Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Holiday Whirlwind

Since I am SOOOO far behind and so many exciting things have been happening, I will try and condense the holiday post as best as possible.

First of all, we hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday and stuffed yourselves to the brim with delicious food...I know we did! Grandma, Grandpa, Danielle, and Adam were able to come up for the holiday, so we had a houseful which is fine with us! I put Marion in charge of the prized bird and he pulled it off wonderfully. Dad even bought a roaster for the turkey so it wouldn't hog the oven the entire move!

A few short weeks later, Grandma and Grandpa braved the 12 hour drive once more and trekked it back up to NJ for Christmas. This was the first Christmas that we had spent in our own house since Michael was born, and we decided to catch the Christmas Eve church service and do all the presents Christmas morning...which is highly unusual in our family. We ended up Skyping with Marion's parents Christmas Eve and doing presents, so it actually broke it out pretty well.

Needless to say, Michael was spoiled rotten and the presents just kept coming! For New Year's, Danielle, Adam, Laura, and Juan were all able to join us as well, so we had yet another gift opening session when they arrived. It was nice to see everyone, and Michael loved all the attention.

Picture overload:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Smile...It's the Holidays!!!

Is anyone else having an extremely hard time accepting the fact that we are to Christmastime again??? Where has this year gone? I only wish I knew.

Ever since adding to our family and living away from family, I've appreciated the importance and significance of holiday cards. The first few years of marriage, I may have sent some out, but they were confined to the box of cards you find on the store shelves and you just sign your name inside and call it a day. That all changed with Michael. Now, it is of course nothing but photo cards!!! The only problem is there's too many pictures in a year to choose from! :)

Since we have such a large family on both sides and we don't live around any of them, we end up sending out a LOT of photo cards each year. That being said, of COURSE I appreciate a deal! In the past few years, I've found that Shutterfly has had a very cute selection of photo cards for reasonable prices, and I'm all about that! I'm not sure if in the past I've had a favorite photo card per se....they always seem to have such a wide selection I spend all my time trying to choose between them! I tend to like the ones that can hold multiple pictures on one side, such as this one.

Another thing I like giving to parents as gifts? Wall and desk calendars! Check out Shutterfly's vast selection here. Also, make sure to check out their holiday selection of Christmas photo cards...I expect to get one from you and your family!!! That's one of the many things I love about this time of year...we actually look forward to getting snail mail, being as it consists of more than bills and junk! :)

Happy Holidays everyone!

*Disclaimer: For creating a blogpost about Shutterfly's holiday products, I am being given 50 free photo cards. However, all opinions above are my own.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm A Big Boy Now: The Potty Training Chronicles

Finally, after weekend upon weekend of exciting fun, we actually had a weekend on the calendar where nothing was scheduled. No guests, no activities, nothing. Which NEVER happens. So we decided to take advantage of the downtime to do something extremely fun: POTTY TRAINING.

Yes, of course I'm being sarcastic. I ordered an eBook on 3-day potty training awhile back, and have been dreading the day when I would actually have to put it to use. It looked like SO much work, and Michael can be about as stubborn as they get. But I decided to rip off the bandaid and go for it this weekend. The way I looked at it, there was only 2 options: a) Endure 3 days of possible pure torture, but then be DONE, or; b) drag out the process for six months fighting the battle of the wills waiting 'until he's ready'. that was a pretty easy choice considering when Michael is left to his own devices, he will take his sweet time to do anything...always has. So I kept telling myself "It's only 3 days!" and kept plowing through!

I do have to admit, this program is pretty intense. The first morning, I woke him up, introduced him to his big boy undies, and had him throw out all of his pull-ups. Every. Last. One. Gulp.

The first day was horrible. I was tired of hearing myself say, "Let me know when you need to go potty, ok?" seemingly to no avail. Every 5 minutes he would be peeing on the floor. I'd run him to the bathroom to sit him on the potty, and he would throw a fit. NO POTTY!!! So I'd just change him and let him go again with a gentle reminder for next time. By the time Marion got home that night (20 underwear changes and 2 loads of laundry later) I was done. It was at this point I seriously thought about hanging up the whole thing and going with Plan B. But it was only 3 days....come on! So we pushed through.

I was fully planning on putting him back in pull-ups overnight, even though it was 'against the program.' Not EVER does he wake up dry in the morning. But hey, if you're gonna do it, you may as well go all out right? So I bit the bullet and let him sleep in his undies that night. As expected, morning greeted me with pee-stained sheets, but it's all part of the learning process, right?

Day 2 was MUCH more manageable, for 2 reasons. My wonderful hubby was off and was extremely helpful in the whole process. He even let me have a breather and run to Target for a few minutes...a much needed break! The second reason was the kicker: we could see a light bulb start to go on with Michael. Sure, he still had accidents, but they were mini ones. Then he'd say, "Uh oh, pee pee. " We'd take him to the potty, and he'd actually sit there and finish!!! It was so exciting to see! And what blew my mind most??? That night, he stayed completely dry! Way to go! By the beginning of the third day, he was basically potty trained, telling us when he had to go and maybe leaking just a teeny bit. I can't believe it worked! It WORKED!!!!! I had heard the majority of people say, "He'll let you know when he's ready." or "It just takes a lot of time and patience." This may have not been the most fun I've ever had in a weekend, but heck yeah I'd do it again!!! I can't tell you how proud we are of our big boy! He's so proud when he goes's too cute!

Here's Michael reading with Daddy in bed the second dry morning...he got new books as a present for keeping his bed dry!
So to whom do I credit this success? How did we do it? A GENIUS woman named Lora Jensen. She has an eBook available for purchase online. We followed this book to a T...and the results speak for themselves!!! I would HIGHLY recommend trying this to anyone who's at the potty training stage...boys don't have to be more difficult to train! Here is her website:

Best of luck to anyone else out there potty training!!! You can do it!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Halloween!

We hope everyone enjoyed Halloween and collected lots of candy! We had an action-packed weekend with not much downtime, so I will recap for you (to include lots of pics of course!)

A few weeks prior, my sister, Adam, Laura, and Juan came down to visit and to accompany us on our annual pumpkin picking. Marion found this place where you took a train out to the pumpkin patch and back, which sounded pretty neat. There was also a 10-acre corn maze to explore, which Marion was pretty excited about. Although the train ride ended up being shorter than expected and the pumpkin patch small, Michael talked about riding the train for the entire following week. That's what counts!

Here Adam's being the navigator in the corn maze. He takes his job very seriously. (Laura and I may or may not have cheated...just a little.)

And of course, let's not forget my dear sister's birthday is this month, so we celebrated over the weekend of course! A very happy birthday Danielle...happy 26th!!!

For Halloween weekend itself, we of course decided to make it as action-packed as possible. The first stop Friday was to Michael's classroom for their Halloween parade. Michael is the Spiderman in the front row...I knew that mask was going to be problematic as soon as we purchased it.

Then that night, it was back into costume for our Halloween party. Laura and Juan were able to make it down for another weekend, and we loved having them!

The kiddos at the party

Saturday night, there was a big Halloween parade that we had gone to the year before we planned to hit up again. We ran into a few snags getting there, including not being able to get dinner and walking forever in the wrong direction, but the parade itself was worthwhile. I can't believe how LONG it was though! An hr. and a half later with red cheeks and noses, we headed back to the car.

And of course, Sunday. Halloween. Michael was able to participate a lot more in trick or treating this year, and it was really cute to watch. We ended up going around with one of Marion's friends from work...they had a much nicer neighborhood to trick or treat in than we do! Michael quickly got the hang of knocking on the door and shouting, "TRICK OR TREEEEEEAT!" as loud as humanly possible. Once he had gotten his candy, he'd say, "Happy Halloween!" and skip off to the next house. TOO cute. He was such a trooper too...he held up for quite awhile...long enough to fill his bag pretty well!

This following weekend has been a quiet weekend in, and it has been a welcome break. The next whirlwind of activity is about ready to start, so keep checking back!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Week With Nama and Dapa

Mom and Dad had a week off at the beginning of October, and they decided to spend the week up in New Jersey with us. I'm pretty sure it was because my mom was going into Michael withdrawal, but it's to be expected. :) It was nice to have them there, and Dad hadn't gotten to see Michael since the summer...about time for more quality time with Gramps!

My parents are such good sports. They drive 12 hours each way to visit with us, and what do I do? Put them to work of course. I had a whole slew of projects for my dad to help with...from fixing a broken toilet seat to installing shelves. And Mom was busy working on creating a new footstool for the mini-man. The help was MUCH appreciated...that to-do list was getting waaaay too long!

But don't worry, I didn't make them work the whole time they were here. There was still plenty of time left to hang out with Michael. We squeezed in a few cool outings while they were here:

We took a hayride at a local farm and went apple and pumpkin picking.

Mom and Dad took Michael to an indoor playplace while I had to work one day.

Michael played the part of Grandpa's Little Helper.

Grandpa taught Michael how to build an airplane.

Grandma and Michael even left you with a photo tutorial for how to make homemade sugar cookies. Just follow the simple steps below:

1. Measure dry ingredients.

2. Mix

3. Add wet ingredients.

4. Mix again.

5. Roll out chilled dough.

6. Cut out cool shapes using cookie cutters.

7. Have Mommy bake them in the oven. While cookies bake, do a happy dance on the chair. (No pants required)

8. Don't forget to give yourself a Hitler mustache with the flour. Why not liven up the party a little bit?

9. Time to decorate!

10. Most important step of all: Don't forget to sample your work!!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Big Project

Well....a lot has been going on since my hiatus from the blogging world. First and foremost, the news you've all been waiting for....

It's another BOY!!!!

That's right ladies and gents! We went for the ultrasound Labor Day weekend (that's how behind I am!) and found out the exciting news. I will now be extremely outnumbered by males in my household, but I absolutely LOVE having a boy already...they are so much fun! It will be exhausting I'm sure, but we are looking forward to welcoming our new addition.

So, having heard this news, the next hurdle was going to be where to put the new addition to the family. We have 3 bedrooms, but I could not fathom living without one functional guest room for how often it is used. We decided, due to the change in decor on the new toddler bed we had introduced Michael to a month prior, we would just flip flop rooms. His current room was already decorated, and the landlord didn't want it touched, but it was not working with his new "Cars" bedding. Marion, however, was opposed to decorating a room in a house that wasn't ours, so I decided to take on the task myself when he went away on business for two weeks. Hey, he said he didn't want any part of it...not that I couldn't must be specific with me people. :)

A few pictures of my big helper assembling his new bed:

And of course you have to give it a test run....that was hard work!

One of the first mornings in the new bed...I love this picture. :)

When I finally decided on how to decorate the room, I enlisted the MUCH appreciated help of Danielle and Adam that weekend. Danielle primarily helped me with the room while Adam graciously did babysitting duty. I couldn't have done it without them!!! Michael had so much fun spending quality time with his uncle...I heard about the fair Adam took him to for the entire week following!

Of course, due to my indecisiveness, the room wasn't completely finished by the time they left, but all the major work was done. After a few more online purchases and forcing myself to just make a decision already, the room was done!!! I couldn't have been happier with the results!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


That's right ladies and gentlemen, we are expecting again! Baby #2 is officially on its way!

I found out the Thursday morning before Memorial Day, a mere 24 hours before I flew out for my dear brother Kendrick's wedding. Therefore, there wasn't a heck of a lot of time to process the new info before I left. Marion was staying at home over the weekend with Michael, so it was going to be my duty alone to tell the fam.

I wanted to keep it quiet over the weekend, since after all, this was not my party. I did manage to tell Adam and Danielle on the way down and my parents at the hotel when we got there, and they all did an AMAZING job of not spilling the beans. This news is very hard for my mother to sit on, but she did so well. You're awesome mom. :)

Little by little, I have told close family and friends the news, and today we are announcing it to the world! I am sixteen weeks today, and am finally starting to get some energy back. F.I.N.A.L.L.Y.

They say every pregnancy is different, regardless of if the sex of the baby is the same or not. And no people, I do not know the sex of the baby yet. Yes, I am going to find out. And yes, I will let you know when I know. So....has this pregnancy been the same so far? Yes and no. I have been extreeeeeeeemely tired and have had to nap with Michael almost every afternoon just to function, but I experience this with the first one as well. I've had more frequent waves of nausea, but again never threw up. I am SO thankful for this!

But the worst part of being pregnant? My body thinking that it has to go through puberty all over again. It has no idea what to do with all these hormones and chemicals, and it is making me break out like mad! That can be done at any point, thank you very much. Went through that once (well, twice) already.

All in all, I have been blessed thus far to have easy, unremarkable pregnancies. I am just now at the end of my 'normal' clothes and the belly is just starting to make itself known. I've only gained 3 pounds so far, but this fat stage makes it seem like so much more! Guess all the weight is just shifting around to make room. And the world begins to revolve around the baby already....

I have about 3 or 4 more weeks until we have our anatomy scan, and then the real planning and prep will begin! We are excited to find out what the new addition will be to our family, and I think we would be happy with either. Just pray for a healthy baby! We will keep you posted as we find out anything new!

First official ultrasound taken at 11.5 weeks

You can see the arms and legs really well in this one!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Weekend With the Girls

About a week after we got back from our extended summer vacation, Mom and Danielle came back up to my house and we prepared to hit the Big Apple for a girls weekend with the fam! We were meeting my two aunts and their daughters up there who we don't get to see very often, so we were excited to get to spend time with them as well.

Adam, the trooper he is, was on Michael duty for a full day by himself on Friday while we took off and Marion was at work. Everyone survived, and we are very appreciative to have such a good sport added to our family. :)

Well, the boys got to have a boys' weekend, while we got to have our girls' weekend. But this post isn't about the boys. ;) We took the train up early Friday morning and met the other girls at the hotel. As soon as we were all ready, we ventured out to see the sights. Now, I don't know why I have this luck with that city, but every time I go, it rains. Every time. So of course, we have planned to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge this day, so we get off the subway in Brooklyn, and guess what? Yep, it's raining. No, scratch that. It's pouring. We decide to trek to the famous pizza place first, hoping to miss some of the rain. After waiting an hr. to get in, we all enjoyed some scrumptious pizza, then hit the bridge.

In hindsight, it was probably a good thing that we ended up walking the bridge that day anyway, since the next day it was in the mid-90s. Good thing we spent the majority of that day indoors at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Later Saturday night, we went to the obligatory Broadway musical. You cannot go to New York and not go to a Broadway show. This is just not allowed. My aunt got us great tickets for "Wicked", and the show was pretty good! Of course, you can't end your night without a piece of New York cheesecake either. :)

Other things we were able to squeeze in in our short two days was a boat cruise, finding the Treat Truck featured on the Food Network, and taking a tour of Grand Central Station. We also got another nice surprise. My other aunt and her two kids just happened to be vacationing in the area at the same time, so we were able to meet up with them a few times which was nice. Ended up being quite the family reunion!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

Every time I begin a new blog post, I feel the need to apologize. For my ridiculously long absence. EVERY time. So again, my apologies for the extended hiatus.

We have had an extremely busy summer thus far. I finished work mid-June, and a few days later, the little man and I were off to Kentucky. Marion met us down there a few days later after making the grueling drive with the dog. Marion was lucky enough to get several weeks of leave at once, so we took full advantage. We began the vacation with Marion and I going to the wedding of our Best Man in Indianapolis. Marion got to see his old buddies from undergrad, and we ended up staying with my friend from college, so it was nice to be able to catch up with old friends. Mom and Dad were nice enough to watch Michael for the weekend so we could make the trip sans child (although that didn't take much arm-twisting!).

After we got back to Kentucky, we relaxed a little and took some time to hang out with family. My old roomate Laura and her husband even got to come down to visit for a few days, and we had fun winning money at Churchill Downs! We were able to spend the 4th with both sets of parents and Adam and Danielle, which was nice. Of course Marion and his dad supplied us with a nice array of bootleg fireworks to watch in the backyard. :)

After the 4th, we decided to pay our dear friends in Dayton a visit on the way back. We stayed with friends from Marion's program, and I got to meet up with my old Mom's group! After a day or two there, it was off to Adam and Danielle's in Pittsburgh.

In Pittsburgh, we met up with my parents once again and Adam's dad, and the guys went out for a weekend hiking trip in the wilderness. While they were out there huffing and puffing and eating nasty food, mom and I took the more comfortable route and stayed at Danielle's apartment with the little man, with short outings to the zoo and mall.

After all of our many stops and almost a month of being in beds and homes other than our own, we finally made it back to our humble NJ abode. We had a great time seeing family, but I do have to say it is good to be home!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


It is still hard to believe, but the little man just had his second birthday. TWO years old already...where in the world did the time go? It doesn't seem so long ago that I was in the hospital giving birth, but at the same time it seems like ages ago that he was that tiny, helpless newborn...hard to imagine him that small now as he's running around the house like a madman!

For his birthday party, we were lucky that Danielle, Adam, Laura, and Juan could all make it. We also invited a couple of Michael's buddies and some people from Marion's work. It actually turned out really well for how much procrastination was done. :) With the help of my trusty sidekicks Danielle and Laura, we worked diligently until 2am to get the monster of a cake done. It turned out really well (we were doing a "Things That Go" theme) for all the work that went into it! Much thanks to the sidekicks for their help with decorating!

My partners in crime....

The finished product...

For the party, it was going to be waaay too crowded in our townhouse for that many little kiddos and their parents, so I decided at the last minute to rent a moonbounce. Why? Because I'm the coolest mom ever...of course. It was a huge hit and the kids had a blast. Who am I kidding? We all had a blast!

We are always camera happy at this house, so I put the rest of the bday pics below. Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate! Now I just have to figure out where to put this massive amount of toys....