Monday, October 20, 2014

Mr. Schuey

Meet the newest member of our family...
This is Mr. Schuey.  
He was about to be roadkill until my husband stopped traffic and rescued him on a busy street near our house in the middle of rush hour traffic.
He'll be spending the next few months with us over the winter and splits his time between the playhouse in our backyard and the most elaborate turtle enclosure ever conceived in our basement.
And by elaborate, I mean a fenced in, hot rock, multiple tunnels, a water feature, a forest corner, a stone hill, lights on a timer to simulate day/night, etc.
Basically he's now be the most loved and spoiled turtle in all the land. 
I don't know any other turtle that gets fresh fruit and veggies daily, along with a gourmet meal of chopped up worms.
We even have a viewing area, so Mac and daddy can sit there and watch Mr. Schuey.
Apparently he's incredibly entertaining.
Welcome to the family, Mr. Schuey!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sad Cardinal

It's a sad day in Cardinal nation. 
Mim really wanted to go to a World Series game before she turned 4 months old.  
She's been waiting her whole life for this.  
Her dreams are crushed.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Anatomy of a 3:00 A.M. Wake-Up

Was that her?
Is she up?
Please tell me she's not up already.
I feel like I just went to sleep.
What time is it?
Nearly three?
Yep, it's been almost three hours since she last ate, so she'll be getting up any minute.
Go back to sleep baby.
Please go back to sleep.
I'll buy you a pony if you go back to sleep.
Five more minutes.
Hell, make it fifteen more minutes.
Thirty minutes, baby, please.
Thirty minutes will get you a pony and a fairy princess castle.
Thirty more seconds?
Ok, I'm up.
I'm up.
I swear I'm up.
Really, I'm getting up right now.
I'm up.
Don't cry.
Please don't cry.
Quiet baby, there are other people sleeping.
Please don't wake up your brother.
I cannot handle him up too.
Feel free to wake up your dad though.
You're going to have to cry a lot louder than that to do it.
He didn't wake up any of the five times you or your brother woke up last night.
Yeah, five times.
That was ridiculous, by the way.
Don't do that again.
But really, how is it possible that he can sleep through all of that?
And that accidental kick I accidentally landed on him when getting back in bed for the third time.
Men can sleep through anything, it's not fair.
It's also not fair that they don't have to do any of the baby growing or feeding.
I mean, I understand that they don't have uteruses.
I'll give them that one.
They could never handle childbirth anyway.
Women are so much stronger.
But they do have nipples!
Seriously, why can't they lactate?
They should be able to breastfeed too.
Two parents, two food suppliers.
That seems only fair.
We should both be able to feed the baby we both created.
Men couldn't handle it.
One cracked nipple and they'd throw in the towel.
Let's go downstairs, baby.
Don't want to wake the boys.
Or the dogs.
Fuck, just tripped over a sleeping dog.
Why do these dogs have to sleep right in the middle of where I need to walk?
They have dog beds.
Really nice expensive dog beds.
I'd sleep in those dog beds, they look really comfortable.
Hell, I'd sleep in a dog house.
Where it's dark.
And cool.
And quiet.
Oh, sleep.
I'm so tired.
Don't fall down the stairs.
Don't fall down the stairs.
Don't fall down the stairs.
Made it.
Alright love, diaper change.
Try to stay relatively calm, baby.
I'll make this fast.
I'm sorry it's so cold down here.
Although your mama is sweating like crazy.
When do the night sweats end?
It's been two months and I'm still sweating like a pig every night.
My spot in bed is going to be damp when I get back up there.
I need to wash the sheets again tomorrow.
And do the rest of the laundry.
And the dishes.
And vacuum.
And straighten up.
And upload photos.
And work on Mim's baby book.
And write a blog post.
And unload the dishwasher.
And play with the kids.
And go to the grocery store.
There are seriously not enough hours in the day.
How does anyone with kids ever get things done?
We are never having any more children.
Ok sweetheart, new diaper.
Thanks for not crying.
Oh, a smile!
You're the best baby ever.
I love you so much.
I want more babies!
Are you hungry, honey?
Here you go.
Please eat a lot so you'll sleep longer.
You must eat, tiny baby.
Come on, baby.
Eat, dammit!
TV on.
Pick a show.
How about some Friday Night Lights?
I do love me some Tim Riggins.
I think I may be slightly obsessed with Tim Riggins.
This is probably not a good thing.
But oh, he is something.
The hair and the sweat and the smoldering.
All those terrible choices and bad life decisions.
Totally not my type.
And yet, totally inexplicably perfect.
He's really not 17 years old, right?
Man, this show makes me feel like a dirty old cougar.
High school boys should not look like this.
They most certainly didn't look like this when I was in high school.
But that was like 20 years ago.
Maybe all the preservatives and crap in our food makes them look like this now.
What are they going to look like when Mim's in high school?
Mim, you're going to an all girls high school.
With nuns.
Lots of nuns.
You will never date.
You will definitely never date a Tim Riggins.
You will never even look at a Tim Riggins, ok?
Boys like Tim Riggins cannot be trusted.
They can't even keep their clothes on.
No one in high school can keep their clothes on.
It's disgusting.
Please take your shirt off, Tim Riggins.
Are you finished eating, love?
That was not enough to get you through the next 6 hours.
That's the absolute minimum amount of time mommy needs to recharge.
I haven't had more than 4 straight hours of sleep in two months now.
And that's only happened a handful of times.
You should eat more, baby.
Lots more.
And no spitting up.
Stop it.
Keep it in, baby.
Now we're both drenched.
Hope you don't mind sleeping in damp clothes.
Definitely not going to hurt you.
Although you probably won't smell all that great tomorrow.
Join the club.
I'm not sure I even showered today.
Or yesterday.
What day is it anyway?
Who cares.
Let's get back to bed, baby.
Mama's tired.
Don't fall up the stairs.
Don't fall up the stairs.
Don't fall up the stairs.
Tiptoe down the hall.
Super quiet now, baby, we're passing your brother's room.
Damn dogs!
Back to bed.
Sleep little one.
This is me casting a sleep spell over you.
Sleeeeeeeeeeeep.  Sleeeeeeeeeeep.
You are so beautiful when you sleep.
Oh, this bed is lovely.
I wish it wasn't so damp.
Is that the toddler I hear?
I'm ignoring it.
If I ignore him it'll stop, right?
Please go back to sleep.
I'll buy you a pony if you go back to sleep...
Ok, he's quiet.
All's quiet.
So peaceful.
Except for the snoring dogs and husband.
And the cat running up and down the hallway chasing nothing.
And the monitors buzzing with white noise.
Well, it's almost peaceful.
And it's almost 4 a.m.
How did that happen?
Closing my eyes...
Was that her?
It's 6 a.m.!
How was that 2 more hours?
I just fell asleep!
I didn't even get to have a Tim Riggins dream.
I told you to eat more, baby.
I thought we had a deal.
Screw the pony, I'll buy you a BMW.
Five more minutes...

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Out and About at the Pumpkin Patch

Is anyone else in total denial that summer's over and it's already fall?  I just don't know how that happened.  I'm not really complaining about it being fall (it's my favorite season and the weather is lovely), but I'm just shocked and confused about how the summer went by that quickly.  You'd think that when you have a new baby and a toddler and haven't slept longer than 4 hours in a row for weeks that time would feel like it's creeping by, but the opposite is true.  I blinked and three months disappeared in a blur of diaper changes, midnight feeding sessions and Goodnight Moon on repeat.  
Fall has come on fast and furious around here.  The weather this past weekend plummeted into the forties, causing us all to break out those hats, jackets and scarves a bit earlier than anticipated.  Although again, I'm not complaining.  I love those first few weeks of cool weather when all your warm sweaters and boots resurface, feeling like you have a whole new wardrobe to play with.  And of course, fall weather also means a whole host of new activities and things to do outside.  There's something about the slight crisp chill in the air that makes me want to get out of the house and explore.
This past weekend we (and everyone else in St. Louis county) decided to head out to a local pumpkin patch.  I was dying to get some beautiful photos for the blog of our family with a backdrop of orange and green.  I mean, is there anything that bloggers love more than pumpkin patches, cute kids and boots?  I had grand visions of a perfect day playing in a sea of pumpkins, family hayrides, carmel apples and hot chocolate. However, reality with two kids is VERY different than what I daydreamed about.  Yes, I did manage to take a few pretty pictures, but life is not quite so pretty behind the scenes.  So, this is the true story about how our outing really went.
First of all, it only took us 45 minutes to pack a bag and get the kids in the car - that's significantly less time than it took a few weeks ago.  Perhaps by Christmas we'll be able to leave in under 30 minutes...but I'm not holding my breath.  Mac had two tantrums about which shoes he wanted to wear (Crocs with socks was NOT an option I was going to let him get away with) and Mim decided to nap (but only on me) instead of eat, which I knew we would all pay for later.  And then my husband thought it was the perfect time to search for his favorite shirt, which has been missing for months and was turning our house upside down looking for it.  Perfect time for a man who cares nothing about clothing to have a wardrobe crisis.  But I was determined not to let any of that stop us...I was excited to get out of the house and show Mac all the fun stuff to do at the pumpkin patch. Of course, I underestimated the overwhelming chaos of it all and the fact that babies do not care about pumpkins and toddlers' only mission in life is to ruin everything and possibly cause you to have a heart attack at an early age.  
Once we got there, it was only slightly less intense getting out of the car than getting in it.  After 10 minutes of screaming bloody murder in the car, Mim finally passed out, only to wake up ravenous from not eating earlier.  Mac insisted on being on daddy's shoulders (he doesn't get more than 2 feet from Ryan at any given time on weekends) and Mim stayed in her carseat, covered by the JJ Cole BundleMe.  I actually received the BundleMe from the company to review here on the blog and have already fallen in love with it.  So yes, this is partially a product review post and partially a reminder to the future me about how impossible it is to do absolutely ANYTHING with a baby and toddler, just in case my hormones get the best of me and I want another baby in a few years.  Refer back to this post.
Anyhoo...I never registered for anything like the BundleMe with Mac, since he was born in May and cold weather was not on my mind at the time, but I'm kicking myself now for not getting this sooner and saving myself a lot of hassle.  It took about 5 minutes for my husband to get situated on the car seat before we left  the house and it saved us so much trouble with making sure Mim was warm enough while we were out and about.  Being a July baby, all Mim's 0-3 month clothing is summer stuff.  I'm not exactly sure what I was thinking (hello pregnancy brain), but I don't have hardly any warm clothing for this child until she's 6 months. Seriously, she has about 75 short sleeve onesies and a couple dozen sundresses for this age, but only a handful of items with sleeves.  She's actually wearing Mac's old pajamas here, because I couldn't find anything warm and clean for her to wear.  I need to get my act together.
Anyway, the JJ Cole BundleMe was a lifesaver.  It was a cold morning and thankfully I didn't have to put a bunch of clothing on her, which of course you have to take off to put her in the car seat so the straps are tight enough, then put back on when you arrive.  With the BundleMe, once she fell asleep in the car on the ride there, we didn't have to wake her up to put clothes on her when we arrived or worry about covering her with blankets that always fall off the stoller and get run over and drug around on the ground.  We just popped the car seat out of the car and onto the stroller and she was nice and toasty warm in there the whole time we were at the pumpkin patch.  So thank you, JJ Cole for sending me this product to review.  I was not expecting to love it as much as I did.
Mac was pretty apprehensive at first and it took him a while to get used to the place (just long enough for us to get to the goats) and get off of daddy's shoulders, but as soon as he did, he was his usual 100 mph self.  We kept running into people we knew (with significantly more well-behaved children) and attempted multiple adult conversations to no avail as Mac kept dragging us away by running through crowds and straight into mud puddles and Mim cried nonstop unless she was moving in the stroller so we couldn't stop for even a minute.  I mean, such a relaxing trip! Now I remember why we've been mainly staying home on weekends.  Seriously, does it get easier?  The only saving grace was that they sold beer in the refreshment tent.  We were not above being those parents drinking at 9:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  Don't judge.
About 10 minutes after getting there, Mim decided she needed to eat immediately, but took her sweet time eating.  It takes girlfriend about half an hour to finish a bottle, so we took turns feeding her while the other person chased Mac around.  Divide and conquer. Some day I have hopes that we'll be able to do something (anything) all together as a family of four instead of in pairs. How in the world do people have more than 2 children?  Any why isn't it more socially acceptable to have a sister wife?
Once she'd eaten, Mim was in a much better mood, allowing us to explore the pumpkin patch.  We hit the playground, picked out pumpkins, checked out the garden, played on the tractors, etc., which took a whole 5 minutes before Mac declared he was ready to go home.
Mac was in a mood.  He wanted nothing to do with me, so it was like pulling nails trying to get him to be in a few photos with me.  Only daddy would do.  And God forbid if daddy got anywhere close to Mim - cue the waterworks.  However, he did really like the pumpkins.  He wanted to take home every pumpkin he saw.  He walked around trying to lift up each one and saying, "I like this one. I love this one. I want this one."  It was adorable...right up until he got a splinter in his hand from the stems and realized that we would not be taking all the pumpkins he picked out home with us.  Worst parents ever. 
We finally made our way over the big pumpkin field, where I wanted to get a family photo of the four of us. This was really my only goal for the day (other than just survive).  I wanted just one single family picture. ONE.  Unfortunately, that's not as easy to do as it sounds.  First of all, you have to find a willing bystander to take your photo. You make sure all the settings on your camera are perfect and just hope and pray that they can figure out how to focus on the people and not the background.  I try to find someone carrying around a DSLR, but you can't really trust anyone, even if they're carrying around a fancy camera.  90% of people with a nice camera do not know how to use it.  Second, you have to wake the (finally peacefully sleeping) baby up and pull her out of her nice warm car seat and into the bright sun, making her majorly unhappy.  Third, you have to convince the toddler to stand still for just a few seconds while someone takes the photo with mommy's camera while he's screaming "MOMMY'S CAMERA!!!" at the one kind soul that offered to take the photo.  Expecting him to actually look at the camera would be going above and beyond and you have better odds of winning the lottery.  Lastly, you quickly jump back in the photo, suck in (with hopes that you do not look like you're still 4 months pregnant) and worry that you don't have spinach in your teeth from breakfast.  And by "spinach," I really mean Lucky Charms.
Nailed it.
Of course, what you don't realize from this semi-decent family photo (nevermind the fact that Mac's hand is in his face, our legs are chopped off and we have a giant white warehouse in the background) is the fact that while I was trying to get this all set up, the toddler has been running through a field of mud (and maybe some manure) and climbing on (and falling off of) rotten pumpkins and now smells so godawful that you start looking for a hose to spray him down before you put him back in the car.  
And then he brings me a beautiful giant stinkbug.  "Look mama!  A beetle! Take him home?" As he's putting the bug in his pocket.

Toddlers are so much fun!!!!!!!!!!
Here, we attempted to get a photo of each of us with the kids.  Valiant effort, but not the greatest results.  At least one of us is looking at the camera.
The kids were getting tired (and so damn whiny), but on our way back to the car Mac spied the mini train and insisted on a ride.  By insisted, I mean threw himself on the ground kicking and screaming until we told him yes.  I got to ride with him because Ryan wouldn't fit in the little car, which Mac was not happy about, but tolerated.  Seriously, I am chopped liver if Ryan's around.  
We rode the mini train two times and Mac was insisting on more.  Fortunately we were able to quickly high-tail it back to the car (with bribery) and get the hell out of there as fast as possible before anyone had a meltdown.  So there you have it. The real story of a pumpkin patch outing.  So please know, that just because the photos are pretty, doesn't mean that it wasn't a total shit-show.  This is life, folks.  Just keeping it real. :)

Anyone else have pumpkin patch drama?

*I received the JJ Cole BundleMe free for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own. The product pictured is the Urban BundleMe in "Ice" color.  The BundleMe is available at and  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Mim's Newborn Photos

In my haste to get Mim's newborn photos back from our amazing photographer in order to get announcements ordered, I didn't get a chance to show you all the gorgeous pictures we got out of Mim's newborn session.  Now that the announcements are finally out of my hands (it only took two months), I'm so excited to share these with you.  Kristie did an AMAZING job, as usual.  I can't wait to get a few of these printed and put up on our walls!  
 Which one is your favorite?

*All photos taken by Kristie Cromie of L Photographie