Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Resolutions. A girl can pretend

It's that time of year again where we all make resolutions that 99% of us will fail. I'm not trying to be pessimistic, it's just the honest truth that I will probably set out to lose another 20lbs by exercising every morning. Well that will last all of 2 weeks- promised. Although this year I have convinced myself that I will lose another 15-20lbs by our Spring Break Cruise. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
So New Years Resolution #1
May it be the most CLICHE one out there, but dammit I want to fit into my 2008 clothes. You know, before back to back pregnancies having ravack (can't figure out how to spell this damn word) on my body. I would just LOVE to take all 47 pairs of my Spanx and burn them in a bomb fire as the smell of over worn spandex fills the air. How free-ing would that be?! Spanx have become such a staple in my wardrobe I have no idea how I would be without them. Sad I know. But this girl loves her shape wear. But to go without it and still feel good- FRREEEDOOOM!
So maybe I should make a twist on this most loved resolution. Instead of setting out to lose weight like every other overweight American out there on Jan 1st. I want to make it a resolution of mine to accept my body as is. If that means 175lbs or 155lbs, I need to learn to learn to love my body. It gave me 2 beautiful boys, my stretch marks shows my battle wounds and dammit if I have to wear spanx for the rest of my life, then so be it. I mean, how nice would it be if I didn't feel like I have to look at myself in the mirror and suck in every time I walk by? Who am I trying to over impress anyways? As long as I am not wearing hoochie terry cloth shorts with Princess displayed across my arse and a tube top 5 inches too short with no bra... then I'm cool, right?
Ok, so eat healthy, attempt to get active, try to lose some weight and accept that I will never be the girl with the purple and gold pom poms ever again. Embrace the chunk!
Ok, on to resolution #2.
ORGANIZATION. Ok Chris, Mom and Dad- take me seriously here:
We all know my brain does NOT do organization. I'm not talking about my desk being orderly or my closet being color coded. I am talking things like in my head. I swear it's like a Barnum & Baily circus up in there. Things I am talking about is when I schedule appointments for, where I put important documents. Did I ever mention that I lost our marriage license? Yea yea, we found it. But the fact that it is issued from Bermuda doesn't make it very easy to just go get another one. Anyways, back to things I need to organize in my life. Things such as paying bills on time, putting gas in my car before "zero miles", remembering diapers and wipes before we leave the house. I know, I sound scary.
(This is my closet on a good day, imagine every other day. It's a good representation of my brain)
I know this is far fetched, but I can try, right? And maybe just maaaaaybe, if I can be half as organized as I was before- maybe my house will show it too? I can see it now, shoes lined up outside, toys put away in the toy chest, pillows all lined up on the couch, throws folded, dishwasher empty, mailed sorted, and dinner cooking. Ok, I'm dreaming here.
But I should make it a resolution to cook more. I need to learn new recipes because I have a 27lb one year old and a 6'6" husband that I am pretty sure can not live off crock pot pot roast and sloppy joes for the rest of their life. I need to learn some new casseroles, things that all don't come out of box type things.
So there it is. Ashley's 2012 resolutions.
  1. Get in shape and if not accept.
  2. ORGANIZATION (still laughing)
  3. Learn to cook
I'll report back next year and see what I actually accomplished. HA!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas with one shoe and a piece of china for deviled eggs.

We had Christmas in our new home this year. So awesome!

This meant I felt the need to decorate like crazy and attempt to set up a dining room in a matter of a week. OH and plan Christmas dinner. I did it, with the help of others- Thank you Dad, Aunt Mary, Mom, Elaine and of course Chris. I already had most the decorations done, and yes I totally "super glued" 3M hooks to the stucco outside to hang my Pintrest inspired garland. I may or may not have told Chris it's removable. I guess we will find out this week when I take it down. Other wise I will have to make deco mesh garland for every freaking holiday. 

So back to Christmas. It was SO much more fun when you have a baby, it's more exciting. We all know the "Reason for the Season" and that's important to me and trust m e I have definitely had my chance the past few years to reflect on that but this year not only felt like a celebration but the excitement of starting our own traditions with CC was the best. I'd be lying if I said no one ate the cookies left out for Santa on Christmas Eve. My ass woke up at 4am hungry and ate the whole damn plate. That's right, add those pounds to my behind, I have until the 27th to eat like a Queen. Then my sisters leave and we have aprox. 2.5 months to lose some holiday weight plus some before our next cruise. Cruise. Yea I said it... We all got a surprise family cruise for Christmas from my Aunt. You should have seen the faces on my sisters face when they opened that present. AHHHH! I can't wait!!!!
P.S. I start Weight Watchers this week... who wants to join with me?

OK so back to Christmas (can you tell I am unmedicated tonight) I can even finish typing a sentence before I start thinking of the next thing in my brain.

So Chris and I played Santa the night before. We spent Christmas Eve at my Father in Law's house eating a full Christmas Eve dinner, stuffed our faces only to come home to a boat load of unwrapped gifts and make Santa cookies. So we sat on the family room floor till Midnight wrapping up the last of the gifts, which felt so good knowing we have CC to wake up in the morning to terrorize the place. 

 Speaking of, here he his himself who decided to wake up mimicking the Grinch until he found Mickey Mouse (see video)

We went to Mass which I dressed CC in a typical Christmas outfit, long sleeve button up plaid shirt, khakis, sweater vest and one shoe- because I couldn't find his other dress shoe. Then Chris caught on and asked why he had one shoe on. Ummmm.... he must have kicked it off. Yet secretly my train of thought was people at church would think... "oh Miss, I think your baby lost a shoe"
Ohhhh YES, "OH NO, he must have" darnit.

Hey at least it would look like he HAD shoes on when we left the house. My brain works backwards people.

OH so back to my story- I dress him in this outfit, walk to church in 80 degree weather and then almost lose grip of the stroller that WOULD have gone piling strait down a ditch filled with black water. AHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Thankfully we made it all 11yrds to the church, but poor CC had already broke a sweat. Seriously clothing people- make some flipping Florida Christmas outfits that can sustain this 85 degree temperature and while you're at it- make some Halloween ones too. Putting my kid in a fur covered lion suit is just not practical. Thank you very much.

We were able to get these 2 pictures by the manger he so gracefully slept in last year as Baby Jesus. Ahhh Baby Jesus... he was sooooo tiny last year. Oh CC found out that he can slip under the pew and greet the people behind him. This is all while I am trying to catch him by the feet before he makes it 100% of the way through. Sorry folks that sat behind us.

 You may notice I am sporting the same dress as last year. One year later I am proudly rocking a maternity dress. I love the dress too much not to wear it. Chris would have been in this picture had he been a sport and come up front, but the guy hates pictures. After 9 years, I just accept that about him.

BUT I was able to get this picture of US right before dinner. We were celebrating our new dining room. Which for the past 9 months has sat empty with no light fixtures and boxes of diapers, odds and ends and left over unused baby toys.
This past week I painted the accent wall, we picked up my Grandma's 45 year old dining set that I have accepted as a gift from my Aunt and ALSO got her beautiful Danube Blue China. Like the WHOOOOOLE set. There's pieces I have no idea what to do with- I took out the plate that goes under the thing that holds the stew/soup and I thought it was for deviled eggs. Until my Aunt laughed and said nooooooooo, Ashley.

The joys of growing up. I remember being at the kids table and here I am 28 years later setting up my own table to feed everyone else. I may serve deviled eggs on a piece of china meant for something else, but at least you know your in for a good laugh at my house.

It was a great Christmas, the whole family (CC's Aunt's and Uncle) are in town and we were all able to be together. There wasn't a minute that Nolan, Charlie and Brice were not thought of, we had a blessing at each dinner wishing they were here. 

Merry Christmas and until next year.....

Friday, December 23, 2011

On CC's birthday, he ate through one sloppy joe. Or was it 2?

I couldn't help myself, I totally planned CC's birthday party of the sole reason he loves to eat. So yes, The Very Hungry Caterpillar book was center stage at the big party and thanks to Pintrest- my kitchen was transformed into pages of the book.
Don't even get me started on crack pintrest. I had to have pinned 345 caterpillar cakes, 209 decoration ideas, 67 of those just the party hat alone and let's throw in some party favor pins. NOW, here's the problem- I want to do it all! Ok fine, no big deal until you start one thing, start another, forgot what you started and then get frustrated because it doesn't go your way. That's when I would find myself back on pintrest looking for a new pin to try out.

Needless to say, pintrest + ADD = disaster

The kids showed up, blow up house was the main attraction (adults and kids) 

and I made my famous sloppy joes- because in this household, the caterpillar eats through one sloppy joe. Note the crying baby in above picture: he wanted his damn sloppy joes.

I made slaved the cake, because well once again- Pintrest had too many cool ideas. I took the challege on, I come from a family of bakers I should be able to handle a box cake. 
2 box cakes later, I had a 6 layer rainbow cake, a mess in my kitchen and rainbow food coloring staining my new shirt. BUT at least I had one kick ass cake. Right?

Ahhh I still can't believe that is my baby boy turning 1! 

Gifts were open, I am pretty sure I could open a museum of Vtech toys. CC was more interested in a string of ribbon and I had two helpers crawling on top of me dying to "help" open the next present. 

Who knew opening birthday presents caused one to break a sweat. See below: The most attractive photo snapped of me of the day. Pure hotness! 
 Note, random child still crawling on top of me and the present are all gone. Love you D! I actually think he was helping me clean up paper- I think.

I have to say- all the effort & pointless projects and hours slaved over pintrest- it was all 110% worth it. I look back now and I would have been happy with a cake and candle and ok the bounce house too. Can't forget the bounce house.

Happy Birthday CC!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Birthday candles

I remember those nights I laid in my bed with dreams of reaching milestones that were tugging on my heart so deeply at the time. The tears ran down my cheeks as I asked God why I wasn't reading a bed time story to my baby or why I wasn't planning a birthday party and even wished I was picking up a house of clutter if it meant a choatic toddler was dancing around.

 I was sitting there tonight kissing those chubby rosey cheeks that have been flushed with sugar from a 7 layer rainbow birthday cake and reading "If you give a Pig a Party" and this calm wave of peace and thankfulness just brushed my shoulder. For a split second I felt like I was in my dreams, ones that 2 years ago felt like something that was so unreachable.

The pain was so raw, so deep and that very pain has made me the person today that takes small & simple moments so perfect in my heart. I hugged him tight after I shut the book and that little sucker patted my back- like he knew the whole time I was reading that story that he knew my thoughts. Or maybe he just liked the book, I mean it is a book about CC pig that has a party and well that's what we had just wrapped up today.

This week has been such a milestone. We woke up on the 5th and sang Happy Birthday to one awesome little 1 year old. We threw a birthday party (more to come on that) which just happened to be on the 2 year anniversary since my Dad's aortic valve replacement and he's still ticking.

So people. 1 year. It feels like just yesterday we brought him home. But here we are 1 year later making Mickey Mouse funfetti pancakes for breakfast and singing Happy Birthday to one special little boy. Lucky little kid.

The weather was perfect so we took a stroll at the park in his sweet new ride (which I apparently didn't get a picture of) But it's a wagon, one with an umbrella and cooler and seat belts. Oh man, did he look like a king sitting in that beast, he loved it!
Ahhhh how did he grow this fast?!

We stopped at the perfect spot for a mini un-photo shoot (2 minutes of making myself look like a fool trying to get him to sit semi still & look at camera) of the impossible to shoot baby. Props to photographers that shoot one year olds. It's NOT easy. The kid is in the lens fact before I have time to focus.. damn you child. Did I mention this kid crawls at lighting speed? Not a walker yet, but convinced it will happen any day.

We ended the night at our favorite little family owned Italian resturant. Just the 3 of us. Chris and I toasted to "One Year and to 17 more" this is while CC was throwing pieces chicken parm on the floor and laughing at himself. 

Happy Birthday little boy. Since one year and for the next 18- I will start your birthday with a candle and end with one. Why? Because it's my kick ass idea and a new tradition. I also will promise funfetti pancakes every year and if you don't want them- I'm making them anyways- because I WANT THEM. GOD THEY WERE AMAZING.

Happy Birthday CC!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday (video)

Dear CC,
A year ago today your Dad and I stared at you in complete amazement & pure shock and unsure of what to do next with you. The past 365 days, you have grown from a 5lb little bundle all swaddled to perfection to a 27lb solid and 100% BOY and we absolutely LOVE it. Your easy going personality has made you a dream baby as if you weren't one already but you are becoming one inquisitive, curious and very hungry little one year old. 

GOD you just LOVE food, all food, not one single thing you have turned down...

I love how your eyes light up and you dance when you hear Mickey come on TV or how you give kisses with an open mouth and how you pat our backs when you give us hugs. I love how you say Mama or Dad and Heeeeeeeeeey! Where has this past year gone? I know that is so cliche to say but it really does feel like it was just yesterday that we brought you home absolutely clueless. We've slowly packed away all your baby gear and tiny clothes and replaced them with dump trucks, cars and balls, oh how you love to throw balls!

I'm so curious on where this next year will take us, the things yo will learn and the little person you will become. You are just so awesome, no words can be put together to describe the feeling you give us on a daily basis. You put a patch over our broken hearts the day you were born, you taught us to love even more and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't look at you and marvel and wonder how I bet you and your big brother would look alike.

You're a special little boy CC, an answered prayer and one huge blessing to our family. 

Happy 1st Birthday! Now let's get off this computer and make some Funfetti pancakes for breakfast in the shape of Mickey heads!! Mmmmmmm!!!!

Your Mom

And to make your ovaries quiver, here is a whole bunch of sweetness over the past year, all 10 whoping minutes. I couldn't help myself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Confessions of a casual Black Friday shopper

Black Friday. I hate you. You are a nightmare to my brain. I had no intentions of doing the whole Black Friday thing, I thought I had no desire to stand in line to save a few dollars. That was until I was sitting at home, boys were sleeping and I knew I had nothing else better to do that night than lay on the couch and catch up on DVR because us night shifters have no other life in the middle of the night than watch reruns of the Slap Chop and Pedi Egg.
"If you call NOW (3:56am) in the next 19 seconds, you will not only get a Slap Chop for 3 easy payments of $9.99 BUT you will get 12 Slap Chops for the price of one" HOLY cow pie!! That is BETTER than Black Friday, WTH was I thinking?!
So why not, the stores are opening at Midnight AND there were a few, and I mean FEW things that caught my eye. I think I was just more excited there was stores other than Walmart open at my time of night for once and I had something to kill time. 

 So may plan of attack: Target, Kohls, Bealls. I left it up to CC to plan out my Black Friday attack, as you see he knew exactly what to do with those ads. STOMP all over them!

11:25pm, I find myself in the Target parking lot staring at the growing line and thinking to myself WTF am I doing?! What did I REALLY need at Target that I just HAD to have. Nothing. Plus there is no way in hell I can wait for 30 minutes for this store to open, I'M BORED!

SO 5 minutes later I find myself across the street at Bealls accessing the parking lot and huge line outside the door. With 10 minutes to spare to Midnight and my lack of patience, I decided to drive to Kohls and start there. I figured by time I got there, it's be open and no hassle getting in. 

 HOLY HELL! People! Get a grip! 

It's a freaking pillow and towel half off! These idiots were wrapped around the building twice. Maybe I was missing something. So I go in, with no particular thing to buy but get trampled by 300 desperate housewives trying to buy every kitchen platter/bake ware and utensil in stock. They would frantically run people over with their carts stocked so high they couldn't see over them like a 93 year old driving. 

Watch it people! I grab my basket, pick out a few ornaments -seriously what person goes "window shopping" for random things on BLACK FRIDAY?- ME! 

I'm making my way to the other side of the store when my basket jumps out of my hands and side sweeps the table in the middle of the aisle holding 80 some odd candle vases. (Don't ask me who's brainy idea that was to strategically place that there. But you know what happens next... 


Glass everywhere! People walking over it, people watching in disgust at me while all I want to do is hide. I was honestly waiting for the thunderous clap- You know, the one they do at the restaurant when a waiter drops the plate. But nothing. 

Shit, that would have been better than the under the breath comments coming from passer buyers and evil stares from people wondering why I am not licking it up for crying out loud. So here I am on the floor of Kohls with crazy people practically crawling over me as I sweep the glass under the table with my shoes. I was SO having that dog with tail between legs moment.

Finally someone shows up to save the day, I apologize for the loss of $13.99 and go on with my business. What do you expect- glass in the middle of the aisle on Black Friday. Sorry. So I left. The line wrapped around the store to check out turned me off. 

So back to Bealls, then back to Kohls (yes I wanted that damn ornament), the unmentioned store where husbands gift came from, then best friend begs me to join her at Old Time Pottery as soon as she gets off at 6. Which turned into Toys R Us, Michaels and Old Navy. 

Did I mention I was delirious by Old Time Pottery, a metal chicken even looked like a good buy!

Finally went to bed around 11am. Did I mention I only slept 3 hours the day before when I got off work before Thanksgiving festivities started. I'm still trying to figure out what someone drugged me with that made me want to try this Black Friday crap, then to stay out till 11am only to have to work that night and the next 3?! 

 So here I am, Black Friday casual shopper survivor on 3 hours of sleep. Will I do it next year, ahhh NO! I'll stay home and throw back some Pinot while I watch all my friends FB status' of ridiculous lines and pepper spray fights over some sale towels. 
I just don't have the patience or grace to deal with that chaos. Obviously. 

So where have I been this past week? Recovering. Worked 3 nights in a row following my Black Friday mess and now here I am blogging at 5am because the baby is still asleep and my attention span is at a peak to sit still for more than 3 minutes.

No joke. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What the vlog? I forgot.

Attempt #1 at "vlogging' 
3 hours later, I am still trying to remember out what made me want to vlog in the first place.
For the love of my ADD. This is unscripted folks, it's semi disturbing seeing how scatter brained I am. Poor Chris.

And yes, our spare closet is my new blogging home. It's just too big to be wasted space and as Ash V says, life is good when you have a window in your closet. Yup, I need to pick out new curtains for my 'office window'

Think Chris will be mad when he sees I cleaned the closet out onto the spare bedroom bed? Naw... 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Withdrawal sign #947

Sign #947 that an individual is going through cruise withdrawal

Coming home from work, pouring a glass of vino and taking a bath with your kids blow up version of the Ruby Princess.

It's as close as this girl is going to get.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Home Sweet Home

There's nothing like walking into your home after a week vacation and smelling the aroma of pumpkin pie plug ins or crawling into crisp clean cool sheets or using a toilet that doesn't sound like it's having a seizure every time you flush. Yes the joys of cruising, toilets.
Maybe I am pushing it a bit, I would take that 12x12 cabin any day if it was offered to me again.

But in all honesty, for the first time in 11 cruises, we were happy to be HOME. Granted the big boat is our home away from home, sharing a cabin with a 11 month old terrorist who find bras and underwear in a drawer way more amusing than his 300 toys, makes for a long week. But a week I wouldn't trade for the world. 

 We traded in our nights in the night club for nights where we retired to our cabin early with a sleeping baby and had drinks out on our balcony while CC slumbered away in the closet. Yes, closet. I have no shame, we put the pack n play in the cabin's closet, it's an open long space that fit the pack n play perfect. Hey it worked.

We spent more time in the buffet than we did at the pool. What can I say,  my kid eats like a 300lb man and I can't keep food on his plate long enough before he shoves it in his mouth. This though became a problem for Chris and I. CC had to eat at least 3 times a day, full meals, highchair pulled up to the table, full on scene. Which in turn made Chris and I eat full and I mean food falling off full plate of food each setting. Thus adding many inches to our waistline. No big deal, right?

HA! I brought one formal dress. My favorite one, the pink flowers and jewels make me feel like I am dancing on top of the world when I slip squeeze it on. I knew it was a tight fit, a tad tighter than last cruise. But dammit- I didn't care- I have to go to at least ONE formal night this cruise. I made sure we went to the first formal night in the cruise so I fit in my dress, wore my best pair of Spanx and made mental notes not to bend over to grab baby out of stroller. Because goodness would I burn some eyes with my hot nude colored Spanx hanging out of the back of my dress. Shoot, I already rolled up the legs enough so they didn't show at all. 

Too bad I looked down at dinner and saw this.
No wonder the waiter kept asking if I wanted more bread. 
No another napkin please because this first one isn't covering this mad mess!

But hey, who cares when you're famous on the ship. OK, well I lie. But much to our surprise we found our wedding photo still hanging out in the photo gallery. I had to resist the urge to tell everyone walking by how cool we are. Yea, we are losers because this friends was a huge highlight of our trip. 

But then again, we are the dorks that went out to the deck we were married on and did a .083 second replay for the one photo op.

So much has happened in the past 3 years, had you told me that very day that we would go through what we did and be able to stand in that very spot 3 years later and reply a kiss, I would have laughed in your face. But we did it, we live our life for Nolan, we strive to be the best parents for CC and dammit we are still going to cruise.

To be continued: How we cruised with a baby.....