Saturday, September 28, 2013

Myrtle Beach, Round One

Myrtle Beach Vacation Highlights!

I’ve been to MB various times in my life.  Family trips, high school spring break, with Kris on our first couple vacation, and now as a family of four. Never has MB disappointed. 

September seemed like the best time for us to vacation.  Slightly cooler temps and less crowds due to school being in session were our big motivators.  The weather could not have been better—upper 80s and sunny every single day, made comfortable by the cool ocean breeze—and not insanely busy.  Jackpot.

 The driving Gods were with us this trip. Our starting point was Columbus since we were already there for Teagan’s party so we were facing a 9 ½ hour drive on the hike down.  One of my ::cough cough:: amazing qualities is that I’m an excellent backseat driver. Kris would call this quality by a different name. So rather than attempting to drive via the passenger seat, I took the wheel. First leg lasted about four hours before we stopped in WV for some Bob Evans. BE has to be the cheapest restaurant on the face of this planet. For a three course meal for Kris, veggies and bread for T, kids meal for P, an omelet smothered in sausage gravy for me (calories don’t count on vacation), three drinks and four cookies the bill was $22.  $22!

 We prepped the girls for bed—PJs, bottles, etc—then set out on the next leg.  The sheer panic of the windy roads that make up West Virginia and part of Virginia was enough natural adrenaline to keep me going until around midnight.  Midnight got us all the way to South Carolina, a mere four hours away from sandy shores.  We settled into a Hampton, crashed, then got on the road around 10am the next day.

 Before we knew it we were driving past palm trees and checking into our condo. After Virginia Beach last year we swore off ever staying in a one bedroom hotel again.  Too many people for such a small space. Glad we did because more space = more comforts of home.  Living room, separate bedroom, bath, vanity area, washing machine, dishwasher and full kitchen made our lives SO easy for that week.  That’s the whole point of vacation, right?!

All checked in and smelling feet. Totes normal.

S girl dance party!

What in the world, T?! lol.

Immediately we changed into our pool gear and headed down to the waterpark.  Another great decision—booking a condo with lots of water fun attached.  Oceanside had a big pool, a one foot kiddie pool, and a lazy river.  The back side was our sweet spot—big pool, bigger lazy river, water slides, water spraying things and more.  The bulk of our days were spent laz-ing on the river and trying to make the water slide appealing to Parker.  Didn’t work.  Parker can.not.stand water in her eyes.  The probability of water dripping on her was greater than her desire to slide.  Maybe next time. 

Sweet, huh? Perfect for little ones.
Teagan loved loved LOVED lazing.

Parker liked lazing with me on pool lawn chair while being silly, of course.

We had lots of fun playing in the splash things (yep, that's what they're called)

Ahhh, maybe this pic is my favorite!

We also spent a lot of time on the beach.  The first couple days Parker was terrified of the waves, to the point that she screamed hysterically if Kris and I went in.  But a few days into the trip and she warmed up.  Teagan loved sitting on the shore and kicking her feet excitedly when the water came to meet her.  Parker spent a lot of time gathering shells for Teagan and both girls enjoyed the sand toys. 

Man, are kids amazing. Just living her life, not a care in the world.

The joy in her face says it all.

Perhaps my fave pic from the entire trip.

Kris, why so mad at the bucket?

Enough for now. A fun day of apple, pumpkin, raspberry, and gourd picking has this girl tired. Part two to come soon!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy real bday, baby Teagan!

Happy REAL birthday, baby Teagan!


If yesterday wasn’t a true testament to Teagan’s personality, I don’t know what is.  Our happy go lucky baby gets mad, real mad, at only a few things:


Poopy diapers

People who don’t share food

Toys being yanked away (a head bop or two, courtesy of Teagan, gets her point across)



Teeth were not invited to this party but they crashed it anyways. Poor baby T was so bothered by her pearly whites that on the eve of her birthday she stayed up from 1130pm to 4am. Undoubtedly exhausted and smack dab in the middle of bottle weaning, one might expect even the happiest of little ones to be in a mood. Not Teagan. In fact, she had an amazing birthday.


She laughed, she cuddled, she played. She was her normal, easy to love self. Kris and I both ditched the 9 to 5 to spend the day celebrating as a family, as we do every birthday. The morning was spent at the zoo and the afternoon was enjoyed at home—plenty of walks, swings, and basement play time.


What total and utter joy Teagan brings to our lives.  Truly a great example for everyone on how to live your life. Even when you have a legit reason to be grumpy, look on the bright side and smile.


And now to it—the birthday girl!

First stop--whole wheat pumpkin pancakes, cut into the number "1."


Baby Stella has been sitting in my closet for months, waiting for this special day. Once I saw the joy it brought to Parker on her first birthday and many, many months afterwards I knew that Teagan needed her own Stella for her day too. 
Get this girl on Instagram, she has mastered the duck face.

Cannot believe I'm 1!

It's impossible not to love Baby Stella.

I also knew with every bone in my body that I must get the Pottery Barn Kids shaggy nap mat for both girls. Every day they nap on cots (yes, Teagan is now out of the crib at school and onto a cot!) so I wanted a mat that would withstand the test of time. I’m pretty sure everyone will agree with me that Teagan should be the next PBK model. I mean if these pic don’t sell this nap mat nothing will.

Cuddle up, buttercup!
Feet kicking away.

SO glad I bought this thing.

A few more gifts later and we headed to the zoo. Fantastic fall day—partly sunny and crisp—perfect temperature for the animals. I took advantage of the shade provided by the clouds and snapped some one year pics of Teagan, after turtle play time of course.


All this happiness was because Parker was making her laugh. My heart is full.

Gorilla statues got in the way of mama-daugther pics. 

Bear was movin and shakin!

Classic Teagan face, dubbed "the Woogle."

Teagan was not a huge fan of her smash cake so I decided to whip something up that’s more in line with her taste buds.  Read: something less sugary sweet. Wheat Carrot Apple Coconut Muffins with a maple syrup cream cheese glaze it was. Delicious or horrifyingly disgusting? You be the judge.

And so I don’t forget, a snapshot of Teagan at one year:

•Smiles at everyone she meets as she snuggles up on my chest, the most sweet bashful move
•When she’s really excited her legs and feet let you know it—kick kick kick & giggle giggle giggle •Nothing but adoration for Parker, though if Parker yanks a toy it’s ovah. Teagan will yell, say “MI!” (mine), hit P’s hand away, and if that doesn’t work she cries. “Teagan is yelling at me,” says a tear-stained face Parker. Girl stands her ground.
•She talks! On vacation Teagan started saying “Karker” for Parker. Other words include no, dog, hi, bye bye, baba (bottle). Cannot get over how cool it is that Teagan’s first word was “Parker.” •Typically T will sleep through the night, 8pm to 7am, but these teeth screwed it all up. Lots of wake ups.
•Chasing is one of Teagan’s fave games. “I’m gonna get you!” elicits happy squeals and fast crawls throughout the house.
•Food is hit or miss. Favorites seems to be shredded cheddar and pasta with marinara •We’re in the slobbery kisses, back pats and hug phase. •Teagan is a whiz at playing with toys. It’s amazing. Give her the doodler and she doodles with the stamps. Give her a bag of blocks and she tries stacking them. When done, she puts them one by one back in the bag. Give her the doll house and she moves the princesses in and out of the door.
•Music—whether via the TV or toys—makes her dance.

Thank you baby girl for the most amazing year. Just when I think life can’t get any better, it does.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Happy fake birthday, baby Teags!

Back from a fabulous week on the sandy shores of Myrtle Beach with sand in our luggage, tans on our faces, and hopefully lack of severe weight gain. Will recap on the southern adventures of the S family but before that, T’s birthday party!

The party started off with a hiccup. Running late as I tend to be, we ended up at the clubhouse to set up about ½ hour past schedule. Aaaaaand the doors to said clubhouse were locked. We knocked. We banged. We flagged down a man who sent emails and phoned the condo board members. No answer. My ever present get-things-done mode went into overdrive and I marched over to the door of a condo association member and knocked/pounded. No answer either! Argh! Thankfully my sister lives next to the clubhouse so we quickly turned her pad into party central. Turns out the person on clubhouse duty was at the OSU football game instead of doing their job…Fanfreakingtastic.

Everyone joined in to get the decorations up in time.

I feel like the last minute balloon purchase was a great success.

Two people are ready for the pic.
 But all ran smoothly after that bump in the road. Gorgeous weather blessed the party, friends and family came to celebrate and stuff face, the smash cake was a success with one of my childrens (hint: not the birthday girl), and the best of presents were gifted. So here you have it—photo dump!

The cake! Ahhhh, the cake! Made with love and care by the fabulous Paula Jo. Talk about an stupendous aunt, spending an entire day putting this masterpiece together. Not only was it delish but it matched the strawberry theme. An itty bitty strawberry smash cake was also made for Teagan. One bite of sugary goodness was enough for the wee thing before she got mad at it. Parker on the other hand could.not.stop ;) Neither could I. Icing is my weakness.

DESPERATE for cake!

No hesitation on Parker's side.

 The spread—make your own nacho bar. Lindz made the to die for cheese dip, my mom whipped up the super cute fruit skewers and pink party punch, the crockpot cooked the chicken, and all the fixins were out as toppings.

My strawberry plates!

Recipes are (with no legit pics. Use your imagination ;)

Cheese Dip
1/2lb Velveeta
8oz cream cheese
10oz can Rotel tomatoes
4oz can green chilies

Melt cheeses in microwave, stir in remaining ingredients, serve warm.

Velveeta and I had a very long relationship from the mid 90s all the way through the mid 2000s. Now our love affair only surfaces during my first trimester (along with Hamburger Helper and Ramen Noodles. What can I say, early pregnancy makes my taste buds revert to that of a drunk college student. Shocking that my girls came out unscathed), parties, and football season. Party = allowing myself to pour that goodness all over my chips.

Pink Party Punch
1 2qt pitcher of pink lemonade
1 2qt container of raspberry sorbet
1 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime sorbet

Add all ingredients to punch bowl and serve. For an adult version, splash in some vodka. My sister’s definition of splash is to pour an entire fifth of vodka in and then ask, “woops, is that too much?” So if you were feeling a little boozy after T’s bash, you can thank Lindsey.

Salsa Chicken
-now this is very tricky. Only the best of chefs can conquer what is salsa chicken.

-taco seasoning

Mind blown, right?

As usual, I winged it. If I had to guess, I’d say 3lbs chicken, two 16oz jar of your fave salsa, and two taco seasoning packs.

Add salsa, chicken, and taco seasoning to crockpot. Heat that bad boy on low for 8ish hours or high for 4ish. Shred. Throw it on nachos. Make a little taco salad. Eat with a spoon in mass quantities (never happened).

Teagan and her helper opened loads of presents. Girlfriend got it all—from books, to leopard print tops (animal print squee!), to the Cozy Coupe, to her Barbie Powerwheel, to everything and anything in-between. But as it always is, one of the best hits was the gift bag.

I wonder if T likes her gifts.

Talk about the camera being in the right place at the right time to capture this gem.

Bag lovin babe!

Everyone chilled for a little while, we packed up, then started down to SC. Update soon! Thanks to all who took time out of their busy days to come and celebrate such a special moment for baby Teagan! It means so much to all of us  The times together may be few and far between but they sure are fun when it all comes together.

Something is going on here, I'm just not sure what ;)

 Laundry and AGT finale time! I'm a wild one.