Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Vacation Plans? Check!

We have our vacations planned for the next three years. Did I ever mention that I like planning things in advance? Because I do.

If it was up to me we would be vacaying on a sunny beach every single year. However, hubby doesn't seem to agree so we came up with a compromise--every other year we will have my beach vacation. In the in-between years we'll do something else, most likely low key.

Up this year is Virginia Beach. I've always wanted to go to Mexico and I finally got Kris to agree. I was practically doing cartwheels around my house. But the more I thought about it the more I realized it was a bad idea, especially with Parker in tow. Our delayed vac schedule puts her behind on shots and I'd rather be on US soil in case she gets sick. I'm so not ready for a child free vacay so Mexico is on the back burner. For now...but not forever.

I didn't want to go to Florida. We've been to the Carolinas. Dealing with the West Coast time change sounds like a nightmare for a toddler. I wanted something with lots to do--boardwalks, museums, putt putt, etc. Enter Virginia Beach. I have fond memories of VA from summer vacations when I was younger so I'm definitely pumped to go back.

So VA this year, up North (Michigan, that is) next year, and DISNEY WORLD the following year. Wa to the hoo!

Kris and I had a big debate on whether to drive or fly.

Driving lets us have our own car and we can drive all night with no stops---only theoretically though since Parker is really the one in charge. It's cheaper than flying, though not by a ton. But, it's a long drive and what if Parker doesn't sleep in the car seat? What if we blow a tire and have to wait for AAA?

Flying is fast. And under 2 years old = free. Oh yeah. But we have to try to entertain Parker at the airport before the flight. And on the flight. And how in the world do you get from the airport to the hotel with a toddler? Do you really bring a car seat with you to install in the taxi? And would we need to rent a car?

We ended up deciding to drive. All of the flights to VA had a layover (well not all...we could pay $800 each for a non-stop flight. Yeah, no thanks. Not for something 13 hours away) and it wasn't going to work with Parker's nap. So the Equinox will be getting us to the East Coast. Which is probably good because I have a lot to pack. You couldn't pay me to sleep on hotel bedding. You know those hotel comforters never get washed ::shudder::

The hotel is booked, an itinerary has been made, and I cannot wait for our getaway.
I can practically feel the sand in my toes as I type. Come on, July!

I'm so excited for vacation I'm speechless!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

16 Month Recap

Should I start planning Parker's 2nd birthday party now? I think so.

We had another word-splosion this month--Melmo (aka Elmo), day-do (Playdoh), duck, walk, cheese, bowl, cracker, snow, no, no more, Karker (for Parker!), and school. She's a genius according to our pedi due to her language development. Pssshh, tell us something we don't know. I kid, I kid.

The girly girl side of Parker came out this month. She likes to brush my hair, and hers too, use my blush brush on both of our faces, and is obsessed with putting bracelets on.

I give her lke 20 bracelets and they all end up on her arms, up to her elbows. And we all know that she is apparently ready for a bra.

Climbing is the cool new thing. Parker climbs on the ottomans, on the couch, on her jumper. She thinks it's funny to run away when we're trying to get her dressed. She feeds Baby Stella food and gives her the paci. She loves her Mega Blocks and when we sing songs.

We went to the pedi last month for her 15 month appointment and she's about 22lbs (50th percentile) and 32 inches (95th percentile) so it's basically impossible to find clothes that fit her. She needs 24 month clothes for the height but barely fits in the 18 month clothes based on weight. We're already running into fashion issues and she's only 16 months!

I turn my head to all fashion problems.

Happy 16 months, babycakes!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I don't know what should worry me more


Or this

We have our hands full.

This girl will not take off my bra.  She wants to wear it 24/7.  And she always wants to "go." So she puts on her coat, brings me her shoes and we wander around the house.  Funny stuff going on around these parts.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mall Play Place Musings

While at the mall play place, Kris and I sat back and observed all that was going on. And boy was there a lot to observe.

1. There is a world of difference between girls and boys. The girls play with the toys as they are intended--sliding down the slides, sitting in the boat and the car, and walking on the big log. Normal, innocent, safe (key word: safe) fun.

The boys take it to the next level.

Slides aren't for sliding. They are for climbing up and jumping off, whether or not there is a toddler in the vicinity (I swear, little boy, if you hurt my baby...). Logs are for spriting at and jumping over while doing some sort of ninja move in the air. Boats and cars are for everything else--using it as a balance beam, as a place to run and jump into, etc.

I was staring at these boys in a combination of amazement and fear. Lord help me if we ever have a boy--I'll need it to get through all the inevitable scrapes, bruises, and broken bones.

2. Ladies, we can all agree that pregnancy reaks havoc on our bodies. Those nice abs that I had for like a nanosecound around my wedding that were flaunted up and down the Punta Cana beaches?


And I'm not going to show what they have been replaced with.

With that said, lets all agree that we can still look good by wearing the proper attire. And proper attire does not mean skin tight gray leggings with briefs.

3. Play places need to approached with caution. Parker stands completely still for about 10 minutes just taking in all the action. Then she runs into the madness and looks back at us occasionally. We wave and smile and clap and wonder how our little muchncin grew up so fast. And silently curse the boys mentioned in point #1.

4. I find great humor in the parents who are yelling at their children who are playing like normal (and not like the crazy boys in point numero dos) to "calm down." I would figure that you would want your children to exert all their energy in the confines of the play area so that you can get on with your shopping with a little less energy than what your kiddos started with. But what do I know.

5. It costs approximately $75 to play. The bill will be sent from the doctors office that you have to visit two days afterwards to diagnose and treat an eye infection.

Whaaat? Play places have germs??

Happy 16 months, pumpkin! Recap post to follow soon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

16 Month Toys

We're hitting 16 months this week so perfect time to share what toys are popular with the little miss.

Baby Stella

4 months in with Stella and it's still pure love.  Where Parker goes, Stella goes--in bed, to daycare, in the car, all around the house...you get the picture.  Stella is all cloth and super soft--and easy to wash.  Pop her in a pillowcase, throw her in on delicate wash and low dry and there ya go--all clean and ready to get dirty again.   We even bought two just in case Toy Story is real.

Fisher Price Laugh and Learn: Learning Kitchen

Parker is now really into toys that have music.  This FP kitchen has a lot of different music options that aren't annoying or fast/confusing enough to give you ADD.   Music aside, the kitchen also has a lot of cool things--a light switch, a shape sorter, an oven that opens, and a sink to name a few.  Not a day goes by where we don't play with Parker's kitchen.

Mega Blocks

Primary colors, big enough for little fingers, and Parker loves stacking them almost as much as she loves knocking them over--score!

Chicken Elmo

I kid you not.  Elmo sings a version of the chicken dance and Parker freaking loves it.  "MELMO!"she says when she presses his foot to get him to dance. 

Fisher Price Topzy Tumblers Twirling Tumblin Fun Park

Well that's a mouthfull.  Three little wobbly people go down the slide and in the ferris wheel.  We keep this toy in Parker's playroom and she goes for it first most of the time.

Little Tikes Shopping Cart

Parker fills this up with her fake food, chases the dog with it, and knocks it over.  It even has a little seat to put a baby doll--precious!

And....drumrolll please....I saved the best toy for last:

Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster

We bought this for Parker when she was about 6 months but didn't send her down it the first time until a year.  It's a blast! We push Parker down and she walks the coaster back up the slide.  Sometimes she pushes it down herself with a toy down it, sometimes she uses it just as a slide.  It was hands down the best baby toy purchase we've made.

Enjoy the new toy ideas for your toddler!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Are you ready to be a parent?

You may want to take this test first ;)

Smear peanut butter on the sofa and curtains. Now rub your hands in the wet flower bed and rub on the walls. Cover the stains with crayons. Place a fish stick behind the couch and leave it there all summer.

In progress:

Obtain a 55-gallon box of Legos. (If Legos are not available, you may substitute roofing tacks or broken bottles.) Have a friend spread them all over the house. Put on a blindfold. Try to walk to the bathroom or kitchen. Do not scream (this could wake a child at night).

Borrow one or two small animals (goats are best) and take them with you as you shop at the grocery store. Always keep them in sight and pay for anything they eat or damage.

Obtain one large, unhappy, live octopus. Stuff into a small net bag making sure that all arms stay inside.

Obtain a large plastic milk jug. Fill halfway with water. Suspend from the ceiling with a stout cord. Start the jug swinging. Try to insert spoonfuls of soggy cereal (such as Fruit Loops or Cheerios) into the mouth of the jug while pretending to be an airplane. Now dump the contents of the jug on the floor.

Prepare by obtaining a small cloth bag and fill it with 8 to 12 pounds of sand. Soak it thoroughly in water. At 8:00 PM begin to waltz and hum with the bag until 9:00 PM. Lay down your bag and set your alarm for 10:00 PM. Get up, pick up your bag, and sing every song you have ever heard. Make up about a dozen more and sing these too until 4:00 AM. Set alarm for 5:00 AM. Get up and make breakfast. Keep this up for five years. Look cheerful.

Obtain a large beanbag chair and attach it to the front of your clothes. Leave it there for 9 months. Now remove 10% of the beans.

Go to the nearest drug store. Set your wallet on the counter. Ask the clerk to help himself. Now proceed to the nearest food store. Go to the head office and arrange for your paycheck to be directly deposited to the store. Purchase a newspaper. Go home and read it quietly for the last time.

Find a couple who already have a small child. Lecture them on how they can improve their discipline, patience, tolerance, toilet training, and child`s table manners. Suggest many ways they can improve. Emphasize to them that they should never allow their children to run riot. Enjoy this experience. It will be the last time you will have all the answers.

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do I live in Florida?

Sunny skies, upper 50s, no snow.  Oh wait, that's not Florida--it's Michigan.

Any other year I'd be ecstatic about this winter.  I hate being cold, I'd rather stick forks in my eyes than drive on snowy, ice covered roads, and it lasts from end of October until the beginning/mid April--that's over 5 months of snow boots and gray skies. 

But this year I have a toddler who I want to play with in the snow.  I want to build snowmen and make snow angels.  I want go sledding.  I want to sip on hot chocolate to warm up from the sub-zero temperatures.

We've only had one day where it was snowy enough to play outside so we took full advantage of it.  We bought a sled, suited up, and played until we were red in the face.  Maybe we will get some more snow this weekend.  Or maybe we will throw on our bathing suits and lay poolside.  You never can tell.

Anyone else have crazy weather for this time of year?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Things to Do With Your Toddler

At 8 months pregnant I went to see Lady Gaga in concert.  We had awesome seats in a suite compliments of one of our wholesalers (finance has real perks other than zero fee accounts and purchasing funds sans sales charges, wahoo!).   I think that my belly and I blended in quite well with all the cross dressers, fishnet stockings, and thigh high boots.  The concert was ahfreakingmazing and from all the moving around that Parker did I could tell she was a fan of the show too. 

When Parker was a little babe, Lady Gaga soothed her.  Bad Romance was our Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  Just Dance our Rock a Bye Baby.  Whatever works, right?

Fast forward to now.  Every so often we turn the TV to MTV Hits to get our Gaga fix--ahhh, the perks of having a baby who doesn't watch TV...we keep it on whatever we want and Parker doesn't even care.  This is like gold!--but I heard all about Toddler music on Pandora and I got crazy excited.  Toddler music? On Pandora? How did I never know about this?

The music is actually pretty fun and Parker loves it.  So crank that music up and dance around with your little ones!

Hi mama.  My hair is all ready for wild music time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

We have our hands full

You might look at this picture and say awww, look how cute Parker is. 

Little do you know that I caught her in action--shaking her finger at us and saying "no no no."

This all came to be from Five Little Monkeys.  At daycare they have singing circle time and teach the baby's motions to the songs.  When it gets to...."No more monkeys jumping on the bed" they all shake their fingers and say "no no no."

The sass has started.  And something tells me this won't be the end of it ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Well there's no turning back now

The master bathroom demo is in full swing my friends.

See you on the other side, hideous 90s small white tile. 

You too plain jane shower basin. 

And any and all chrome faucets. 

The plans are basically to bring this bath to the new century: new tile, granite countertops, under mounted sinks, nickel faucets, framed mirrors, painted cabinets, a lighter paint color that doesn't resemble poop, and doing something with the shower.  And this will all be done on a budget since we hired the cheapest, but highly rated contractor on the block--my husband :)

I was gung-ho about being the first person to take the sledge hammer to that tile.  I've wanted to do it for a long, long time and boy did it feel awesome.  I literally got a rush from seeing slivers of white tile fly across the room.  Five minutes into this I was gasping for air.  Um, out of shape much?

I think that I'll keep on progress on the down low but hope to update everyone with the final project by summer.  Squee!

And happy 7 year dating anniversary to me and the hubs--yes, we still celebrate it, year after year.  It's incredible how a last minute decision can change your life forever.