Sunday, December 30, 2012

Just a funny story

So I know I have another Ohio trip recap to post about, but I haven't had the time to dedicate to it.  Vacation for a week and then death plague 2012 let our house get pretty messy, so in free time I've been trying to get on top of it.

But we've seen my history, and if I get out of the habit of coming on blogger, you won't see me again for 6 months so I leave you with this story.

H is a very curious, intelligent tiny person.  We try to be honest with her about everything, avoid simplistic/baby talk, and use proper terms for anatomy.  This last one because it's science.  Boys have penises, girls have vaginas.  I don't think it does anyone any favors to tip-toe around genitalia.  It's just our bodies, the way we were made, and there's nothing to be embarrassed about.  I think too many people are uncomfortable with the subject.  It's nature.  It's beautiful.  It's not taboo.  *steps off soapbox*

So when H watches us change B's diaper she started to curiously point.  So we tell her, that's brother's penis.  She's gotten used to it now, so if she happens to be observing a diaper change she proudly displays her knowledge that that thing is a penis.  Well she was in the tub the other day, T was giving her a bath.  She stood up to express she was all done, grabs her vagina and yells "eeeee-nis!" with a huge smile on her face.  Not quite, lovey, but you'll get it eventually. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Seeing eye to eye

T & I talked about anything and everything before we were married and continuing on before we had kids.  We did the long-distance thing for 2 years and then were married for 2 before having H.  Plus our families live 800 miles apart so cue 17 hour road trips.  We had a lot of time on our hands to just talk.

We talked about kids and our parenting styles - spanking, public vs private school, allowance policy, household chores, etc.   I definitely recommend this to all couples who are thinking about having kids.  If there's one thing most people are stubborn on it's parenting choices and it only gets worse once you're actually a parent.  We had all the major things down and a plan of attack in place so we wouldn't be stuck with kids in an epic apocalyptic battle on co-sleeping.

Things obviously have changed as parenting has gone from an abstract concept to reality, but since we've had our dig-your-heels-in, head-in-the-sand arguments already we can discuss a new approach with civility.  Except, it seems, with the small stuff.  Most recently marker usage.

I have a planner and I like to color coordinate everything. 1 color for each member of the family, 1 for different types of events, etc.  So T got me a 16 shade assortment of those felt-tip marker/pens last year for my birthday -- yeah it's dorky, but I was excited!  H can uncap them now and she loves to color on things.  So I give her a notebook or paper and a marker and let her go nuts.  The other day she colored her hand & her face with green.  It came off in the bath, but not at the sink so most of the day she looked like her dad might've been Bruce Banner.

T was so upset.  He snatched the marker away and put it on the shelf and told me not to give her markers anymore.  I was pissed that he made her cry for no good reason and that he tried to boss me.  We both got attitudes and fought about this.  Seriously.  He threw out that I wasn't giving her proper supervision.  I told him to stop being so uptight & stifling her creativity. 

We're all fine now, but there still hasn't been a consensus on coloring.  The adult thing to do would be discuss the issue and come up with guidelines for location, materials, level of interaction, etc. that we both are happy with -- limiting the mess without limiting her freedom.  But what I'll probably do is bust out the finger paints one day when he says he's on his way home and encourage H to run and give him a hug immediately before he knows what hit him :).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

B's baptsim!

While we were planning a trip to the Midwest, we thought it would be best to schedule B's baptism.  For those of you who don't know, we made a plan to have all our children baptized at Notre Dame.  It obviously is a special place for us, but for our kids it means more than that.  It was a huge influence on my personal spirituality, and is the reason we have our life & our little ones.  In this military life we've chosen, we know our children will not really have a home parish.  I mean, they're about as close as siblings come in age and H would've been baptized in San Antonio, B here in Las Vegas.  We think that it's nice to begin their faith journeys from the same ground.  That through all the moves and different milestones in different homes, they share a starting point.

So on Saturday the 15th, we headed out to the Log Chapel to welcome B as a child of Christ.  His Godparents are T's brother & sister so now to him they are more than just Uncle Doodoo & Aunt Kaka ;).

 He didn't mind this part so much :)

 Fr. Kerry

 The family & the new Godparents (H's Godparents, Kay & Alex, were not able to make it)

 Happy Grandparents!

After the baptism, we went to 5pm Mass at the Basilica and dinner at Legends (campus restaurant).  After dinner, my parents drove back to Ohio and we went back to our hotel to spend some quality time with T's family and some friends who joined us from Chicago.  There was wine, great food & even better company.

Great Grandma & Grandpa!

And then on Sunday we returned home to a baptism party in B's honor with our Ohio family and friends.  It was so great of my parents to do that.  We got an opportunity to see almost everyone in town that we care about which is so difficult when you're only in town for a week, maybe two, each year. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I couldn't write our Christmas post yesterday, as we weren't finished with it yet!

This year was a little odd being the first one we were not with one of our families on actual Christmas.  It was nice being home and getting to relax, but it didn't quite feel like Christmas.  We went to 4pm Mass on Christmas Eve, had dinner & opened family gifts.  B still has two under the tree that he didn't get around to opening.  Mostly because he couldn't care less at this age and I was tired of saying "no H, that's B's go play with your new toys".

I hope we're not sick again next year when the kids are more into it and I can make it really fun and memorable.  But this year I was not up to the task.  After they went to bed and I prepped the food, I got some juice, a blanket, and NyQuill.  This is the cold that never quits.  

Christmas morning we got up and had a Pinterest inspired breakfast!  We had a crockpot casserole, cinnamon roll waffles & strawberry banana "candy canes".

We opened our stockings & Santa gifts.  We got to FaceTime with my parent's & T's family which was really nice.  It's no substitute for being with everyone, but it sure makes this whole moving all about the country thing easier.  I know my family would come to us for Christmas every year if we asked them to.  Now we just have to work on T's side. . .  :)

Here are a few more pictures for your enjoyment and I really hope you all had happy & blessed holidays!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It was the best of flights, it was the worst of flights

As I mentioned the other day, we took a little trip.  Fun fact about traveling with "infant in arms" as a special request - you can't have two in the same row.  Not even across the aisle because of the oxygen mask situation.  So the best you can hope for is to sit front to back. 

On the way to Detroit?  Our flight was not full.  I had an entire row just me & a kiddo.  T had the middle seat open between him & the stranger.  So between the 4 of us, we had 5 seats.  And boy did we use them!  H got a great nap because she sprawled out next to me.  I got to use my iPad.  Juice and toys could be set down to access other things.  Everyone was healthy, excited for the trip and comfortable.  It was glorious.  And the flight attendants were awesome.  They gave us extra cookies.  They went to first class to get milk.  H was still sleeping when we were about to land and she was supposed to make me pick her up and hold her securely.  I asked her if she could let me know the last possible moment and then she said with a smile, "You're her mom, you're not going to just let her go flying off the seat, you can leave her there".  

Back home? Not so much.  Completely full flight.  Like asking for volunteers to take a later one full.  The kids and I were miserably sick.  They did manage to change our seats so we were together, but we were on the aisle.  Which given Delta's new beverage cart design, sucks when you have babies.  You know how on most flights, the flight attendants have an ice bucket on their cart?  Yeah, well Delta decided to attach them to the side of their carts.  So it invades over your arm rest and actually into your seat on the aisle.  We were delayed over an hour (most of which was waiting on the plane) and I finally got H to sleep - she could not get comfortable trying to sleep on my lap - and then I had to move her for the beverage service or she'd get knocked in the head.  Plus the flight attendants were rude.  It doesn't help that flying west is always longer than flying east AND we were battling 200 MPH headwinds.  We were stuck on that plane for about 6 hours with sick kids who couldn't sleep.  The guy next to me was nice about H taking up so much space.  I think he could tell it was a rough day for all of us.

I'm glad we made it home.  After the first Wednesday I was all "hell yeah, sign us up for this again, air travel for everyone!"  After last Wednesday, "Oh my God I'm never flying with the children again unless we can afford to buy ALL THE SEATS".

How were your holiday travels?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

We're baaaaaack

If I were a good blogger, I would have warned everyone that we were going "on vacation" for a week.  I put that in quotes because a real vacation would've been warm weather, probably a beach/pool & 7 days to relax.  What we did was take two kids under two on an airplane and fly back to spend some Holiday fun with family and have B baptized. 

We've been back for 5 days but everyone but T (thank God) came back with some horrible illness.  Not quite Outbreak level, now that I'm looking through hindsight, but even if you asked me yesterday I would have told you it felt like we all were dying. 

But that means I have plenty to talk about - the flights, the trip, the baptism, even our plague if topics get really dire - so the posts should keep rolling out soon!  Thanks for stopping by. 

Monday, December 10, 2012


People who say that you'll be a great parent because you are/were a great babysitter are crazy.  I was always good with kids and babysat all throughout high school.  Even some times during college when I was home.  I loved the families and I seemed to have endless patience.

Everyone always said, "you're so good with kids, you'll be a great mom someday".  False.  Here's the problem with that sentiment.  You only have to have endless patience for a few hours.  You can play the mindless monotonous games of toddlerhood with great enthusiasm because you get to go home soon.  And you get paid.  It's much harder to build the block tower and gasp "OH NO, CRASH!!" over and over when it's your life and there's no end in sight.

I bring you Sabrina from last week's Raising Hope, perfectly illustrating this situation:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Christian Attitude

It was very difficult to keep a good one this morning at mass.  H was being very very good.  And pretty much adorable as ever.  She likes to flip through the missalette, and now that she's talking more she turns the pages saying "book" and today "jesus song".  Well the music pages started as "elmo song" but I told her at Church we sing Jesus's songs so after a few tries she adjusted :).

She was babbling pretty much the whole time but it wasn't loud, or screaming, or crying.  She was just being a toddler.  When she wasn't looking at the book, she was putting her hands together saying "amen" over and over.  But the people in front of us were annoyed and not afraid to show it.

The last straw occurred when she noticed a wadded up tissue under their chairs.  She was saying "uh-oh. trash" to me.  The guy turned around and shushed her.  She's 1 for pete's sake!  We were working on it, and her volume was pretty low.  They could only hear her because they were right in front of her.

It made me really angry.  And I don't like feeling that way at mass.  The one time during the week when being a good & forgiving person should be the easiest.  I know older people who believe small children shouldn't be at mass at all, but it's important to us as a family to worship together.  "The family that prays together stays together" as they say.  And how are we supposed to raise our children in faith and lead by example if they aren't exposed to it until they're old enough to listen?

Both T & I were very irritated, but we tried not to talk about it as to not dwell on it.  But for me, if I don't have some sort of release, it just builds in me and then I'm all fired up at something that's blown way out of proportion.  I just needed to write this for my own catharsis, and also to put it into perspective.  That group was trying to worship in their own way.  If I need them to be flexible that my toddler won't sit 100% still & quiet for an hour, then I also need to be understanding that she might be distracting to some people. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Little Clones

Hi, everyone, it's T. K reminded me that she doesn't need to be the only one posting on the family blog & that I actually have publishing permissions, too! And as it turns out, I did have something to share: my kids are growing up to be just like me!!

It started with H (naturally); very early on she showed an interest in the cars that she saw daddy playing with, learned that cars go "vroooom", & loved watching daddy race them on his Xbox. Then she started to like the shiny gadgets that mommy & daddy used, & noticed that they all had an Apple on them. Every time she sees the Apple TV, iPhones, iPads, or our Macs, she excitedly points & shouts "Apple! Apple!" And then, sometime around a week ago, she decided mommy's iMac needed fixing (since apparently daddy wasn't getting it done fast enough!):

So now when mommy & daddy are working in the office, H will come in & work too!

And then there's baby B. I think this picture sums it up nicely:

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lucky strike

How do you teach your kids responsibility?  I've read lots of articles on the topic, and other various topics, all basically surrounding the idea of making your child(ren) into good people.  When do you start?  When is the being a brat thing no longer a phase?  I spend way too much time thinking about these things, when I just seem to luck out and stumble upon them.

It took me a while to go out of the house with both kids by myself.  It terrified me.  I don't have enough arms for this!  But at some point family leaves, your spouse goes back to work, and your friends you go out with most also have kids of their own in tow.  So you just have to figure it out.  Coming home used to be such a chore.  Everyone is tired, hungry and a little bit crabby.  H doesn't want to come in the house and my hands are full.  So now she has a job to do.  When we come home from somewhere, she has to go let Piper out of her crate.  I just needed anything to get her into the house.  But she loves it.  The puzzle of opening the locks and the excitement in the dog as she runs out past her. 

Now it seems that she has taken to caring more for the dog on her own.  In the mornings we come downstairs, let Piper out, get milk and feed the dog.  Yesterday morning, T's flight got cancelled so he stayed home for breakfast.  I made eggs & bacon, he brewed freshly ground coffee.  It was a nice treat, but it took me out of my routine so I hadn't fed Piper yet.  As I'm at the stove frying things up, H comes up to me with the empty dog dish.  She holds it up and says "food".  So I fill it with Pedigree and ask her to take it back.  She very carefully walked to the dog food mat, placed it down and stepped to the side so the dog could get at it. 

T & I were watching, holding our breath, as if she just won an olympic medal or something.  Because every new thing your toddler does is simply the most amazing thing you've ever seen.  Then we showered her with hugs and kisses and "great job"s. 

Moral of the story: it seems at this age your kids just want to be like you.  So I need to stop overthinking everything and just try to be a good example.  Because the little parrot-ape is going to do and say everything I do. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Picnic in the Park

There's an outdoor mall down south of the strip that has a story time on Wednesdays.  I happened across this when T & I were on a dinner and movie date night over TG when my parents were in town.  They're taking a break for winter and coming back in the spring, but I had one week left.  So last Wednesday I took the kids down to Town Square.  B fell asleep, briefly but necessarily, thank goodness. 

H was tickled pink!  We had a picnic lunch.  I packed PB & Js and bananas.  We had a blanket and her first picnic.  She got one of her favorite lunches and she wasn't confined to the table.  I think it blew her little mind.  The storytime itself I think is better for older kids, but she enjoyed it.  She pointed out every bird in the park, and even interacted with Santa if I went with her.  She did fall asleep on the way home, but it was well worth it.  We'll be returning this spring for sure.

 She's really into "say cheese" for the camera right now

 Hugging the creepy santa they had visit

Enjoying the candy cane she got for listening to the story on the walk back to the car

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Baby B is starting to laugh!!!  It's the cutest little sound in the world!  I love baby laughter.  Even when it's not your baby, or even if you don't want any kids of your own, how can you not smile when you hear tiny person giggles?

It's addictive and I love it.  It's crazy to think about how two kids, from the same parents, a year apart are so completely different.  H never laughed.  Ever.  Not until she was a toddler and daddy would toss her around or tickle her.  She's got a great little cackle now, but as a baby it was nothing.  When B started laughing and he's not even 4 months old, it was such a great surprise!  Of course after googling "how early one can diagnose and treat autism" when H was an infant, now I find myself googling "can my baby be too happy?"  Parents never stop worrying.  

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's christmas time in the city!

I've mentioned this before, but the warm weather makes it hard for me to realize it's winter and Christmas is just around the corner!  We've been trying to get into it as a family.  Hopefully soon we'll check out some of the evening light displays, but we've started with putting our tree up, listening to carols, and visiting a mall Santa.

 Big Helper

 Look at my beautiful handywork

This part of the tree was what H was responsible for.  We kept asking her "where should this one go?"  To which she responded, "Tee!"  When we finally got her to choose specific spots on the tree, she had limited range :).

First pic with Santa.  She told him she loves her "beebee" (baby doll) & "mouse" (minnie mouse).

Here's to hoping we'll be sharing many more holiday adventures soon!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

DVR lineup

My friend, Natalie, over at Barnes Daily Circus posted her current TV lineup and it inspired me to do the same.  Although with our busy lives our family, much like hers, sees everything a week or more late on the TiVo.  I will warn you, I watch a lot of TV.  Or at least I used to before the kiddos.  Now I just cringe as my TiVo gets 65+ percent full and panic until my husband and I watch them all.

How I Met Your Mother
  •  Oh HIMYM (pron: him-yim).  You had glory days.  And this season has brought it consistently, in a surprise.  But it's time to wrap it up.  We need to know who Ted marries.  End it on a good note.  When people still love you.  And mourn your finale.  Don't overstay your welcome.  I have heard that this might be the last season or they'll go for one more.  So I hope with the end in sight, we get some killer humor like the early seasons. 

  • Gory & graphic crime scenes to the max!  But very loveable characters and there's lots of humor mixed in.  I'm afraid it might be running its course, as well, but I think that 6 or 7 seasons is enough for a show in most circumstances.  I recommend it, but definitely from the beginning because the characters are very developed. 
The Voice
  • We have to DVR this or watch it while we're doing other things because they really milk it for all it's worth with the backstories, coaches comments, fan tweets, etc.  We really just care about the performances or the results but it really does come up with some good covers of great songs by talented people. 

  • T wanted to watch this.  He loves Fringe and JJ Abrams.  He's gotten me into Fringe so I said I'd give it a shot.  Our TiVo is crazy full so we haven't started it yet.  But we have all 10 episodes recorded.  My dad said he couldn't get into it, so we'll see. 

Raising Hope
  • Poor family with son who lives at home knocks up a serial killer and keeps the kid.  It's a ridiculous, and rather accurate, parenting & lifestyle comedy.  It cracks us up and I recommend it. 

  • 3 Words.  Leroy. Jethro. Gibbs.  You don't have to be over 50 to appreciate that man, no matter what people say. 

Go On 
  • This is a hilarious new show.  I, personally, enjoyed Matthew Perry's first attempt back in the sitcom arena "Mr. Sunshine" (especially the opening theme), but understood why it didn't have larger appeal.  In "Go On" he plays a very similar character, but he's much more likeable.  As is the quirky supporting cast.  I think as far as the weekly comedies go, I look forward to this one the most after Parks & Rec.

The New Normal
  • I watch this one by myself.  I'll admit mostly because I wanted more things to watch during naptime since it was feeling like everything on the TiVo was something I had to wait for T to watch.  It's not bad.  I find the characters (not grandma) endearing and I'm always in support of positive portrayals of non-traditional families in the media. 

New Girl
  • I watched this from the beginning and after 4-5 episodes I just couldn't get into it.  It felt a little forced and like a formula - Everyone's happy, Jess does something stupid, People get mad, All is forgiven and they're friends again.  But after giving up on it, people started raving about it.  I guess I just didn't stick with it long enough because it got better.  When Schmidt tries to be Tugg Romney had me practically in tears.  Now I watch it when there's not a recording conflict.

Private Practice 
  • I have a problem giving up on things.  I really wanted to when Addison & Sam broke up.  But it's the last season so I have to see how they end it.   
Rizzoli & Isles
  • TNT original drama.  It's a cop/crime fighting show.  It's decent.  I like the characters and I think it's funny. 

Modern Family
  • This show is hilarious, and a lot of Phil & Claire reminds us of ourselves.

Criminal Minds
  • I'm a junkie for crime shows, but I love thinking about the motive behind the crimes and getting into the mind of the psychopaths which is why this is a perfect fit.  Although I'm not sure I like the new woman and I'm sad that Emily is gone again.  It's been on for a while and I'm thinking it might be time to wrap it up.  
  • I'm addicted.  I almost didn't even start watching, but like I said with The New Normal, I need things to watch that are just mine so I gave it a shot.  I asked my mom to as well so I'd have someone to talk to about it.  We're both hooked.  

Top Chef
  • Cities, masters, all-stars.  All of them.  Although I think I might try to pass on another season of Just Desserts if they do it.  It makes me watch them and think "I could totally do that".  Plus it's like food porn. 

30 Rock
  • Farewell season.  I'll miss it, but I'm glad to see it ending before it gets too tired.  They did get a little weird there in the middle, but sometimes the ridiculousness is what makes it good. 

Up All Night
  • I'm so glad this didn't get cancelled in NBCs revamp plans they made last year.  It is one of the best parenting related sitcoms.  We find it to be pretty true to finding the humor in real situations.  Plus I think Will Arnett is really funny.  

The Office
  • Ugh love-hate relationship with this show.  Basically we barely forced ourselves to watch last season and were not going to watch this one until we heard it was the last.  It was another, 'welp we've gone this far' moment for sure.  It has stepped up, but still probably won't be missed. 

Parks & Recreation
  • Watch this. Period.  The first seasons are on Netflix.  Season 1 is a very short season and a little strange, but I promise you it gets sooooo good.  The characters are great, it's well-written, well-acted.  It is the comedy I most look forward to all week.  

Big Bang Theory 
  • We couldn't get enough of this show in the beginning, but sadly now it's to the back of the line.  It's not that it doesn't make us laugh anymore, but we're just kind of 'meh' about the whole storylines and characters that we'll get a few weeks behind and catch up whenever. 

Grey's Anatomy
  • More things I just can't give up on.  It has improved, but I really only watch it because I've already invested so much time in it and not because I care about the characters anymore. 

Burn Notice
  • I'm really into the characters and I find the storylines interesting.  Plus it makes me laugh.  But the whole premise of the show has been the underlying conspiracy and that has kind of run dry so I don't know how much longer it can go.

Project Runway 
  • Fashion show.  I care much less about the people than I did in the beginning and pretty much only pay attention to the outfits.  Plus it's something I don't feel badly about having on when the kids are awake.  

  • I definitely got into this because T watched it.  I'd be cleaning or reading while he watched it (before we had a DVR, gasp!) and I found myself getting distracted by the plot and asking questions so now I'm into it.  It's also in it's final season, and I'm not 100% on board with the whole skip 20 years in the future and war with the Observers thing, but each week gets me closer to liking where it's going. 

  • Thank goodness for TiVo or we'd never see this.  I cannot stay up that late anymore when the kids get up at 6.  Plus it's nice to be able to fast forward through sketches we don't find funny or bands we're not all that into.  

The Good Wife
  • Politician's wife re-enters the legal workforce.  It's good, but I wouldn't recommend starting now.  It's character developments have been full and it would be easiest to go back to the beginning. 

Once Upon A Time
  • Addicted to this.  Fairy tale characters transported to our world.  There are curses and magic and fantasy.  The casting is done very well.  T & I love to hate Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold.  If you're not watching, I don't want to spoil, but it is an entertaining drama. 

  • Science!  T mostly watches this with the kids.  It's fun and H seems genuinely interested so I feel like she might be absorbing some of it and possibly learning. 

Shows that are currently on hiatus but returning in the future: 
Suits (USA) -- can't wait!
Psych (USA)
White collar (USA) -- I love their partnership & Matt Bomer is so sexy
Smash (NBC) -- broadway musical, 'nuff said.
Mad Men (AMC)
Switched at Birth (ABC Family)
Melissa & Joey (ABC Family)
Royal Pains (USA)
Necessary Roughness (USA)
Fairly Legal & Uncommon Law (both USA, but unsure if they're coming back).

Shows I didn't get into from the beginning but planning to catch up on:
Parenthood (NBC):  I've heard nothing but good things about this and when we clear out some of the already recording things it's first on the Netflix list.

Elementary (CBS): Sherlock Holmes revamp.  Heard good things about it at the start and have the first few episodes on the TiVo, just trying to find the time.

Castle (ABC through TNT):  I'm catching up through re-runs on TNT.  T wanted to as well, but there were like 40 episodes piling up so I made the executive decision to start it.  It's a naptime/after-bedtime-but-T-is-working staple of mine.

Still with me?  I told you, I watch a lot of TV.  I enjoy having it on in the background when I'm doing things.  Plus before the babies, I didn't have much else to do when T was deployed or TDY.  Especially now that I don't have it on as much during the day, it's just nice to turn my brain off and veg once the kids go to sleep.

I do also read.  But it's hard to do that and dishes/vacuum/laundry/etc. at the same time. 

What's on your DVR?

Love & Hugs