Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 2015 Favorites!

January 2015

1 - Waffle & Pancake Cooking 

Every weekend, Georgia and Nick bond in the kitchen whipping up a yummy waffle/pancake brunch for us.  I love that they spend the morning together in the kitchen while I sip coffee on the couch catching up with a show or writing the latest blog post.  Nick got a brand new griddle from my mom for Christmas, so now they whip up big batches on the weekend and Georgia can eat "Daddy's pancakes" all week long.

Cooking up some waffles

Waiting for the last batch of chocolate pancakes this weekend.

2 - Christmas Card Display

During my December favorites post, I introduced how we display all of our holiday cards in our house.  Although all the other Christmas decorations have long been put back into storage, this is the one "decor" that I keep up for the next few months.  I love seeing all the smiling faces of family and friends both near and far every day in our kitchen.

3 - Timehop app

If any of you haven't downloaded the Timehop app yet, do it immediately!  It is one of the highlights of my day when I get the notification on my phone that today's daily post is ready.  I've linked my app to my facebook, this blog, twitter and instagram so all the things that I've posted from years past pop back up on the date-versary (totally not a real word, right???) that I originally posted it.

Yes, a lot of my timehop involves Georgia, but I love that information from 5 years ago (which seems like a different lifetime) still shows up!

4 - Snowflake Decorations

So after putting away all the Christmas decor our house looked a tad naked without any festive touches.  From our autumnal decor in the fall to our turkeys during the month of November, we've had something up in the house for the past 4 months.  

I was walking through the mall doing some returns and exchanges the other day when I noticed that many stores had 75%-80% off their holiday decor, so I bounced in and out of a few stores to see if anything struck my fancy for next year.  I spotted these snowflakes in J.C. Penney and fell in love (and fell in love with their price at 80% off!).  I made an executive decision that although they are really "Christmas decorations," they could hang out with us during the winter months since SNOW doesn't really go out with the month of December.

5 - New sneakers

When my mom asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year, I had the perfect answer (for once!).  I desperately needed some new running sneakers, which don't come cheap, especially when you also need new inserts to fix my pronate-prone ankles.  So, I asked for a gift card to my favorite running store, Fleet Feet.  Georgia and I headed over there for a shopping trip when we arrived home from MA and I picked up the latest version of my favorite sneaker - Asics' GEL-Nimbus 16.  Spring is my favorite time of the year for running since all my favorite local races are in April/May/June.  So, time to up the mileage and start cranking out some winter training.  Have I mentioned how Georgia LOVES that my sneakers always seem to be bright pink???

6 - First Snow of the Winter

We had our 1st snow day of the winter on January 6th after being back at work/school just one day after winter break.  It was a tough call for the area schools due to the timing of the snow and the fact that the snow fell faster than they expected. Originally, our school system called for a 2 hour delay, but later changed it to a no-school day.  

Georgia was dying to get outside and play in the few inches of snow.  So, 20 minutes of layering up later...

Don't laugh, but yes, we get the day off from school when you can still see the grass!

7 - Toddler bribery

Last week, Georgia was due for her annual food allergy blood work before her appointment with the allergist later this month.  In years past, she has done amazingly well at the blood lab.  This year was a tad different.  She immediately knew what I was talking about when I told her about the appointment and she completely panicked.  Crying, screaming, climbing up my neck, etc.  The poor girl made me so sad. 

Like any good parent, I tried bribery.  I took her to Panera for breakfast and she was happy as could be eating her blueberry bagel.  I hoped maybe she had forgotten about the upcoming appointment.  NOT HAPPENING!  While I pinned her down at the blood lab, I promised we could go buy her beloved Rubble (from "Paw Patrol") at Target as soon as we were done or take a ride on the mall train.  She sobbed.  I sobbed.  It was a scene.  As we left the blood lab, she was still sobbing and screaming for her Daddy, but in between sobs, she managed to say, "I can go get Rubble now??"  Off to Target we went!  Later that day, I took her for a spin on the mall train, since I had extreme Mommy guilt, and she happily screamed, "Happy New Year" to everyone who we passed!

8 - Christmas in January

For Georgia, Christmas never seems to end.  Even after we made it back from Massachusetts, she had a stack of presents waiting for her on the doorstep and the packages just seemed to keep arriving for days on end.

Thank you to everyone who spoiled her rotten this holiday season!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MA Memories 2014...

Time to wrap up the Holiday posts from 2014...

After our ER drama from earlier in the week, we were happy to settle into a "boring" existence for the remainder of our time in Massachusetts.  We got to see lots of friends and family who we only get to see 1-2 times during the year.  Nick and I managed to sneak in a few different movies and a lunch date while we abused the built-in Mimi babysitter.  We had our annual brunch/play-date with my graduate school friends, their husbands and all the kids.  I even got to see an old high school friend who I hadn't seen since my bridal shower!  

We got lots of lounging around in our pajama time, which is the best way to spend the holidays...

Breaking in Mimi's new kitchen floor

KC loves being at Mimi's house.  She spends the days sitting in the bay window meowing at the birds!

We squeezed in lots of play time with all the new toys that Georgia received over break.  Not sure if anyone saw all the controversy over the latest Play-doh toy, but Georgia received it as a present from Auntie Lisa and has loved playing with it every day.  Does the shape of the frosting maker bother me?  Not at all - I find it hysterical!

WHO doesn't wear their new ear muffs while making play-doh creations???

Papa scored a MAJOR hit by giving Georgia her first sets of earrings.  Yes, they were clip on.  And yes, she LOVED them!  Her first question, "Can I wear them to school?"

I had no idea that a set of ear muffs would be such a hit this year either!  She wore them both inside and outside all week long!

Another visitor during the week was Baby Brayden.  The last time that Georgia and I visited with him this summer, he was just a little baby.  Now, he's such a little man!  Georgia demonstrated just a wee bit of jealousy when her Mimi's attention was on another little someone, which was interesting to see in action!

Of course, my favorite photos always include my three favorite goonies...  I LOVE how much Georgia LOVES them!

I repeatedly mention how great a big cousin that Nathan is to Georgia.  She is lucky to have him.  He even tolerated playing her "version" of Connect-Four (aka - put all the chips in at one time to make pretty rows!)

Overall, we got in lots of relaxation time (minus the ER visit!)...

Stealing Papa's chair and blanket

The week in Massachusetts always flies by.  Before long, Nick was playing tetris again with all the new stuff that we had acquired during the week at home.  We hit the road on a beautiful sunny day and cruised easily back to MD.  Georgia watched 4,308 episodes of "Paw Patrol" and KC paced the car like a caged lion.  Georgia refused to nap and we refused to pick a battle over lunch choices!

Lunch of over-tired and cranky toddlers everywhere while driving on the NJ Turnpike --- 2 waters, goldfish, candy and crackers!  Can't say we argued as we inhaled our biyearly Burger King lunch!

Another trip in the books.  By the time I got home, another gift was waiting for me.  A truer statement never did exist...

Onto 2015 we go...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

An ER Trip and Disney on Ice...

Yup, that might be the craziest title I've ever had for a post.  I almost added in there "all in less than 12 hours."

We recovered well from Christmas Day and spent the 26th playing with lots of new toys, visiting with family, etc.  Georgia refused to get out of her new "Frozen" pajamas, which was fine by us.  

Opening presents from Auntie Polly and Carrie

For dinner, we went back to Auntie's house to gorge ourselves on all the yummy leftovers from Christmas dinner.  Georgia ran around like a maniac playing with her cousins and having fun while the adults caught up and chatted the night away.

We had noticed that Georgia was starting to get a runny nose, but she was still acting like her normal self.  As we left Auntie's house, we realized that she was starting to wheeze and cough.  We called ahead to Mimi and told her to fire up the humidifier at home.  We tucked her in and hoped for the best while kicking ourselves for not bringing the nebulizer/albuterol from home with us - I flew the darn thing to the Bahamas years ago!  We gave her a dose of benadryl and hoped it might help to dry her up.  Eventually she fell asleep and we were hopeful our kid would stay that way.  

Around 2am, I woke up to Georgia screaming bloody murder.  I went up to check on her and was not pleased with her breathing.  Her screaming was because she was so frustrated that she couldn't stay asleep with all the coughing.  Her wheezing had increased and she was really struggling to breathe.  I decided to lay down with her, but after a few minutes, I went and woke up Nick so he could assess the situation.  We decided that I'd just "sleep" with her for the night to keep an eye on things.  That lasted about 2 minutes before she had another coughing event and couldn't catch her breath.  Another parental pow-wow commenced (because no rational parenting conversation ever occurs at 2am) and we debated our next step.  If we had been at home in Maryland, we would have gone to a 24 hour pediatric site.  Unfortunately, those didn't seem to exist in suburban Massachusetts after some quick googling.  So, off we went to the closest emergency room at Lowell General Hospital.  I recall being rushed there as a toddler myself after falling and smacking my mouth on my little red wagon.  Those teeth didn't grow back for several years!

When we walked into Lowell General's Emergency Room, the situation didn't look so bad.  There were only a few other people in the waiting room and we went through triage fairly quickly.  We tried to sit away from anyone else so as to keep our germs to ourselves and to avoid their germs!  And then the wait began... and we waited... and waited.  A janitor walked by and made a comment to us about how crazy the place had been earlier in the night.  I believe his exact words were, "There wasn't a seat to be had!"  A nurse told us that they hoped to see us soon, but they were waiting to admit about 15 people from earlier in the night and still waiting for beds to become available.  In the meanwhile, Georgia entertained herself with "Paw Patrol" episodes on the iPad.  Thank goodness for the iPad.  It gets my award for "best babysitter" ever!  About 90 minutes after we arrived, a gentleman with his 3 year old son (and iPad!) arrived.  We chatted with him and found out they were also visiting the area from DC and his little guy had a similar cough/respiratory issue.  Small world.  

"Paw Patrol" videos, "Frozen pajamas" and a happy kid

Note the empty chairs all around us in the picture above.  Also, note the happy kid.  You think she was going to sleep in the middle of the night in the ER?!  No way!  About 4 hours into our adventure, Georgia sat up and declared, "Hey, my cough is gone!"  If looks could kill, she would have been flat on the ground.  A short time later, the DC guy called his wife with similar news about their kid.  Amazing how several hours of sitting up in the ER playing iPad can cure kids!  All the parents in the ER decided they just needed to set up a nebulizer in the traige area and we all could have gone home and back to bed hours ago.

Eventually around 7am, we were finally called back.  They managed to call all of us back at the same time (aka - the next shift of staff arrived), and Nick declared, "It's like a party."  Georgia stopped in the middle of the ER and screamed, "I LOVE PARTIES!!"  Flash forward 14 years and I'm already picturing this kid dancing on tables as a college freshman.  I'm going to need a prescription for that.  Lord help me.

Speaking of prescriptions, the lovely ER doctor wrote enough prescriptions to last us a year - nebulizer, steroids, albuterol, pinkeye meds (????), etc.  Our official diagnosis - "upper respiratory infection."  The discharge paperwork was a tad condescending as it stated that our child had... THE COMMON COLD.

6 hours in the ER and the kid has a cold.  Fabulous.

We drove the 5 minutes back to Mimi's house.  She also had a productive night cleaning, paying bills and pacing the halls waiting for us to return.  As we waited for the pharmacy to open, Georgia and I took a shower so I could scrub the hospital germs off the both of us.  Minor miracle that none of us developed the flu after that side trip - I'd like to think that was partially due to the sandpaper technique I used to scrub us clean in the shower!  Nick went to CVS to fill scripts.  It wasn't long before he texted that they were out of nebulizers, so he was directed to another medical supply company for that gadget.  Of course, that place didn't open for several more hours.  Happy Saturday morning to us!  Good thing our kid's cough was gone at that point.  

Our next discussion was that we were due at Boston University for Disney on Ice at 11am, which had been planned out for months.  We asked Georgia what she wanted to do and like a true party girl, she was up for the adventure!  She was already running around the house like a maniac and we knew she wasn't going to crash anytime soon (or so we thought).  So, we called Auntie,  Auntie Lisa, and Auntie Sherrie to let them know that the plan for the day was still on.  I may have needed a coffee IV drip, but I rallied like the true party girl that I once was back in the day!!  As I got ready, Nick and G "relaxed" (aka - passed out) for a few minutes.  Auntie and Auntie Lisa arrived at the house and I carried Georgia out to the car thinking that maybe she would sleep during the ride into the city.  Nope, she immediately perked up at the sight of her aunties and was ready to go.

Off Nick went to hunt down the nebulizer at a medical supply company, while all the girls headed into the city for the show.  Thank goodness I know the Boston streets around BU like the back of my hand.  I lived downtown for 2 years while I was in graduate school and working at Boston Children's Hospital, so my mind and the car was on cruise control as I pulled into my old stomping grounds.

I wouldn't say that Georgia was "perky" at the show.  She was happy to see her cousin, Abby, and was happy to have her Mimi and Aunties around to buy her whatever she wanted (aka - the $873 light up toy).  She was pretty quiet, which we've learned is normal for her during shows.  She likes to just sort of take it all in and then tell you everything about it later.  Auntie might have been the most excited since it was her first Disney on Ice show EVER!!!  Gasp.

Auntie Sherrie, Abby, Nana Marsha, Auntie Lisa, Grumpy G, Auntie and Mimi

G and her aunties

Abby and Georgia

So, we all survived.  Back to Mimi's house we went.  Nick had obtained the nebulizer and managed to squeeze in a quick lunch/indoor golfing man-date with his brother.  After a quick dose of albuterol for Georgia, it was nap time for absolutely everyone in the house!  It's amazing how 2 hours of shut-eye can make you feel like a brand new person.  Even this goon...

I guess we're just lucky that our first ER trip took us 3 1/2+ years!