Some Christmas Updates

Surprisingly, I don’t have too many pictures of our Christmas presents-opening extravaganza. Every time I set the camera down, Roe tried to make out with it, so I had to put it up pretty quickly.

Other than trying to eat my camera, Roe got VERY into this whole Christmas presents thing. She kept crawling from person to person, pulling chunks of wrapping paper off of random presents as she went. She had a great time. Mitchell was, surprisingly, a little overwhelmed. I guess that isn’t terribly surprising when you consider just how many presents he had to open. Everyone went waaaay above and beyond in spoiling him this year. He took several hours to open his presents, because he kept just wanting to play with the first toys he opened.

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Grandpa, giving Mommy one of the best gifts ever: cleaning up the wrapping paper!

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Rosie got exhausted very early and took a quick nap on Mommy’s shoulder. I just can’t complain about that!

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And, of course, my kids had the usual “Why do I need toys? I’ll just take the box” Christmas evening. They kept having me close the box (with them in it), push it over to Justin or Grandpa, say, “Here’s a Christmas present for you!” and then they would jump out. It was hilarious and adorable, to say the least.

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Also, an ADORABLE fun new development: Rosie got a necklace for Christmas. It’s one of those teething necklaces that the mom wears and the baby chews on, but she snagged it immediately and put it on. Since then, she’s rarely been seen without it. I have to wait until she’s asleep before I take it off. She’s obsessed. And it’s awesome.

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And now, for the bad news: the day after Christmas started the Great Christmas Sickness. First I, then Justin, and finally, the next day, Grandpa, got SICK. I’m assuming the flu or something, but Justin keeps telling me I poisoned everyone for Christmas. But whatever it was, it kicked our butts. Luckily my super-sick portion was only five-ish hours long, because Justin’s and Grandpa’s was much longer, and the post-super-sick portion, which was being completely exhausted and sore, was almost just as bad. Let’s just say that the kids got to watch every single new movie they got for Christmas many, many times in a row. Thank GOODNESS they had a huge amount of new Christmas toys to entertain them while the adults laid around feeling like death. Not exactly the best way to end the holidays. But, aside from a nasty morning for me this morning, we’re pretty much all healthy today. Fingers crossed that things will only get better from here!

Hope everyone else had a very merry Christmas, too!

By themagnificentms

Christmas fun

After the very turbulent month of December, this week we’ve been able to focus on Christmas.

The other night we went to a Christmas lights display that even had reindeer (or white tailed deer, for those of you without an imagination). Mitchell was amazed. And then, after the stroll through the lights, he discovered the giant slide and swing ride. Sure, I accidentally picked the creepiest character for him to ride, but luckily he never noticed and he thought all the people pointing at the nightmare clown were waving at him. So that worked.

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Both kids were completely zonked by the time we got home.

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Rosie was super helpful while I was wrapping presents. She has this opening presents thing down. So I have her one of her presents to keep her occupied. Hooray for no memories!

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Mitchell very helpfully stamped all the Christmas card envelopes (which may be why none of them have reached their destinations yet…). I guess he decided a certain someone else needed to be mailed, too!

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And, not really Christmas-y, but you really can’t turn your back on Rosie. She climbed up into the dishwasher, but luckily she found a bowl for her snack.

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Grandpa got here today! We spend the evening at Clifton Mill.

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

By themagnificentms

Happy 11 months, Roe.

Our Little Bit turned 11 months old on Monday! Unfortunately, overnight on Sunday night she developed a fever and since then, this is pretty much the only position she’s agreed to:

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Seriously, today (Thursday) I got creative with the stuffed animal in her crib and it’s the first time she’s slept in her crib since Sunday.

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My arm is so sore I can barely lift anything. Or work my heat press, which is convenient because my shirts are selling like hotcakes on Etsy. Ok, maybe not quite that awesome, but still, impressive for only being in business for like a month.

She did get a bit of reprieve from her sickness on Tuesday night, just in time to steal Daddy’s new horn mug. (Happy anniversary, favorite husband ever!)

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Can you believe it? 8 years. We’ve been married for 8 years! I remember the days when we would celebrate our anniversary by getting all fancied up, enjoy a fancy dinner, go get drinks, spend the night cuddled on the couch enjoying a Netflix binge. This year I managed to shave a single leg while balancing Rosie on the hip in the shower, didn’t even do my hair, considered it “dressing up” to wear jeans instead of leggings, and spent the entire dinner unknowingly supporting Rosie’s chewed-up lettuce down my back. And we still called it a successful outing because neither child had a meltdown during dinner or “shared” food with other customers. I really don’t think either of us saw this coming 8 years ago. But I’m so lucky that the person I found amazing, hilarious, and my best friend 8 years ago still amazes me everyday with his kind acts, make me laugh, and is the first person I share news with, good or bad.

I’m very lucky in this life.

By themagnificentms

Switching gears now

After the devastation of last Saturday, it was a very good thing that the very next day, Aunt Brooke and Cousin Colton came to visit! I can’t tell you what a godsend they were at that particular moment. Obviously, it would always be amazing having them here, but especially when we desperately needed it, they were the perfect distraction!

The kids got along swimmingly. There were odd little clashes of personalities and small fights, but that’s only to be expected when you throw three toddlers into a small house together. Nobody went home with a black eye, which is sometimes the best you can hope for. But really, they got along extremely well. The kids are all perfectly spaced so that Colton just bounced between Mitchell and Rosie.

I think my favorite moment of the week, though, was when they all hopped into the shower together (apparently the preference for showers vs. baths runs in the family) and Mitchell did a double take of Colton: “Oh, yeah, you have a hang down too! Like me! See!” Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

Much of the week was spent just playing at home, because we required two vehicles to go anywhere, which was annoying. But we still had fun!

Aaaand…pictures (in no particular order)!

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By themagnificentms

A Sad Day

Saturday (the 5th) was a very sad day around here.

Laika, the biggest, cuddliest lap dog you’ll ever meet, passed away. We aren’t exactly certain what happened. She’d been limping, but we’d assumed it was arthritis. Since she was going to be 10 years old on the 19th, we assumed she was aging and told ourselves we were preparing ourselves for the inevitable. But on Saturday around noon, she very quickly and peacefully passed away, laying on our bedroom floor, surrounded by the family she loved (except for me; I was at a craft fair).

It’s very hard to fully describe Laika. She was the most gentle creature you could hope for around her family. Justin and I got her when she was 6 weeks old. She was our first little baby. We already had Kingsley, but he was already his independent self. Laika was…Laika. I carried her around like a little baby and she loved it. She never wanted to be far from us. Both of us. It drove her crazy if we were in separate rooms of the house. She would pace from person to person, whining, until we got into the same room.

She tolerated the kids. I wouldn’t say she particularly enjoyed them, but she let them crawl all over her, ride her like a horse, pull on her, push on her, hug her, feed her, steal her toys, her bones, her food, whatever, and I never heard even a grumble from her. We now realize that she must have been in severe pain in her back legs, but even when the kids sat on her, she never showed any signs of annoyance.

These last few months, I let it be known that she was driving me crazy. I’ll feel guilty for that until the end of my days, I’m sure. She couldn’t stand to be separated from people. No matter how much I pushed her away, she kept coming back for attention and love. They say Neapolitan mastiffs can actually die of a broken heart, and I have no doubt that if we’d ever given her up for whatever reason, she would have.

But we’d never have given her up. She was a part of the family. Her and Kingsley predate the kids. Justin and I were together for about a year before the dogs came along, but we were just dumb kids dating. Our life together really started with the dogs. She’s been through everything with us. Several moves, job changes, graduations, deaths, births. We’ve grown up with her. She went from staying up all night partying with us to getting upset if we weren’t in bed by 10. Now that Laika is gone it feels like we’ve lost so much more than just a dog. We’ve lost a part of our family. Not just a member of our family, it’s like a piece of our family is gone. Like we were all puzzle pieces, and together we create this picture of a cohesive little family unit, but once you lose a piece, the puzzle isn’t what it used to be; we have to figure out a new picture to form.

It turns out Laika was the member of the family we all ran to when we were needing a hug. And it turns out we all need a lot of hugs. Laika was our family therapist. We poured our feelings out to her, and as long as we rubbed her eyebrows just so she’d listen with the biggest sympathetic ear you can imagine. She was the stand-by guardian of the children. She didn’t mind having necklaces draped around her neck or hats put on her head, but don’t turn your back on her and a morsel of food. Or a 10 pound sack of potatoes. Or a wholesale-size pack of ramen noodles. Do you know how hard it is to get ramen noodle crumbs out of carpet? A lot harder than you’d think. Which is why she left crumbs, I’m sure.

I cry often throughout the day. My stomach sinks every time I drop my hand to my side and realize her head isn’t right there to be petted. I cry when I walk through the bedroom and don’t trip over her. I keep listening for her barking at the neighbors (who probably won’t miss her all that much, to be honest – she looked scary as hell, I’m sure). I drop food on the floor and look for her (Kingsley’s picked up that particular habit very quickly in her absence; I don’t know if he’ll ever touch dog food again). When the doorbell rings (USPS ignores whatever signs I put up asking them not to ring the doorbell), I jump up to tackle her before she wakes the entire house barking.

I miss her more than I thought possible. “She’s a DOG,” I told Justin often. “She doesn’t NEED a mattress to sleep. She has a dog bed.” But it turns out she wasn’t just a dog. She was our friend; our baby; our confidante; the kids’ fur sibling. We miss her terribly.

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By themagnificentms

Christmas time is here!

Last night we took family Christmas pictures! I have no idea how I’ll ever pick just a few for our Christmas cards.

We got so lucky that the stars aligned just perfectly to produce two well-behaved, mostly clean, semi-smiley children for the pictures. Just a few hours before our appointment, I was thinking I should just cancel the appointment because there was no way we would get through it without a meltdown from Mitchell. It was entirely my fault, of course. I had jinxed myself by watching a grandma chase her screaming 3-year-old granddaughter through the library to give her a spanking and thinking, “Whew. At least Mitchell never acts like that when it’s time to go.” Cue the EXACT SAME SITUATION involving Mitchell and I fifteen minutes later (minus the spanking). Well, technically, I wasn’t chasing him, because I refuse to sink to that level. I just stood there until I finally issued the threat that broke through his super-tired barely-functioning brain: “You’re going straight to time-out when we get home if you don’t get over here RIGHT NOW.” And since he was wearing four socks on one foot and one sock on the other, his shoe fell off about twenty times while he was throwing the fit and trying to make his way to me, which just made him more angry. The answer, of course, was not to remove any socks. Duh. Just fix the shoe!

Anyway. Half of the drive home, he screamed because I wouldn’t go to the mall (on the other side of town) to get him a pretzel (“but we are HUNGRY!”), then we passed Dairy Queen, so the rest of the drive home he screamed because I wouldn’t stop for ice cream. Then he screamed because I made him corn dogs. Then he screamed because I suggested he could not eat the corn dogs and go lay down. So he ate all the corn dogs, screamed some more, laid down (at about 12:30), and didn’t fall asleep until almost 3. I was very seriously considering cancelling the appointment.

But he woke up at just the right level of too-tired-to-run-and-play but awake-enough-to-kinda-smile. It was perfect. I did have to do a few rounds of “If You’re Happy and You Know It” for the pictures of him and Rosie (check out him joining for the “shout hooray” verse). In a skirt. And heels. In a building that is comprised entirely of windows. With people walking outside. Oh yeah. I looked awesome, I’m sure. But the pictures made it worth it! Check them out!

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By themagnificentms

Happy Thanksgiving/Black Friday!

Almost an entire week later, here’s our Thanksgiving post!

I don’t know if I’ve said this before, but I love to cook. LOVE. I just don’t like trying to cook with one arm, holding a 20 pound infant with the other, with a 35 pound toddler hanging off my leg. I do consider it good training, though, for the day in the future when I go on one of those cooking competition TV shows and scoff at their obstacles. Psh, 30 minutes to prepare a meal? And not have to prepare 3 separate meals, one infant, one toddler, and one adult? And I have full use of my arms and legs? I don’t even have to decipher what my child means by “THAT drink” and, later, haul him out of the fridge? Oh, bring it ON.

Anyway. This year was awesome, because I made a turkey, stuffing, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole (because, you know, the whole point of Thanksgiving is to see how many toppings/butter you can put with vegetables and still consider them vegetables), eggnog pie, French bread, homemade cranberry sauce, pecan pie…I can’t remember anything else. Everything was AWESOME. My dad even made his noodles. The cranberry sauce was made with whisky, which was great, because it made it taste better AND felt like I was taking a Jello shot with each bite.

Oh, yeah, and GRANDPA WAS HERE!

This is obviously the only part of Thanksgiving that the kids cared about.

Cue the general cavorting pictures!

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And then, of course, we have more pictures.

BLACK FRIDAY!

Mitchell learned a very important lesson on Black Friday: how to negotiate.

Mitchell: I’d like this one and this one!

Grandpa: We can only get one. Would you like this one or this one?

Mitchell: This one AND this one!

Grandpa: No, this one OR this one.

Mitchell: Grandpa, I’d LOVE to have this one AND this one!

Grandpa: I can’t say no to that.

Well played, my child. Well played.

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Best Buy even conveniently placed their checkout line right next to the toy section. Kept my kids entertained the entire time!

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In the end, Black Friday proved to be too much for my kids. Roe passed out early, while Mitchell stayed awake long enough to be the only child in history to throw a temper tantrum because he DIDN’T want a toy. Oi. And then passed out on the way home.

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And, decorating the tree!

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Oh, probably one of the best parts of the holiday…ROSIE LEARNED TO WAVE. AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER. https://goo.gl/photos/ykDshgbHAVBbcrx7A

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By themagnificentms