Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Best and Worst Christmas Gifts

Because creativity is a category (obviously) this goes to my parents. Remember this blog post? (Nine things my toddler wants for Christmas).

Well my parents decided to get Olivia all of that. 

Hysterical right?

The first gift I opened was the spoon and I thought I was going to have to send them to the looney bin sooner than anticipated.

They found an alarm clock that cries like a baby.

And my mom even took my dog out to brush her one day to wrap up the hair. 

At least we got some sweet Jack Daniels out of the deal? And Olivia loves her laptop mroe than we ever thought!

Worst gift? It goes to my parents. Sorry guys.

The gift that I keep incorrectly referring to as the Chillscicle. 

The Chillsner.


You freeze it, keep it in your beer and still drink through the top. Genius. However, when I went to put it in the Hoegaarden, a fav beer around here, it almost fit, but not quite. So, like a genius, I decided to hammer it in. The beer shot up like a geyser, drenching our kitchen. Whoops.

Once it was fully in, and half my Hoegaarden on the ceiling and down the kitchen cabinets, I realized it's just about half an inch too long. If I tried to drink out of it, it would kind of pour out the side. I thought we were going to have to break the bottle to get the Chillscicle out. 

It gets great reviews, so we are going to press on and try it with different beer bottles. But keep in mind, the Chillscicle and the Hoegaarden aren't friends.

Note: These weren't actually the best and worst Christmas gifts received. I just didn't have a better title.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

We flew back from Denver and arrived in Atlanta at 10:30pm. Tired was an understatement for Olivia. She did great on the flight, but got pretty cranky upon landing and was not happy about waiting for bags and driving to my parents house. 

When she still wasn't better Tuesday, we finally found someone to see her. Note: don't get sick out of town. Pediatricians (at least in Atlanta) won't take "out of towners." We found out Olivia had a virus, had an ear infection in her left ear, had burst her ear drum in her right ear on the flight home, AND was having a hard time breathing. An antibiotic, two ear drops, and an inhaler later - our girl was on the mend. She's definitely a trooper. 

Needless to say, we didn't get any cute Christmas pictures in her sweet corduroy dress and suede shoes. She did not want to be in front of the camera.

Haha. That one is my favorite. Unamused. Can't breathe through her nose. And over this whole 'picture' thing.

Sick or not, she's still my favorite present under that tree. The greatest gift I've been given.

"Baby Olivia" is adored by her sweet cousins. I just couldn't get over how sweet they were to her. They gave her gifts, fed her their dinner and attended to her every need. I wish we had gotten a good group shot, but I just took this cell phone during dinner.

On Christmas morning Santa brought Olivia a baby doll. I knew she would love it. It was the first thing she crawled toward in her not-Christmas jammies. She kept hugging the doll and holding her. The sweetest thing!!

The medicines worked, Olivia is all better, and back her to crazy self. I wish our families got to enjoy how much fun well Olivia is, but I know they loved seeing her either way. 

She is still singing "all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth." Maybe she'll get them for Valentines day?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and were able to relax or spend time with family or friends. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Beaver Creek

Wow - it has been quite awhile. I meant to blog on our trip. And then I forgot my laptop. And my camera. And Olivia's Christmas PJs. Can't win.

We left on December 16th for the holidays - which meant Christmas shopping, teacher gift giving, present wrapping, ski gear packing - all before we left. That was a whirlwind, but it made the holidays relaxing - not having to do any of that in the days leading up to Christmas.

We left the night of the 16th for Atlanta, got in around midnight / 1 - got up at 5 am to catch our flight to Denver and drive two hours to Beaver Creek. Olivia was exhausted and getting sick - which didn't make for the best combo. She loved being outside in the snow, but was quite a crank when she was inside the condo.

Dan's parents watched Olivia while we skied two days. This was my second time in Beaver Creek, and it was amazing. They had gotten two feet of snow before our arrival and the skiing couldn't have been better. 

Photo courtesy of Eric "Uncle Coach"

The main lift now has a gondola, so you can hand them your skis and poles, sit back in the warm gondola and enjoy the view. Maybe we should have made Alex duck? 

Unattractive selfie in the gondola. Don't mind us.

At 3pm everyday they had chocolate chip cookies on the mountain. We only remembered one day. But it was enough to make the trip for Olivia. 

Excuse the post skiing hat hair.

Offering to share her cookies with the people who walk by. I love her heart.

Think she could be in the catalogue?

Olivia felt worse and worse while out there. We knew something wasn't right when she fell asleep on us. She hasn't cuddled since she became mobile. We took her out to eat and she slept in my arms the entire dinner. That hasn't happened since she was a newborn. She had some virus and I think that combined with not sleeping made her narcoleptic.

Clearly, I decided to fill this post with the most unattractive pictures of me ever. You're welcome. 

On Saturday, we headed back to Atlanta to spend the rest of the holiday with my family. But first, Olivia took a selfie. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Weekend Re-cap

Our weekend started off pretty normal, with Olivia's "Friday I'm in Love" T-shirt and some bubbles. 

She blows the whole time - even when we are dipping the wand back in the bubbles. But I think that's pretty good for 13 months.

Dan and I impulsively decided to have a date night late in the week because our favorite sitter was in town. We finally made it to Farenheit for drinks. The view was so worth it. And because it was chilly not many people were outside.

After, we had dinner at Ruth's Chris. For each flight of wine we ordered, they gave 2.5 meals to those in need. We were drinking for charity!! ;)

The rest of the weekend was spent finishing up Christmas shopping, wrapping presents, and enjoying time outside with this beautiful baby.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pinterest Fails, Christmas Bubbles, and Other Nonsense

Either I have a genius 13 month old, or my husband enjoys the bath tub crayons more than my daughter.

This was a Pinterest fail. I saw "felt Christmas tree they can decorate over and over." Thought it was genius and went to grab supplies. I saw the ornament shaped foam and thought I was skipping a major step of cutting out the ornaments. Decorated the ornaments and attached this crazy good velcro that rips the entire tree off the door whenever Olivia removes ornaments.

Turns out the pin said that 'felt sticks to felt' and if I hadn't used foam, I could have skipped the entire velcro step. Oh well. We just kinda hold the tree on for her. And slowly but surely the velcro is getting less sticky.

Another Pinterest fail. I hung about 10 ornaments from the window. An inexpensive Christmas decoration that is too high for Olivia to destroy. Turns out - it scares the crap out of me when these fall and crash in the middle of the night. My mom asked Dan if the crash wakes him up: "No. But Kelley wakes me up."

Target sells 6 packs of bubbles for $2.77. I thought it was a great inexpensive gift for her class. I added some tags that say "Merry Christmas! Love, Olivia." This one, so far, wasn't a fail. Or from Pinterest. Interesting.

In other news, Dan accidentally took 3 Advil PMs thinking they were regular Advil. He stumbled around our house, mumbled about his coworker Chris and going to the grocery store, and slept in his clothes. I might need a child lock on the medicine cabinet for Dan.

In dad of the year news, Olivia managed to punt kick a glass bowl across the kitchen and a 'million little pieces' didn't even begin to describe the mess. I now have a whole appreciation for shatter proof glass. Dan kicked us out and I don't think the floors have ever been cleaner.

Lastly, any sippy cup recommendations? Dan and I filled one of each type of sippy cup - yep, these are just one of each brand - with water and tried them ourselves. Weighed that against how spillproof they are or aren't - and decided we hate them all. 

Happy Monday!

Monday, December 8, 2014

What It's Like Being a Mom

I have started this post more than a handful of times over the past 14 months and have deleted it every time. I can never find the right words to say everything I want to say. This time, I'm just going to type and click publish and we will see what happens.

I always knew I wanted children. I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I carried dolls around and wished they were real. I secretly hoped we would find a baby on the doorstep and I would have to help raise it (lifetime movie style). I babysat from the moment someone trusted me with their children.

When Dan and I got married and discussed when to have children, this fear came over me. Yes I wanted babies. I wanted a million of them. I wanted the car seats, and the sippy cups, and the pacis, and the shy child who buries their head into my shoulder when we go into a public place. Children that were mine. I wanted to be a mom.

But at the same time, I wondered if I would regret it. Not the children themselves, but the timing. Having children early in life. I know regret sounds like a harsh word, but I wondered if secretly, deep down, it would be true. 

That children are hard. That they are tiring. That they want you to play with them all the time. You have to follow them around because babies get into stuff and toddlers make messes. They get up early, and get up throughout the night.

That I would be tired. That I wouldn't be able to sleep in ever again. That I wouldn't be able to go out with Dan. That we wouldn't go out with our friends. Vacations would never be relaxing. And I would never sit at the beach, or even on the couch, ever again. I would be following a baby around, changing diapers, cleaning up spit up, and making bottles. That I would want my old life back. The life I gave up. Never to have again.

It doesn't help that you read all these posts about 'real life' and 'confessions' from moms who are exhausted. And that society tells you that children are mostly a checkbox in the perfect family, but to have them late - that they hinder your career and your personal time.

I can honestly tell you - I have never once regretted the timing of having Olivia. If anything, I should have had her earlier! She is the best thing to ever happen to me. I have never had more fun in my life. I follow her around because I want to be with her. I spend every second I can with her. I put her to bed way past her bedtime because I want to play with her longer. I miss her when she's sleeping and contemplate waking her up. I secretly get excited when she wakes in the middle of the night - so I can use it as an excuse to run into her room. I think about her constantly when I am not with her.

I love to hold her. I love to watch her learn. I love to talk to her, teach her, introduce her to my favorite things, and use her as an excuse to order off of the kids menu.

I can sleep 12 hours if I want to - because that's how long she sleeps at night. We still go out with friends, have dinner at restaurants, and go on vacations. I'll tell you a little secret? Sometimes we use her as an excuse to leave early, because we would rather spend time with her than some other people. 

I don't like it when people 'take her off my hands' - instead, I'd rather them get the groceries or cook dinner. I don't cook nearly as nice of meals as I used to, nor spend time getting ready, or wear nice clothes. Not because I don't have the time, but because I would rather spend the time with her. 

The worst part about being a mom? Thinking about her growing up. Or her not needing me anymore. Or her not understanding how heartbreaking 'mom, you don't know anything' would be - just as I'm sure I did to my mother. 

She isn't a hassel. She isn't exhausting (although she sure does her best!). She isn't career hindering. I don't even remember life without her. 

What did we do? Sit on the couch? Watch more TV? Stare at each other? I literally cannot remember what we did to fill our time before our little buddy was born. Maybe the house was cleaner. Maybe our meals more gormet. Maybe I washed my hair a little more often. But I can tell you - there's no life I'd rather lead than that of a mom. 

It's clearly not like this for everyone. But the 'honest' posts about how hard it is to be a mom are all over the world wide web. For anyone scared about becoming parents, I thought I'd throw in my two cents. This is the easiest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. I want to do it a million times over.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

I started typing "Thanksgiving 2012" - clearly I need more coffee. Olivia woke us up at 4 am this morning. She said "thanks clowns for your post yesterday - really making me look good on the blog. Number 2? Watch this."

Anyway - we went to Wisconsin this year for Thanksgiving. Olivia last saw snow when she was four months old - so this time was much more fun. They probably had about 8 inches or so on the ground. Early for this time of year, but I loved it!

We never got a good picture of her in her Thanksgiving dress - nor a good family picture. Now that Tgiving is over, she is going to wear this dress every day, so we will have plenty of photo ops.

The flights were only okay. I feel like we are rockstars at flying with Olivia - we've gotten it down to a science. But the actual flight is less than relaxing. 

This girl has never sat still in her life. She wont even sit in my lap to read a book before bed. She wont watch movies, play with a phone or an ipad, etc. 

So she stands in our laps and walks around, pushes buttons, bangs on seats, gets snacks, plays with toys, etc. - while we are trying to keep her from touching other passengers, pushing the flight attendant call button, or taking the hat off the person in front of us. 

I might post a few tips for flying with a little (we only have one - I can't image more!) but the main one: grab a beer before boarding. Takes the edge off. #alcoholic

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The Christmas decorations are up (they have been for a few weeks now..). This Christmas PJs are on Olivia (they also have been for a few weeks now). And we are ready for this wonderful month of December!