Friday, December 31, 2010

One Last Post of 2010

What a year this has been! I cannot believe how quickly 12 months has gone by. It seems like yesterday I was pregnant and putting away Christmas decorations, and here I am, staring at a decorated Christmas tree waiting for the ball to drop on December 31, with two healthy and beautiful little girls asleep upstairs.
How is it that 2010 is over when I feel like it just started?
Life has a way of doing that, moving in fast forward at times.
I remember being a freshmen in high school and thinking, "Wow! I have to be in this school for four long years!" Now the idea of four years is but a blink in my life. This year I welcomed another beautiful little girl into the world and what frightens me is how quickly the time is going by. This first year of Maeve's life seems to have moved twice as fast as the first year of Mo's life. It still was only 365 days but those days moved quicker. My life has gotten fuller with the addition of this little girl, our Sunshine or Shiny as Mo affectionately calls her. There have been moments I wondered, what the f--k am I doing, as two girls screamed in unison wanting to be held or changed. But for the most part, I am happy. Bry and I still find ourselves saying "We have two children? We have two children. WE HAVE TWO CHILDREN!" and I guess that was the most memorable event of 2010 for us.
I'm not the kind of person that makes resolutions. I know I need to loose a few pounds and exercise and all that, but hey, isn't that what everyone starts the new year off with? Instead, I'm going to try and be in the moment more with my family. I need have some more alone time with Bry, and most importantly I need to make some time for myself.
So, I bid farewell to 2010. You were a great year and I will think back on you fondly as the year we became a family of four.
I welcome with open arms 2011 and wish everyone a happy and healthy year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In Defense of Our Minivan

Way back before children, Bry and I imagined the life we'd live. We wished for beautiful children playing soccer in the backyard of our nice house with a decent size kitchen and yard with the medium sized mutt of a dog we'd rescue from the SPCA frolicking at our ankles while the suv was parked in the driveway. So far, we've got the kids (one of whom is obsessed with soccer), the nice (okay, potentially nice) house, the dog is on hold until all kids are out of diapers, and we had the Ford Escape in our driveway.

For a while, it was as close to perfection as we imagined, and then Bryan got in a car accident and all that changed.

He's fine, but his car- a 2004 Saturn Ion- was not. After the insurance company assessed the damages, we realized it was probably not really worth it to fix the car. After a week of debating and Internet research we decided-gulp- to get a minivan.

Somehow, someone or groups of someones decided that minivans were bad. Obviously these people did not have more then one child in a car seat at a time.

The reality of the situation is that for many the purchase of a minivan is equated with the loss of being "cool" and also the acknowledgement that one is now an adult. Driving a Porsche = luxury and decadence while driving a minivan = responsibility and reliability. Being responsible is a bad word, I guess. When you are single, the idea of needing room for car seats and a trunk large enough for a double stroller does not enter your mind. However, when you've got two kids still in diapers and car seats and strollers and all their other stuff your opinion starts to change. You long for a car that can fit all their things, the possibility of another child, and yet still have room for more then one other grown-up.

We had discussed getting a new SUV with a third row. Having seen the commericals for the Chevy Traverse, I was smitten. This could be the car that saved us from minivans. It could fit seven (or eight) comfortably. I could have room for two car seats plus all their stuff and still have more then one other adult in the car with us.

Sign me up for the Traverse.

Well, the price tag of the Traverse and every other SUV made my eyes bulge. Most start at $30,000! Factor in the fact that this was an unexpected car purchase, so our purse strings were crying- NO! NO! NO!.

Of the 40 SUVS with third rows, only 14 are under $35,000 and if you look at those, only one is under $25,000- the Dodge Journey. The third row on most of these cars involves folding down a seat. If we had two car seats attached, how easy would it be to access the third row? My guess it would be a production of epic proportions.

So price and design took us out of purchasing a SUV, leaving us with one option: the minivan.

We settled on a 2010 Kia Sedona which is by far the best bang for your buck in terms of minivans. I never thought I'd be happy about owning a minivan, but I honestly am. It has enough room for the four of us, two car seats and all that other crap, plus enough room in the back row to fit three other people comfortably. I can safely get Mo and Maeve in and out of the car when we park on street, and I look forward to possible car trips now that there is enough room for everything.

The anti-minivan stance is just plain silly when you think about it. Bry was so freaked out about what having a minivan meant that I really couldn't wrap my head around it. But I guess, I kind of figured it out. Buying the minivan was the last big step making us grown-ups. I guess for some people it's buying your first home, for others the birth of their first child, and for Bry it was the minivan.

We're officially grown-ups now!

We'll have to wait until we have that empty nest to get the two seater Porsche.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

Dear Santa,
It's that time of year where you are inundated with requests for bicycles and dolls and electronics galore, from good and questionably good little boys and girls. The countdown is on, and a mere ten nights from now you will be filling up the sleigh with toys and heading out for the ride of the year. I have a favor though. People have asked what I want this year for Christmas and I am at a loss for tangible things. Sure, an embosser is practical, as would be a mini cupcake pan or a pair or two of pajamas, but what I want is tough. I'm not really sure how much pull you have over these things, but I want my kid potty trained for Christmas.
I would love it if she would stop kicking and screaming, oh the screaming, when I even mention sitting on the potty. I would love it if I could put one of those 15 plus pairs of character underwear sitting in the untouched drawer on her little bottom for the day. I would also love to only have to purchase one box of diapers.
I know this request is really a lot, and I'm guessing, you'll probably be unable to do it. But hey, it's the time of miracles, right? I figured I'd be stupid not to ask.
Oh yeah, I've been a good girl and all that.
p.s. I figure if you can't bring me this, the embosser is fine and I'll just ask the Easter Bunny.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas cards, Oh Christmas Cards!

I visit a number of other blogs and I repeatedly saw that Shutterfly was offering bloggers 50 free Christmas cards. I was a little hesitant at first to submit my information, but upon further review figured what did I have to lose?
I had used shutterfly a few times in the past, most memorably for our wedding thank you. I have always liked their selection of mini albums.
Now it's Christmas card time! After our fabulous photo shoot it's decision time, which fabulous pictures to use and then which holiday card too?
I know there are a lot of husbands out there that really do not have opinions over things like Christmas cards. Bry is the exception. I had made a few mock-ups with various 2 photo and 3 photo layouts. After seeing them, he had to tweak them a bit.
Will it be this card?

Or this one?

Or maybe this one?

(Obviously these cards do not contain pictures of my children!)
I will confess.
Currently in my "saved projects" folder on Shutterfly's site I have eight cards saved! I must make a decision soon, but which one? Do I go with the photos I like or the ones Bryan prefers? Which card? Not only do I have to chose the card from the awesome selection, but I also have decide which picture or pictures to use. I know whichever I choose, it will turn out great. I have a few relatives already asking when they will be getting our card, so I guess there's a little pressure there!
Thank you Shutterfly for helping to make my holiday a little brighter!

Friday, December 10, 2010


My best friend Ashley offered to take the girls Christmas photos and of course, I jumped on the offer.
Last year, illness and weather prevented us from our photo shoot, but this year nothing was going to stop us. I found an adorable sweater dress & leggings for Maeve and got a coordinating sweater for Mo. I worried that Maeve would not cooperate, or worse that she would cry and ruin it. Boy, was I wrong!
Maeve was quite the ham! I just might turn into a stage mom after seeing these pics. Maybe baby modeling or worse yet, pageants? My girl Maevie is so freaking adorable, if I don't say so myself. I feel like Ashley was really able to capture her well.

Mo was another story. She usually is quite cooperate with pictures. Usually if tell her to say "Chase Utley" instead of "cheese" you can a great pic. This didn't work! Between toys, chocolate chip cookies, and her best bud A, Mo would not look at Ash.

When it was all said and done, Ash did get two really adorable pictures of the girls together.

Now it's time to make the choice, get the holiday cards ordered, addressed, and mailed.
Thanks again Ash!
Ashley Pierce Photography

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


My poor Maevie.
She is quite the mobile little lady. Grant it, she doesn't quite walk independently yet. However, she has mastered the fine art of cruising and manages to get into EVERYTHING! About a month and a half ago, she made her way around the family room and spotted Mo's cup full of milk. Before anyone noticed, she had gotten it into her hands and started sipping. She reminded me of the character "Woogie" in the movie There's Something About Mary Hives popped up all over her face, one quite close to her eye and a few on her back. We headed to the pediatricians office and the doc on duty guessed it was a milk allergy. With a script for an epi-pen in hand, I headed home, left attempting to figure out what exactly my kid could eat.
I was in limbo of sorts. I knew she had some food with milk products before. She had scarfed down my meatballs a few days before; made with both eggs and ricotta cheese as ingredients and had no ill effects. She ate pasta fagoli sprinkled with parmesaen cheese and waffles and on one day, two spoonfuls of cottage cheese. Nothing happened, but she had some hives with the cheese puffs and veggie puffs from Gerber and her face had a lot of redness after a wheat teething biscuit. When she broke out in hives on her face after wrestling around with Mo after her sister had eaten peanut butter and jelly for lunch, I got scared. For the next few weeks I over analyzed every. little. morsel. of. food.
What is going on with my kid. Is she allergic to milk and eggs and peanut butter? Can she drink milk or would she need soy? Can she have a cake on her birthday? What am I going to make her for meals if milk, cheese, eggs, and wheat must be removed from her diet?
We got our answer in the form of a scratch test. We met with the pediatric allergist yesterday. After filling out the paperwork and then answering a bunch of questions from the doc, the nurse came in and explained the test. Basically, they have small concentrations of the suspected allergens in liquid form. After marking her arm with numbers corresponding to the liquid, the nurse drops small amounts of the liquids near the numbers, and then uses a small needle to create a scratch allowing the concentration to enter the broken skin.
We suspected allergies to milk, egg, wheat, and peanuts. The allergist also added walnuts and macadamia nuts to the list. After 10 minutes, hives had risen on all six sites.
After the nurse measured the hives, the doctor came in and basically explained, that yup, since Maeve had a reaction from the test it can be deduced that she has an allergy to milk AND egg AND peanuts AND apparently, tree nuts. The reaction to wheat fell on the high end of normal.
So what does that mean?
Will my kid be sitting secluded at lunch in middle school because milk might be her kryptonite?
Do I have to give up Reese's Peanut Butter Cups since she's allergic to peanuts?
Do we have to watch what she eats a little closer?
Do we have to rule out anything with milk or eggs or wheat in the ingredients?
We left with instructions to basically abstain from strapping her head to the udder of a cow or giving breakfast of wheat toast and scrambled eggs. We are to play a game of chance, per se. Since none of the reactions were severe, we can introduce things with milk or eggs as ingredients and monitor her reaction or lack of reaction. Basically no yogurt or cheese or milk or ice cream YET!
I have to take her to get a blood test to check the severity of the allergy and then if it's not too bad we will do something called a "Milk Challenge" where she'll try drinking milk in the office and we'll all see what happens in a few months! I keep going back to the statistic that 80% of kids outgrow milk allergy around age 3-5.
I had it so easy with Mo in relation to food. Basically, if I put it in front of her, she ate it. (Today is a different story, but I attribute that to being 2.5!) Now with Maeve, I've noticed I get a feeling in my stomach every time I give her something new to eat. Will those hives come back or worse? I keep reminding myself that in the whole scope of life, a milk allergy is nothing. More then anything it's going to be a pain in the ass to manage but it is manageable. If this is the worst thing we have to deal with in her childhood, then we are very lucky parents.