seats.  Then run back in house to grab something forgotten.  Then dig the GPS out from under the seat, scrape off the dried out chicken nugget, mutter a few explicits under your breath when the address you type in won't work, say a little prayer, and leave.

About halfway there, Morgan starts saying she has to potty, and that her stomach needs food in it, despite the fact that before you left the house she insisted she was not hungry and did not need to potty.  We were on a two lane road that has zero spots to go to the restroom.  Not even a shady little bar (hey, I would rather her go in a bar urinal than in her booster seat).  Finally after one last 'I'm about to pee pee in my potty pants' we arrive in civilization and I send my mom in to a McDonald's with Morgan while I dig boogers out of Jack's nose with a diaper wipe, making him scream so loud that passerbys stare at me like I'm stabbing him with toothpicks.

Finally we get back on the road...and literally ten minutes later arrive at the outlets.  I was so irritated that Morgan couldn't wait.  The kid can usually last the 3.5 hour trip to visit my parents without having to stop once.  But whatever.  Children are God's gift to test parents' patience.

We find a parking spot somewhat close tot he nearest entrance and while unloading children and gear are almost blown away by what feels like -90 degree winds.  My mom immediately starts hissing 'Doesn't the sun EVER shine here?  Does it ALWAYS have to be so bloomin' cold?' which sends Morgan into a 'I'm soooooo coooooold' tizzy as I'm trying to get the stupid stroller unfolded and cram diaper bag and chubby baby into it.

We immediately go eat.  My biggest complaint about the outlets...there's no good food.  The choices were Subway (bleh), 'mall' type pizza (meh), or really questionable 'Chinese' (neh).  The kids were angels while we ate. 

Then we went to the first store.

I think boys are just born with an allergy to department stores.  I'm not sure my dad and brothers have been inside a mall within the past five years.  My husband avoids all shopping experiences unless it involves a trip to Lowe's.  My son is no exception.  Jack does not enjoy shopping.  He loves going out to eat.  But take him into a store and Happy Fat Boy turns into Sir Crankypants.  Morgan LOVES to shop.  She loves clothes.  She loves trying them on.  She loves buying them.  She loves wearing them.  I guess the fact that Jack screams whenever we dress him should be a clue as to how he feels about clothing and shopping. 

By the 2nd store Jack is crying.  And not just a 'I'm not happy' cry.  More of a 'I am going to turn purple and scream until I burst a vessel in my head' cry that makes people stare at him and then at me, judging my parenting skills as I hurriedly try to dig through a rack of shirts looking for his size while throwing random toys and things at him trying to keep him quiet.  At one point I even took off his shoe and gave it to him to gnaw on.  My mom took pity on him and talked me into getting him out of the stroller.  'I will just carry him' she says.  I chuckle to myself as I push the stroller full of shopping bags and hold Morgan's hand.  Jack weighed 25 pounds at his 8 month appointment nearly a month ago.  After about 3 minutes I stop and look back to check on my mom, who is shuffling her feet and breathing heavily, heading towards the nearest bench muttering 'Good Lord son you're heavy!'


So we take a a bathroom.  It had a little room with a diaper changing station and 2 rocking chairs.  Mom decided to stay there with Jack while Morgan and I checked out other stores.  In Gymboree Morgan was trying to talk her way into getting a dress...'I KNOW I have an Easter dress already mom, but this can be my HOME dress and the other one can be my CHURCH dress, deal?' when I hear somebody say my name and I turn to see a girl I graduated high school with and her mother in the store!  We chatted for a few minutes then ended up going to find my mom and Jack...the six of us hanging out in the bathroom, catching up on life, with the random smells of what happens after people eat bad Chinese food floating around us.

Mom and I decide to continue our shopping adventure and put Jack back into the stroller.  By this point he's exhausted and needs a nap but wants his comfy bed, not his stroller. 

I mean seriously, he's an awesome baby.  AT HOME.


So while I'm running around inside the Ralph Lauren outlet trying to piece together something for him to wear for Easter, mom is walking around in the cold trying to encourage him to fall asleep in his stroller.  As I'm checking out she comes into the store saying 'I can't fell my hands...' and I notice Jack is asleep, or has frozen to death.  Either way, he's quiet.

We decide to take a little snack break.  Morgan and I hit the pretzel place for a cinnamon sugar pretzel while mom goes to a coffee store and takes the sleeping-possibly-frozen-to-death baby with her. 

Cinnamon sugar pretzels are delicious.

And extremely messy.

Oh my goodness.

And my mom had the diaper bag with the baby wipes.  And the pretzel place had no restroom so I had no sink to wash off Morgan's sticky crusty hands.  I basically had to pick her up and shake her to get all of the crumbles to fall out of her hair and clothing.  Some of it went down inside my boot and cleaning it out from between my toes was as fun as the time I relished in eating a Doritos Locos taco in the car while sitting in the parking lot of Joann Fabric, enjoying the peace and quiet of running errands with no children, and on the 2nd bite the entire taco fell apart and sour cream fell into my shoe.  I now have a sour cream stain in the leather of the inside of my favorite pair of Toms.

Morgan and I sought out the other half of our shopping party in the coffee shop, where Morgan collapsed onto a leather chair proclaiming to be exhausted.  But I wasn't finished!  I have been trapped inside basically all winter, and I had shopping to do!  So I left my mom and kids hanging out in the coffee shop and tried to 'speed shop' the entire complex, buying Michael a pair of pants, looking for a certain type of boots for me, searching for the missing pieces to Jack's Easter ensemble (why is it so hard to find cute stuff for baby boys to wear?  Morgan picked out her adorable dress in about ten minutes).  I stopped by in to check on mom and the kids and lured Morgan to come with me, to give my mom a little break. I think said something along the lines of 'Come on Morgan let's go find toys' because in each store Morgan loudly stated 'awwwww MAN there's just more clothes in here, I'm so over clothes, where's the toys?  I need a Tiana Barbie!!!!' At one point I'm literally running while holding her (okay...more like trotting...or walking fast with a bounce).  The poor kid was exhausted, but weighs 40 pounds.  People are staring at me, wondering why a chubby girl is running around with a small child.  Had it not been for the fact Morgan was laughing hysterical over me making strange noises (something along the lines of a camel with asthma) I think somebody would have phoned the police and put out an Amber alert.  It also helped when Morgan loudly announced 'Mommy your boobies are hanging out, here let me cover them for you' claiming me as her mother as she pulled my sweater jacket over my v-neck shirt, which apparently revealed more than my normal 'mommy attire' (a stained over sized Marshall shirt...)

I finally realized it was 7:00 and time for Michael to get off work.  We had been 'shopping' for 6 hours.  I shoved all of our bags into the stroller and grabbed Jack to carry to the car.  Lawwwd have mercy that boy IS a chunk.  Especially after jogging while carrying a child even heavier.  Plus it was getting dark and getting even colder and my mom is hissing at me over the fact that Jack's jacket didn't have a hood and 'oh my gosh I can't BELIEVE you make crochet hats and your poor baby doesn't even HAVE one!' ...which he DOES have one but it's that one thing I forgot...hey, it was better than forgetting the bottle again!!  I threw a cloth diaper over his head which encouraged my mom to say things like 'poor kid with a diaper on his head' which made me look around for a kid wearing Huggies on their noggin but then I realized she was talking about MY kid...


We made it back home and dumped out all of the bags to admire (and remind ourselves of what we bought) and put on a little fashion show for Michael (which mostly consisted of cramming Jack into his Easter outfit to make sure it fit, and yes he screamed the entire time).  And then I washed all of our new goodies and Jack's navy blue vest bled all over my new coral tank top and Morgan's new coral leggings (curse you Ralph Lauren navy blue...) but now everything is put away and waiting for warmer weather so that we can venture out of the house again...

and by the way, it's snowing right now.

and I really want a Doritos Locos taco. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

the plague.

I've decided to hibernate until spring.

Every other status on Facebook is about coughing and/or puking.

It's the plague of 2013.  People thought the world was going to end on 12-21-12 but what really happened is the aliens released new germs into our atmosphere...

We ended up with the 'chest plague' in our home.  We went away for a weekend ski trip and came home with one kid coughing like a coal miner and the other kid with an earache.  I made an appointment with the doctor before we even left to come home.  The first night home was rough.  Morgan coughed so hard that she vomited cough medication in the kitchen floor, which is much better than in bed or on the carpet, other than the fact that liquids that hit the kitchen floor splash everywhere.  Cleanup aisle 7.  Then Jack was up all night crying from the pain in his ear.  I had to doze propped up on pillows while holding him so he could sleep upright in between crying fits.  Poor baby had an ear infection so severe that Tylenol and Motrin were like giving him water. 

So basically I was up all night, listening to one kid cough and the other kid cry, counting down the minutes until that doctor appointment.

And the best part?  It was 11 degrees that day.  And Michael had to work.  So I had to drag the sick kids to the doctor.  Alone.  In the Arctic. 

I bundled us up.  Basically all you could see were the noses of the children under the layers of hats, coats, blankets...I even contemplated using those hand and feet warmer things we use for skiing but once I realized the kids were sweating I decided against it.

I circled the parking lot like a vulture looking for a spot close enough to the building and had to wait 15 minutes for an elderly lady to dig into her 20 gallon purse looking for her keys, then locate her car, then remember how to drive, before claiming her spot (after giving stink eye to other cars that slowed down anywhere near the area).  I loaded myself down with purse, diaper bag, carrier with gigantic baby, and whiny toddler (yes Morgan I KNOW IT'S COLD!!!) and tumbled into the building. 

And there was a wait.  And by saying that, I mean the waiting room was crammed full of people.  There was one chair open for me and 2 kids and all of our gear.  And of course as soon as we settled in Morgan had to strip her 15 layers of warm clothes off, which I crammed into the diaper bag.  Then Jack started to cry in pain so I had to drag him out of his carrier and walk around with him screaming in my ear while I tried to kindly tell Morgan no she could not play with the little boy who had snot dripping down his chin.

We waited an hour.  But with a screaming baby and bored toddler it felt like 7 hours.  Thank goodness a kind lady took pity on me and looked through a magazine with Morgan.  After I gave her the 'mommy eye scan' searching for symptoms of illness I concluded she was there for a routine checkup and was safe to associate with.  And I was grateful for her help.

It was finally our turn to see the doctor and I could hear the sigh of relief from the other people as we left the waiting room.  I was tempted to turn around and stick my tongue out honestly.  I mean seriously, my children only annoyed them for an hour, they annoy me 24/7!

The diagnosis for Jack was severe ear infection (duh) and possible childhood asthma for Morgan (huh?) and respiratory virus (duh).  Morgan has never had a chest cold up until that point.  The doctor tried her on a nebulizer treatment and told me to call and tell him if it seemed to help.  Then they called in an antibiotic and took $40 and shoved us out the door.  So then I had to go pick up Jack's medication...and of course we use a pharmacy that doesn't have a drive thru so I had to drag the kids back out into the cold to take them inside.  While checking out Jack decides to fill his diaper and Morgan started yelling 'he's pooping mommy!' just in case anybody within 50 feet couldn't smell it.


The breathing treatment seemed to help Morgan, so I called the doctor to give an update and he called in a nebulizer machine with treatments. So we spent like $100 on a nebulizer machine and albuterol breathing treatments.  And then the treatments caused Morgan to break out in hives on her arms and legs.  And she got a fever of 102.  I'm not sure if the fever was a result of allergic reaction or from being sick but she was a little 'out of her head' as my mom likes to say.  She was saying random things like 'I like pink toothpaste' and 'don't forget the dragon' in her feverish haze.  I was so worried.  I shoved Claritin and Tylenol down her throat and decided to sleep on the couch with her just to make sure she lived through the night.  Thank goodness one dose of strong antibiotic helped Jack enough to let him sleep better that night but I still only managed to get 4 hours of sleep, which is more than I got the night before. 

I called the doctor about the hives and fever and he said to keep giving her the treatments along with Claritin to treat the hives.  DRUG THAT KID UP!  hahahaha

And then Morgan decided she didn't want to do the breathing treatments.  She ran and hid and cried.  I tried bribing her with everything from a trip to Disneyworld to painting her room pink.  It's not like I was lying...I will take her to Disneyworld...eventually...
After she coughed so hard she threw up again, all down her nightgown and all over the kitchen floor again, Michael put her in 'time out' which the area next to our front door (random, I know), wearing only her underwear, until she agreed to do the breathing treatment which would help her stop coughing. 

Dude, he's hardcore.

But it worked.  She gave in.

And then Jack started coughing.


He had a coughing fit and was crying in the middle of the night, so we both got up to go help him.  Michael tried giving him some Tylenol, then he had a coughing fit so I tried to pick him up...and in the process he threw up.  All. Over.  His.  Crib. 

So at 2:00am we are stripping down the crib.  Bumper, sheets, blankets, there's really not much he missed.  It was even dripping from somewhere onto the floor. 

By this point we were both averaging about 4 hours of very interrupted sleep a night for several nights in a row, and Michael was working 12 hours a day and I was at home with the 2 sickos.  I called the doctor back and we dragged the kids back to the doctor.  At least this time I had Michael to help me.  And it wasn't 11 degrees.  And it was the first trip out of the house in a week.  The doctor had Jack swabbed for RSV which not only cost $70, but was a ton of fun since it took me and a nurse to hold him down while another nurse shoved a huge q-tip up his nose while he turned purple and screamed.  Thank goodness he didn't have RSV but he was put on the same breathing treatments as Morgan.  Once Morgan saw Jack using her nebulizer she became miraculously cooperative and begged for breathing treatments. 

I swear sometimes that kid has been put on this Earth to test our patience.

And then we both got sick.

*high five* germs.  You win.

Michael had a terrible head cold and I got the cough.  The type of cough that hardly any medication stops.  I was drinking so much NyQuil that I felt drunk for about 4 hours after waking up (it ain't called Baptist Booze for nothing).  I had to sleep on the couch so I wouldn't wake up the other half of the house with my nighttime coughing fits.  Even the cats were giving me dirty looks.  I went through half a bag of cough drops every night, falling asleep with one in my mouth and praying I wouldn't wake with it in my hair.  I joined the kids during nebulizer treatments, passing it around like a bong.  Puff puff pass Jack!

And then the antibiotic Jack was on started causing diaper blowouts.  Liquid Augmentin is nasty stuff to begin with.  It's like pineapple flavored chalk water.  I have to mix it in apple juice to trick Jack into taking it.  High doses of penicillin are hard on the digestive system.  One morning I walked into the living room and could smell Jack before I saw him.  He was sitting in the floor very still.  I grabbed a diaper and the wipes and put him down on his back...and the contents of his diaper squished out the top, onto my carpet.  I stared in shock.  Then I cursed.  Then I took a photo on my phone and texted it to Michael (who was at work) and he responded 'holy sh*t that's a lot of sh*t!' then I texted it to my brother Seth who can gut a deer with his bare hands no problem but starts dry heaving over baby body functions.  I'm an awesome sister.

It was one of those messes where you just stare for a minute trying to figure out where to begin cleanup.  I obviously cleaned up my kid first.  Then I stuck him in his swing out of the way while I worked on the carpet.  Morgan kept running in circles yelling things like 'oh my goodness Baby Jack poopied on the floor and it's ruined forever!' and 'he better not poopy on my toys!' because she takes drama to the next level.  I used a roll of paper towels and a can of carpet cleaner but it did nothing for the dark stain.  Michael and I both did some online research on how to clean the stain.  God bless the Internet.  I happened to have some Clorox 2.  I opened the bottle to pour some on the stain and a huge glob came out.


So I spent over an hour working soapy suds up out of the carpet.  On the bright side, I worked my arm muscles, and the stain came out.  And the area smelled soapy clean for over a week.

The medications really helped the kids, regardless of digestive distress.

And then I got a sinus infection.


The left side of my head started throbbing.  Even my teeth hurt.  On the bright side, the kids were recovering and were back to their normal antics of 'let's see how far we can push mommy before she runs in circles screaming.'  After trying to fight it for a few days I finally broke down and called our doctor.  And he wasn't in.  Another doctor was covering.  I hung up the phone, put my head on the table, and started sobbing.  Then Morgan came over, poked me in the leg, and demanded more peanut butter.  When Michael saw me on the couch with a heating pad on my face trying to ease the pain, he told me to just go to urgent care.  So I burst into tears again, because our insurance has changed and urgent care type places copay went from $25 to $50, and seeing as we had just spent well over $200 on taking the kids to the doctor twice, buying antibiotics, nebulizer machine and treatments, over the counter medications, plus had some random $400 bills leftover from Jack's NICU stay show up, I didn't want to spend another penny on dealing with sickness.

But after about 10 seconds I got over it and went to get dressed to go to urgent care, dished out my $50 and had the doctor tell me 'wow that looks like it hurts' while staring up my nose.  45 minutes later I was home with a 10 day antibiotic.

And now we have all officially recovered from the plague. 

I feel like the past month my life has been 'Groundhog Day Part 2'...a much less exciting version where I wake up every day to snow, Michael at work, and me being trapped in the house with sick kids.

I am so ready for spring.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

yeah...I finally got peed on.

All of my mommy friends with baby boys had warned me about getting peed on.  I've heard stories of pee hitting walls, faces, family I was prepared for a human sprinkler when we brought Jack home from the hospital.  I changed diapers really quickly.  I have the Pee Pee Teepees.  But he proved to be quite the little gentleman and I have gotten really relaxed about him being nakey. 

Until today.

Just this morning during our daily texts of 'ugh this is what my kids have done to drive me crazy so far today' with my closest mommy pal, she was telling me about getting peed on by her 5 month old month.  I giggled.  And then I bragged about Jack being a gentleman.

I sealed my doom in that final boast.

Although I'm on a strict diet, I guess the rest of my family still needs to eat, so we decided to brave the cold and snow for a grocery trip visit.  I was completely dressed and ready, picked a warm outfit out for Jack, sat down in the living room floor to get him dressed, took off his diaper, stood him up because he likes standing without a diaper on....he smiled at me....and then used me as a urinal.  A warm stream of pee hit me in the leg, arm, stomach.  I screamed.  He stopped.  And then he finished peeing while Michael and Morgan watched and laughed. 

Jack and I stared at each other for a few seconds.  I was laughing and crying at the same time and he had a concerned look on his chubby little face, like he was trying to figure out if mommy had finally lost her mind.

I quickly put a diaper on him and assessed the damage.  I had to strip off all of my clothes and find something else to wear, scrub the carpet, and clean the coffee table. 

Lesson learned.

Cutest little grumpy skier ever

Wow it's been almost 2 months since I've posted?  Honestly I think it's been about 2 months since I've been on my computer!  We survived the holidays and our home is covered in a new layer of Fisher Price and Disney.  We've gone on 2 ski trips, one of which we attempted to teach Morgan how to ski.  She was so pumped and looked ADORABLE in in ski gear:

But notice the grouchy look on her face?  Yeah, that sums it all up.  She was excited about skis and boots and cooperated while we wrangled her into all of the gear...but as soon as she realized she was supposed to actually DO something, she was done.  Fifteen minutes after trying to encourage her to let go of us and try it herself, we were calling my dad to come pick her up.


During our second ski weekend, we asked Morgan if she wanted to ski and she said no...but stated that she wanted to ice skate.  HA!  I'm sure that would have been as successful as teaching her ski, plus considering the fact that it's been at least 10 years since either of us has been any sort of skating, it would have been a recipe for disaster.  Or a really good video to send to AFV.