Monday, January 28, 2013


sometimes, life is hard.  
i'm not going to lie.  between a demanding toddler,  a crazy work schedule, trying to decide if we're going to uproot our family, and just the normal every day stuff of you know, putting dinner on the table and making sure there's clean diapers for the kiddo, things are crazy right now.  i pretty much want to eat half a bag of peanut butter  m&ms and take a 12 hour nap.  what i don't feel like doing is looking at homes in my spare time and trying to create imaginary budgets.  

i'm not trying to feel sorry for myself.  really, i'm not.  i mean i have it pretty good.  i have a job.  a good job, that allows me to spend as much time as possible with my baby.  we're all healthy.  we have a roof over our heads.  a roof that is not leaking and finally feels like a home and not just a house.  i really love my husband.  i mean, we don't always agree on everything but in the end we both have the same goals  and he really is my best friend.  we have a baby.  a baby who's filled our lives in ways i couldn't have imagined.  and we get to watch her discover the world every day.  and as much as i wish our family was closer i will say that being far away has made our little microfamily that much tighter.   so yeah, we have it pretty good.  everything we need and a lot of things we want.  i really shouldn't complain.  

but sometimes, things are hard.  and i think it's okay to acknowledge that, too.  we will figure out this moving thing one way or another.  but right now we're in the middle of it all and i go back and forth 12 times a day between feeling okay about moving and not wanting to go at all.  but i'm trying to be a supportive partner in all of this.  even if i may suck at it right now.    

and when you're not sure what to do, hugging a dog has been proven to make you feel 67% better.  so i recommend giving that a try.  it can't hurt.     


Saturday, January 26, 2013

a monthly update.

so apparently i sort of went off grid for a bit there.  work has been busy and honestly by the time that i'm done working at the end of the day the last thing i want to do is look at a computer.  however, i owe a lot of people some emails and phone calls, so i'm back or trying to be.  and here's all the super exciting things that have been going on in our lives the past month.  


+  avery has been incredibly clingy and cranky.  i think she's getting her one year old molars, but man they have been brutal.  two weeks ago she would not let me put her down all week long.  like she screamed bloody murder whenever i tried.  not fun.  especially when you have other obligations in life besides holding a baby all day long.  i also think she needs some more toys.  i know everyone always says that their house explodes with toys when they have a baby but we have the opposite problem.  i give her a toothrush and a bowl when she needs something to play with and she's pretty much over being amused by those things.  we'll be making a target/toy store/consignment store run on monday for sure.  

+  i've been cooking a lot.  and i'm not going to lie, i'm pretty dang proud of myself.  i suck at cooking but i've been making sure we have a meal on the table every night.  we ate out once so far but everything else has been cooked at home.  and no frozen pizza or peanut butter and honey sandwiches for dinner!  i'm hoping to keep this up.  i think they key for me will be monthly meal planning because weekly is just such a pain.  i'm still in need of some meals to cook that are quick and easy.  on the downside our grocery bills have been insane.  it's so frustrating how expensive good food is.  

pretty sure she would have squeezed that starfish to death if I let her.
she touched the starfish!  (and i held the tarantula but charlie was too scared to do it, too.)


+  we took avery to the butterfly pavilion and aquarium the other weekend.  i had free passes from a coworker to the butterfly pavilion and after that we just decided to drive to the aquarium.  avery LOVED it.  and could not stop oohing and ahhing over everything.  apparently fish are her thing.  although i'm pretty sure the tiger at the aquarium wanted to eat avery.  seriously, that thing was stalking her.  (side note:  i found it odd that an aquarium had no dolphins but had tigers.)


+  i bought avery some new shoes because she definitely needed them.  at this point we're still just using shoes to keep her feet warm because she still has zero interest in actually walking.  i'm thinking she's going to be one of those super late walkers.  obviously not a surprise when she's 13 months and showing zero interest.  she cruises around the house all the time but throws a fit if we try and help her walk or stand.  she loves wearing shoes, though.  



+  she is still madly in love with the animals and they've all been pretty tolerant of her.  charlie sent me a video the other day when i was at the office of her playing with henry and she was literally prying his mouth open and shoving her hand inside.  she also beats up on the cats regularly and when we try to make her be gentle she'll say 'gentle' and pet him nicely once and then go back to smacking and pulling whiskers.


+  there's a decent chance we may be moving again.  *sigh*  i hate moving and relocating is always tough.  hopefully we'll figure out what we're doing soon because i hate the 'in between' stage of not knowing.  also, if we do have to move we'll (obviously) have to sell our house which is not at all something i'm looking forward to.  i'll be honest, i'm really trying to keep an open mind about all of this but it's been hard.  especially because moving would put us even further away from family.



+  we've had both really cold and really warm weather this month, which probably evened our averages out to make the usual averages.  i've been trying to get outside as much as possible when it's nice and i've been taking advantage of barnes and noble story time when i'm off on mondays.  the other day after a week of really cold weather i tried to make avery a fort.  she was unimpressed.    

Saturday, January 12, 2013

a 12 month old or an introduction to toddlerhood.


i'm sort of hesitant to call avery a toddler yet.  i mean she's not walking so i figure i can at least hold off until that happens before i'm forced to make this transition.  but despite the fact that she acts like walking is for her servants and would prefer to be carried wherever she needs to go, i can't deny that she's acting more and more like a toddler every day.  for starters, she throws tantrums.  they are awesome.  kidding.  they're still not earth-shattering yet but lots of screaming with the occasional head slam against the ground.  she also hit me for the first time the other day.  and all i could think was, here we go.  i was holding her and plopped her down on the floor immediately and then 'boom': head smack against the floor.  maybe we'll make her wear a helmet.  


she gets more and more demanding by the day.  she knows quite a few words but her preferred method of communication is the point and grunt.  she uses this when she wants me to carry her somewhere, when she wants something i'm eating, when she wants her water, or when she wants to listen to music. sigh.  why couldn't please or thank you have been one of her first words? 



she is also a terrible napper.  as in will not nap unless  it's in my arms.  for a few days i was putting her down for a nap like i was putting her to sleep at night and she would cry for a bit and then take an actual nap, but after about three days that went out the window and she would scream and scream and scream and not sleep.  so awesome.  there are lots of days now where she doesn't nap much.  


but there are some pretty cool things, too.  her vocabulary is growing like crazy and it's so fun to hear her say new words and really understand what they mean.  she's known hot for a while but i'm sort of amazed at how she's really able to apply it to all things that are hot.  it started with my coffee cup and she's applied it to candles, boiling water, tea, the dryer, and my beer.  okay, no one said she was perfect.  


she's really into figuring out how things fit together and loves putting the lids on containers, stacking blocks, her shape sorter, and putting small things inside bigger containers.  we have two sets of nesting blocks which are a big hit.  and she's into reading books on her own now.  she has no patience for me reading to her these days unless it's a lift the flap book but will sit and flip through books herself for a while.  


she's a dancing queen.  ha.  and loves to dance.  she knows that charlie's iphone has all the good music. she's been blowing kisses for a while and does like to blow herself kisses in the mirror.  she's started kissing me unprompted, which is the sweetest thing ever.  especially when she grabs my face with both hands and kisses me 4 times in a row.  avery, i'd like to remember more of those moments and less of the head banging ones. 


she still love, love, loves the animals.  the cats still may be a slight favorite but it's hard to tell.  henry is completely over her and will get up and run away when he sees her coming.  dunkin is a lot more patient these days.  she's started using him to pull up on (the poor dog) but really does love him.  the other day she grabbed handfulls of his fur and stood up and then planted a kiss on his chest.  if he's sitting and she's standing she fits just under his chin.  she loves pointing out his body parts and eye is a favorite.  she pokes him in the eye and then says "eye".  she does the same with ear and paw and knows tail but can't say it yet.  she's gotten pretty rough with the animals so we're trying to introduce the concept of "gentle".  it's not going well.

i can tell we have a lot of fun things headed our way as she gets older & probably some frustrating ones too.  i try to remember that it's probably pretty difficult for her sometimes, when she wants something and can't figure out how to tell me.  but mostly it's fun to see her try and figure out her world and makes up for the chunky baby rolls that she's losing by the day now.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Christmas Eve walk

happy new year!  
i'm so very excited for a new year.  not that 2012 wasn't great, but december was, and always is, a crazy month and i'm happy for the calm that january brings.  

i didn't make any goals for 2012.  with a brand new baby my only goal was really to live in the present and enjoy those sweet baby moments before she grew up and i missed it all.  i'd like to think i did a pretty good job of that.  not a perfect job, but pretty good.  i soaked up a lot of baby-ness, rocked that baby through far too many naps just because i could, ignored the dust to stack piles of blocks for her to knock down, and ate many a sandwich for dinner because i chose a trip to the swing set over cooking something.  not always the best decisions, but ones i wouldn't take back. 2012 was good to us and i look at her now and wonder how it's possible for someone to grow so much in one short year.  

there's a lot of things that i want to get done in 2013 but i wanted this year to focus on one thing:  taking care of myself & my family.  i want to eat healthy, exercise, let go of the things that don't matter, and focus on our family.  i would say that in general we're pretty good about all of this, but we could be much better.  

eat better.

+ create a list of easy, healthy go-to meals.  i have this started but it's pretty short, which means we all get sick of spinach pie.  
+  eat less grains, especially processed ones.  this means finding alternatives to sandwiches and only cooking meals with pasta once or twice a month.
+ drink more water.
+  find better snack options for avery.  annie's cheddar bunnies should be a once in a while treat.
+  eat salad every day.  i need more fruits and vegetables. we all do.  


+ figure out something to do in the winter.  when it's nice i walk all the time, which works really well for me, avery, and the dogs.  but it's been so cold lately that i really can't take avery out for an hour in the stroller.  if this means joining a gym for a bit then i should do it.  
+  when it's nice.  walk.  

de-clutter my life. 

+  schedule all yearly doctor appointments in january.  did this on the 2nd and they're all scheduled for this month.  now i only have to dread them for 3 weeks.   
+  de-clutter.  i need to get rid of the remainder of the baby stuff.  there's no reason for a pack-n-play in our room or a jumparoo in the office. and i also have so many things i need to craigslist, sell, or donate:  old furniture, books i will never read again, clothes, sheets for beds we no longer own, christmas decorations that were gifted and that i will never use.

show love.

+  charlie.  do something that charlie loves (and i hate) once a month.  this can be skiing or eating chipotle.  i should also stop complaining about stupid, little things.  i share my life with a great guy & i should show him that i appreciate him more.
+  avery.  create fun activities at home & be present when we're together and i'm not working.
+  east coast friends and family.  i miss all of these people & think about them a lot.  send snail mail, make more phone calls, write fatty emails.       

have fun.

+  take avery somewhere fun and new at least once a week.  i'm thinking free ideas like barnes and noble reading groups the wow museum but i'd also like to get her to the pool, and the zoo, and the butterfly pavilion a few times.  i'm off on mondays so i'm trying to use that day to do some fun things we don't get to do during the rest of the week.
+  book a family vacation in january.  between 15 visits from friends and family, a trip back to maryland, and sick days in 2012 it was easy to use up more than all of my time off, but it's important for us to plan some time for our family, too.  time for just our family is so, so important for all of us.   
+  do a house-project a month.  this isn't huge but i want to paint our night stands (bright blue was never a good choice), turn the office into a office/playroom, and make a few little things here and there.  doing these things is fun and it always makes me happy to see the little changes around our house.
+  do an actual family activity once a month.  i think january is the butterfly pavilion.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the rest of december mish-mash.

i'm working on a new years post but i still have some work to do before i publish it.  still trying to figure out exactly what i want to focus on this year.  anyway, christmas came and went with a visit from my mom and sister and i did not take a single picture during christmas.  fail.  


my mom and sister flew in on christmas eve and we went to church that night.  just pretend that this is a picture of all of us all dressed up.  if you look closely you can see avery's polka dot dress.

it was so nice to see them although avery was super cranky and clingy that week.  alex even took to calling her "the bratty baby".  charlie thinks that she just doesn't like sharing me with other people, but who knows.  she was definitely teething; she just had two teeth pop through so maybe that had something to do with it.  either way, she wasn't her usual happy self.  and we also had freezing cold weather that week so i think everyone was starting to go a little nuts, being stuck in the house. 



we opened presents christmas morning and aver got lots of nice things from everyone.  charlie and i both worked wednesday and thursday of that week and took off on friday.  so charlie and alex went skiing that day and mom and i took avery to the wow museum and then ran some errands at the mall and grocery store.

wow museum fun


avery was completely mesmerized by all of the kids sprinting around the place.  it was jam packed, i'm assuming because everyone was off work and looking for something to do with their kids.  it's probably designed more for older kiddos but since i can take her for free for a few more months i'll probably to try and take her every once in a while before we have to start paying.  

a showing off her hat

avery's showing off her hat that grandma made her.  i had about a half a second to take that picture before she ripped that hat off her head. 

on saturday we went to brunch before we had to take them to the airport.  :(


we saw this face quite a bit this week.  

after everyone left i finally got all of our christmas stuff taken down.  i'm always so over all the decorations after christmas is over and i like to start the new year with a clean, uncluttered house.  charlie went skiing again on new years even so avery and i had a fun day out since we knew everything would be closed on new years day.  i took her to story time at barnes and noble where she say through four books (a miracle!) and then played with the lego and train tables for a long time.  we actually stayed for over 2 hours before i finally dragged her away.  after a nap we ate lunch at panera and then came home to hang out for the rest of the night.  charlie and i didn't even come close to making it to midnight.  despite the fact that he was adamant that we do so he fell asleep on the couch at 9 pm.  
trains aren't just for boys.

grilled cheese.