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Let Them Eat Cake

This summer GeorgiaPeach (GP) was blessed to have two birthday parties!  First, a small party at our home and then a family party back in the Land of Lincoln.  I know!  Sounds crazy to have two parties for a two-year old BUT, her very first birthday was a party of four (GP, the Coach, our dog, and a sad Mommy).  I grew up in a very large and supportive family where birthdays, all sporting events, dance recitals, and concerts were celebrated, supported, and attended.  If you had an event, someone in our family was there to support you. I wanted Georgia Peach to have similar memories of the “Family Birthday Party” with scores of her Aunties, Uncles, and Cousins so, we decided to travel to the love fest. Thanks, Coach!

 As with most things these days, I learned a thing or two about Kiddie Parties…

Take Pictures Early

Fruit ElmoGP loves Elmo so, I made her Elmo’s face out of a platter of fruit.  Now, I am NO Martha Stewart, I am more of the Pinterest Fail Kinda Mommy BUT, I will try. So when I made this for GP and it somewhat resembled Elmo I was  excited! 🙂 But here is where I made my FIRST mistake… I finished my precious Elmo, put him on the table and began to finish up some last-minute items.  As people started to arrive, I invited them to enjoy the food when I realized I forget to take a picture of Elmo!  By the time I snapped the picture, he STILL looked like Elmo but, a little troubled in the mouth area (the blueberries were good!).  Nevertheless, the Elmo face was a hit and the Parents loved the fresh fruit and yogurt option.

Don’t Be Tardy for the Party

Anyone that truly knows me knows that I take my parties and party planning very seriously. From the invitations to the food, the favors to the music, the thank-you cards to the decor, I try to make sure it is all cohesive ( or at least cute!). An hour or so into the party, I started to panic a little when I thought we could possibly run out of pizza. We still had an extra-large left but, I was worried.  How could this happen?  Just when I was about to order another pizza and send the Coach out to pick it up, I mentioned to my Cousin LudaLike (Ha!) what I was about to do.

LudaLike: What time did the party start?

Me: 11A. It ends at 1P, I need to keep GP on her nap schedule.

LudaLike:  If someone shows up at this point and there is no pizza, don’t worry about it.  Party started at 11A.  Save your money.

Me: Oh wise younger Cousin and experienced Father, I like it. Sounds like a plan.

Turns out we didn’t even need an additional pizza.  The remaining pizza was enough and we nibbled on it hours after the party ended. Whew!

SpitCakes Anyone?

If I don’t remember anything from this party I will never forget this…

Since our sweet daughter loves cupcakes, My Fabulous Aunt J offered to have an Elmo cupcake cake made for her. She is extremely generous and it was a cute idea. Thanks again, Aunt J!  We lit the candles and gathered everyone around to sing, ”Happy Birthday”.  When the song was over the family started to hype GP up into blowing out the candles. But…

I didn’t let her blow out them out!

I mean who wants toddler spit on their cupcakes, right?  Apparently, everyone except me. When I say this was a BIG MISTAKE, I mean I may as well flipped the table in a fit of rage RHONJ style from the looks and comments I got! I thought I was going to get kicked out of my OWN child’s party for this move. In hindsight, I should have put the candles on her own cupcake and let her blow out the candles. Lesson learned.

 Seriously, next year everyone gets spitcake! You’re welcome. 🙂

Not Exactly…An Art Project

Now that I have some extra time, (I was laid off after being employed at a company for 7.5 years earlier this month), I have been spending the majority of it with the Coach (we are BOTH actively looking for new jobs!) and gearing Georgia Peach (GP) up for preschool.  One of the ways we are preparing is doing a daily activity/project with her.  Some know that my beloved Mother was a devoted and amazing Teacher, so I try to channel her loving spirit when working with GP on her letters, numbers/counting, shapes, colors, songs, and art projects. 🙂

On this special day, I decided to dust off the Baby Hand Print Kit we received as a BABY SHOWER GIFT (yes, we know GP is two) and see if GP and I could make some memories.  We definitely made a memory! Just ask the Coach, he walked in on the action as it was unfolding.

I followed the instructions to the letter or so I thought…

  1. Mix the contents of the bag with ⅔ water in the plastic container until smooth.~Got it.

  2. Let the mixture set for 2-3 mins~Okay. Let’s get some water while we wait.

  3. Press child’s hand in the mixture for 10 seconds and remove, works best when the child is asleep~She doesn’t need to be asleep! But something doesn’t seem right…

  4. Let the plaster dry in the container for 3 hours.

Here is what we ended up with…Hand Print Art Project?

I helped GP trace her name in the plaster with a pencil.

Art project fail.

At least GP had fun and the Coach had a good time laughing at us. 🙂

It’s Your Problem Now

So, the Coach was visiting my Mother In Law and decided to spend another night with her. When the Coach travels, our house becomes unbalanced aka wacky house.  Both Georgia Peach (GP) and Coco Bean (our Yorkie) respond in their own special way.

Coco waiting for the Coach.
Coco waiting for the Coach.

Coco will sit upstairs in a chair that overlooks the driveway and street until the Coach returns.  He will go out to do his “business”, eat, and drink some water only to resume his post until the Coach is home.  Kinda sweet.

Our little Georgia Peach will go into every room in the house calling for “Daddy” when she thinks it’s time for him to be home.  Normally, I can distract her with her bedtime routine but, this particular night she had other things planned for her naive Mommy.

After putting her down for what I thought was the night, an hour later I hear… “Helloooo? Helloooo? Mommy!”

I walk to her room to find GP standing up in her crib.  I check the room temperature, her diaper, her blankets, her “baby” doll all fine.  I kiss her, lay her back down, walk out of the room, and close her door. For the next FIVE hours we do the “My Daddy Didn’t Kiss Me Goodnight So It’s Your Problem Now, Mommy” dance.

Frustrated and exhausted (and by this time laying on the couch) I sent a text to the Coach.

Me: Your child has been up every hour since I laid her down. Checked everything, she is fine. So tired.

The Coach: I’m sorry, babe. If you checked and she is fine, next time don’t go in there, just let her get back to sleep on her own.  She will be fine.

Me: Okay, I’ll try it.

Twenty minutes later… “Helloooo? Helloooo? Mommy! MomMEEEE! Helloooo Hi!! Mommy!”

Then, she starts to cry and the ‘Hellos’ become louder and funnier (don’t judge me, if you heard it you would agree, funny!).  I was chuckling quietly on the couch when she stops crying and I think, “Wow, the Coach might actually be onto something.”

That’s when I heard it…

THUMP!

I think I stopped breathing! My heart was pounding in my chest as I ran into her room to find that my TWO YEAR OLD had revolted and climbed/jumped/fell out of her crib (she hasn’t even tried to climb out of the crib up until this point so, seriously?)!

I picked her up frantically checking her head, eyes, ears, arms, legs at the same time kissing and hugging her.  GP didn’t cry at all, put her head on my shoulder, and went back to sleep.  I laid her down in her crib and went back to the couch.

Obviously, I didn’t go back to sleep. I was freaked out and afraid Georgia Peach would slip into a coma or something so spent the rest of the night checking on her. Of course, I sent a text to the Coach which by this time was fast asleep in FL so, he didn’t see the message until he woke up.

Me: Ummm, your Baby JUMPED out of her crib.  I no longer take advice from you.

Reversed crib.
Reversed crib.

Mommy, hugs?

A few weeks ago, our Nanny (formerly known as Junk Food Nanny-she has traded the Funyuns for salads and fruit smoothies!) asked if we could watch her son while she and her husband went out. We love their son, he has been apart of our lives since he was born, he is now 15 months so not a problem, right?

Wrong.

Enter the wild card aka our little Georgia Peach.  Now, she plays with the Nanny’s son EVERYDAY. She shares her toys with him, she is kind to him, they go to storytime every week together. So, what could be the issue?

Me.

Apparently, the idea of me taking care of another baby es no bueno for GP. Here is a snippet of how our little genius would play me.  If she noticed that our Nanny’s son was in my arms she would say…

“Mommy, hugs?”  I would bend down to hug her (with our Nanny’s son still in my arms) and the then she would and say, “Up, Mommy”.  She got me. Now, I am walking around with 2 toddlers in my arms.

How do parents with kids close in age or even the same age manage?

My sweet sweet Cousin and her Husband have two boys 10 months apart, the youngest is one of my Godsons, they definitely have their hands full on a daily basis. So, when I was in the throes of 1 of 4 tantrums from GP, I thought…do we REALLY want to add another child to our family? Can we handle it? More importantly, can I handle it?

Yeah, no.  We can not handle it. 🙂

The Coach was asleep through most of the episodes but, was awaken to my teapot whistling (yeah, I thought I was going to have some tea), a barking dog, and a screaming child (GP).  He comes into GP’s room where I was putting her pajamas on but, she was not having it and sees our Nanny’s son happily playing with GP’s crib.

The Coach: So, you still want to have another baby?

Me:  Right now, might not be the best time to ask me. I have no idea how our Nanny does this everyday!  And just think, The Incredibles (our very close friends whom we love and adore-we nicknamed them after the movie cause they are umm, incredible parents) have FOUR kids! God Bless ’em!

Our Nanny’s son is teething and his parents warned me that he may be a little irritable. No worries, we are prepared.  GP almost has a complete set of teeth so we have been through the worst of it. When I tell you he was an absolute angel, believe me he was!  He played with GP in between her tantrums, let me read books to him, ate like a champ, allowed me to brush his teeth, and went to sleep easily.

IMG-20130527-01243Our GP, well not so much…let’s just say she made a very convincing argument for being an only child that night.

I Don’t Care

A couple of months ago, I was back in the best city ever :-), for a fabulous wedding and to celebrate my dear Friend’s new job and relocation back to the East Coast. We planned to go out for dinner and drinks with some of her friends at around 9p to celebrate…just like the old days. On the drive over to the restaurant, my Friend and I were catching up when she says to me, “I predict you will say ‘my Husband’ about 11 times during conversations tonight.”

Wait, was she talking to me? Probably since I was the only other person in the car, but huh?

Have I graduated from baby updates to name dropping?

Do I say ‘my Husband’ constantly in conversations when talking about the Coach?

Have I turned into ‘that woman’?

To be fair, I am a newlywed and I enjoy it quite a bit, thank you very much. But this comment made me question the content of my conversations. It’s not like I squeeze in a ‘my Husband’ while talking about politics, food, fashion, reality shows or more importantly Scandal. Or do I?

Here’s what I realized…I don’t care! That’s right, I said it. I don’t care. Here’s why…

About 10 years ago, after breaking up with a guy I probably would have vomited on if our Georgia Peach had dated, I made a list. I mean seriously people, you make a list of things you need at the grocery store so don’t look at me all sideways about a list for a LIFE LONG PARTNER. A list of all the qualities I wanted in a Husband and what I wanted our relationship to look like. I tucked it away and over the years I would pull it out review it and revise it. Each time I would pray over the list asking God to remind me not ask for qualities in another I didn’t possess myself. I had on it things that would complement my personality like being family oriented and sincere. Sincerity was the quality my beloved Grandma Josie said she was the most drawn to when picking my cool Grandpa Joe. They were married for just short of 40 years when my Grandpa passed away (they had 11 children so there were CLEARLY other qualities they saw in each other). But, their relationship showed me a level of commitment to each other and to their family that remains with me and I pray to have in my own marriage.

So, after years of praying (and crying) for a great partner in life, I drafted the Coach.  🙂

I waited a long time for the right man for me so, I am more than happy to say with pride, my Husband. I love my Husband, love that we are friends, love being married to him, love that we have to work together to resolve our differences and that we work on communicating with one another, love that we are a team, love that he is a great Father to Georgia Peach and love that he is sincere.

Thanks for the great advice, Grandma Josie. I think you would have liked, MY HUSBAND. 🙂

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Photo Credit

Send Abuelita, Please!

Dear Current City,
First, I want you to know that I adore you but, we have a problem. Due to your lack of a decent authentic Mexican restaurant, I have resorted to something reserved for the very intoxicated or food amateur.  Now, the Coach and I have tried a number of places that turned out to be no bueno in my book.  I mean I grew up in an area where we would order tamales made by a woman in the kitchen in her home.  So, I didn’t think it was too much when I asked for a corn tortilla while at a restaurant recently.  This is standard stuff people. To be fair, not every place was entirely bad but, some things are a must.  My corn tortillas being one of them.

Not long ago I was beside myself with needing some Mexican food so I turned to the only place I knew…Taco Bell.  Yes, Taco Bell. And after that delicious Doritos Locos Taco hit my stomach like a brick I remembered why I avoided this place. I think the Doritos flavored shell was the actual ‘delicious’ part of my meal. I do enjoy myself some Doritos. images-1

Do you think it is acceptable to not have a good traditional Mexican restaurant? Umm, and Tex Mex is not the answer. I’m looking for the place where Abuelita is cooking in the kitchen with her son or daughter and the fountain drinks INCLUDE horchata. I don’t need a ‘fresh take on Mexican’ so save your fusion combos and witchcraft recipes until you have mastered the basics.  I blame you for my gastrointestinal issues.

My sweet Husband is constantly on the hunt for an acceptable place for me and while we were in FL recently, he made a point to take me to the one Mexican restaurant I liked. I like him. 🙂 So, it appears I only have two options…learn how to make my favs or track down the lady who made the tamales in her kitchen by the bulk and have them shipped here.

Can you save me the trouble and get it together?

Sincerely,
Ashamed

More Cheetos, Please?

Now, our precious precious child has been on a plane more than most children her age and at the end of each flight we have been complemented and showered with praise for our well-mannered Princess.  I knew this model behavior couldn’t last forever given that Georgia Peach (GP) is a very active toddler and is known to throw a tantrum like a Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs Annual White Party.  They. Are. Epic.  I was prepared for the flight well, at least I thought I was…

Here’s how GP challenged my readiness.

In the terminal before the flight, I decided it would be a good idea to feed GP.  Now, she has these great food pouches that travel well and she can feed herself with ease. Lately, she has been extremely fickle about having them though.  One minute she loves them the next she has thrown the entire pouch in a mini fit of rage.

On this day, she hates them.

No problem.  I anticipate this potential objection and BOOM have an old stand by ready…cereal.  She eats like the Southern Belle she is until she decides to kick my hand and there goes the food.  NICE.  GP thinks this is hilarious. I do not. Luckily, I pack food for GP like we could get stranded for a day or two so I was able to quickly regroup and get her a fresh pack.  Of course by this time, she is not interested in eating.  Maybe she wants some milk, I thought.

She tosses the sippy cup.

I know my girl and caught it before it hit the disgusting airport terminal germ infested 1982 installed carpet.  I get the nod for boarding early and move to the front of the line.  Thank you, Lord!  We make our way to the end of the jet way, I collapse the stroller and walk to our seat.  I put our stuff down and head to the closet aka the airplane restroom to change Lil Mama’s diaper.  We make it back to our seat to greet the grand prize winner…the lady seated in the seat next to us.

GP begins the flight in true Princess fashion.  Sweet and charming, talking and playing until about 30 minutes left in the flight when all hell breaks loose.  I still have no idea what happened.  One minute she is calm the next I’m holding a straight back screaming child.

Me: Do you want more milk? I sign to her

She pushes it away.

Me: Do you want to play with this cool toy?

She throws it on the ground (goodbye toy, you are now dead to us). Crying and screaming escalates.

Me: Do you want to play with the iPad?

This is what she is really wants to say to me….if she could speak English.

GP: Umm no, I don’t want that stupid sippy cup with the soy milk you make me drink because I can’t “handle” the cow’s milk.  And no, I don’t want to play with that tired old toy you brought for me, I’m over that toy.  It’s for 12 month olds, I’m 18 months old now…learn me Mommy!  And if you show me the Phonics Song ONE MORE TIME on the iPad today well…you already know….I’m TIRED!! Please let me sleep. Mommy!!!

I get it!

She is still crying and thrashing when the lady next to us touches GP’s foot and starts talking to her.  My kid starts to calm down like I have been doing NOTHING to help her this entire time.  At this point, I’m over it.  I’ll take any help I can get!  GP calms down and falls asleep.  Just in time for the Pilot to announce we are 20 minutes from landing.  Seriously?

Best part…we have a connecting flight. So here is a rundown of the high points:

  • The Gate Agent acts like I am muy loco by trying to board the flight when ‘passengers who need extra time’ are invited to board.  Umm, I need extra time.  Denied.
  • GP decides she wants to ‘eat’ my Cheetos.  She has two teeth so, her version of eating is sucking the cheese off and placing her gross used Cheetos in my bag from the store.  She gets a bit too ambitious with one and bites off a little and… throws up in my hand.  Excuse me, did you just puke in my hand?  This does not phase her…she keeps it moving. More Cheetos please.
  • Like an idiot, I  have on a white shirt so I have orange Cheetos dust all over my shirt.
  • GP keeps taking off her shoes and socks so, I let her keep them off.  Sure she looks like a Hillbilly but, I’m tired and hungry.  Besides I don’t look any better with my cheese accented shirt.  My Little Hillbilly!

Next time, I’ll bring the right toys for you and skip the Cheetos. XO 🙂

And The Party Never Stops…

Actual text from Junk Food Nanny…

I hope you guys had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Can you please see if the dates December 19-January 7 work for you for the Christmas Holiday?

What the what?  I’m pretty sure in bizarro world this time period is actually the norm for a holiday vacation. Where I come from?  It’s  job abandonment!  🙂

Luckily, we were able to come to a quick agreement on adjusted dates for their  ‘European Holiday’ to…OHIO.

Seriously?

Nevertheless, we love you Junk Food Nanny.  Happy Holidays!

Photo credit

Say What?

This is a true story…trust me, if I could come up with this stuff on my own, you would see my name in the writing credits for a tv show or at the very least I’d be working for Andy Cohen on Bravo in some capacity.

Days after moving into our neighborhood, I was still getting some accounts set up for our house.  I quickly realized that gone were the good ole days of city living with a dumpster at the edge of the alley, we had now transitioned to needing a ‘trash removal solution.’ Great.  So, I did some research and settled on one that met our trash removal needs as well as our commitment to recycling. 🙂  I called the company and was connected to the rep.

Here is how our conversation went.

Trash Removal Rep: Hello, how can I help you?
Me: Hi, I need to set up an account with you.
Trash Removal Rep:  Great! Let me get your address to check on the days we are in your area. I provide the nice lady our address.  And she says: Do you live in _____ Plantation?

Me: Yes, we do.

Trash Removal Rep:  We do too!  Don’t you just love LIVING ON THE PLANTATION?  Everything you need is there.  Grocery store, pharmacy, dog groomer, nail salon, gas station, restaurants, dry cleaning, parks, a lake, multiple playgrounds and pools, and even a church.  I mean there really isn’t a reason to leave.

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Wait…Is someone punking me?

As I listened to her rattle off all of the ‘amenities’ of the plantation, I shamefully thought to myself ‘there really ISN’T a reason to leave. Did I just think that? Oh Lord, what has happened to me?  I’ve been living in GA all of 2 days and I have lost my mind.’

Me: Well, it sounds convenient. We just moved so, we haven’t seen much yet.
Trash Removal Rep: It is a great neighborhood and you live in a section where they are still building.
Me:  Great.  Looking forward to exploring our new neighborhood.
Trash Removal Rep:  Well, we are all set.  Your trash pickup will be on Thursdays, the driver starts in your area so, she will be there before 7a.
Me:  Thanks for your help.
Trash Removal Rep:  It was great speaking with you. You and your family will love the plantation!

As crazy as it sounds, we actually enjoy living here. People wave to you when they see you, our neighbors have mowed our lawn just because, watched our house when we were away, checked on us when the storm knocked out the electricity, and stopped by just to tell us about a deal solely because they saw my beloved football team’s flaghanging in our garage. Nothing to complain about well…maybe one thing.

Because my Mom didn’t raise a complete heathen, we wanted to check out the church. I went online to look it up since it is pretty big.  I poked around on the site and looked at the leadership when I saw it.  One of the position’s in the church was…

GENERAL OVERSEER

I guess I’d better locate the North Star.