Friday, February 28, 2014

A Blissful Life

I am LOVING having my husband back (for good this time...for now)!
I am drinking my coffee S-L-O-W-L-Y this morning, alone, blogging, with no kids around....
I ate breakfast sitting down, instead of standing in the kitchen taking bites of my food as I attempt to feed my two other children at the same time.

By the way, have you ever had Wallaby yogurt?!
It's seriously heaven.
It's so silky and delicious. 
It's my favorite right now for breakfast.

 I top it with a little granola and chop up a banana.
So good.
So healthy.
Goes well with coffee (well what doesn't go well with coffee?)
I haven't changed a diaper since he's been home (be jealous ladies).
I got to work out without thinking about nap times and preschool.
I threw on my running shoes, and headed out for a little 5 mile run.
No husband. No kids. No jogging stroller.
It was 16 degrees outside, there were some sidewalks that were not plowed, and there were sidewalks with straight ice on it, but it was GLORIOUS!
I had my iPod, and it was just the pavement (well the ice), my thoughts, and me.
Not gonna lie, I almost busted my butt a few times.
That woulda been embarrassing.
It was frigid.
My water in my camelback started to freeze...seriously!
I can't wait for Spring when I can start hitting the pavement hard again!
Indoor workouts are starting to get old.
This gal needs to be outside!

He goes back to work on Monday, and I am not ready!
I need a few more weeks of someone doing everything for me :)
I need just a few more weeks of morning bliss.
Just a few. more. weeks.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy 1/2 Birthday!

Yes, you get TWO blog posts today....feel special.

This tough little guy is 1/2 a year old today!
Oh little guy, 
This month has been full of change and drama in your little life.
* You survived your first separation from daddy.
 * You are sitting up for longer periods of time unassisted.
* You roll around all over the place, and have even started to attempt to crawl!
* You weigh as much as your sister did when she was 1! (HOLY CHUBSTER!)
* You had a reaction to green beans.
* You used to LOVE avocados, and last night, you decided you hated them, and projectile vomited them all over mama and daddy's comforter and sheets.
* You burned your poor little right hand on a Keurig and absolutely broke this mama's heart.
* You took your first (and hopefully your last) ambulance ride to be transferred to a pediatric burn unit in Boston.
* You're sister is the only one that can make you laugh uncontrollably with her silly antics (like pretending to fall down the stairs)

I can't wait to see what this next month brings!

*Burn Update*
He had his follow up check up at Shriner's Children's Burn Unit in Boston yesterday.
The nurse practitioner and all the nurses that saw his hand were amazed at how fast and well his hand was healing!
In fact, when we got there, they had a room all set up to redress his hand, but when they took the bandages off, they decided it was well enough to just keep them off!
If you don't believe in prayer, this is just a personal testimony of just how powerful prayer is.
I don't think I've prayed so hard and with such a pleading heart this entire week asking God to heal Mattis' hand.
I prayed myself to tears some days.
So the news we got at the hospital today gave me peace in my heart for the first time this week.
I knew God had listened and heard my pleas. 
Praise God!

Everyday Is Bicep Day

The Marine Corps is back to rolling sleeves in the Summer uniform!
If you're non Marine Corps, and slightly puzzled on why I am so excited about this, click here (Kara @ Ramblings of a Marine Wife) to get a brief story on the Marine Corps "sleeve rolling".
Honestly, I was happy when they told me I didn't have to roll my sleeves anymore.
It was a pain in the butt every Sunday evening to sit in my living room trying to get that "perfect roll".
I would wake up on Monday mornings in a state of panic if I realized I forgot to roll my sleeves the night before. 
In a mad rush, I'd do a sloppy job of rolling my sleeves, and feel like a crappy Marine until I found time to fix them. 
I tried to find a photo of me in cammies with my sleeves rolled, and this is the one I could find (I was making myself breakfast before work).
Most "photo worthy" pics of me in uniform are on deployment (when we are always sleeves down), or in a dress uniform).

Anyway, I'm happy for sleeves to go back up because I'm not in the Marine Corps anymore and don't have to worry about my
And guys with nice biceps look hot with sleeves up.
Like this stud that I just happened to be married to.

For real though....

So, if you're a Marine...better hit the gym!
You only have a few weeks to get those biceps looking nice!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Picture Day at Home

I have this nice fancy camera with all these nice fancy lenses that I don't use as often as I'd like.
My life is ruled by my iPhone camera and Instagram.
So today, before preschool, I let D ham it up a bit for me while I took pictures.
She loves the camera...if you can't tell.
Probably from having my iPhone camera shoved in her face all day long.

And of course, I couldn't let little brother feel left out...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Alone Time and Princess Crowns

Tonight is officially the last night I will be sleeping alone (for now at least)!
My husband graduates tomorrow, and is driving back tomorrow night from VA (HOORAY!).
Here's is class photo, and that's his "non blurred out face" in the top left of the photo.
I blurred everyone out except him because I just want to focus on his handsome face...and in my opinion, he's the best looking one ;)
I am SO ready to include him back into our daily routine.
I mean the two trips he made home on the 3 day weekends he had were nice.
But it threw my routine off more than anything.
He wasn't home long enough to include him into our every day life, so nap times, schedules, and work outs all went out the window.

This last week that he's been gone has been so crazy with Mattis burning his hand, and all the trips to the doctor.
I was living in shock and living in my own guilt this past week, that I really didn't have much time to focus on myself as much.
Last night, while sipping on my pinot grigio after putting the kids to bed, everything just kind of hit me at once. 
I realized my mind and body were tired, stressed, and overworked.
All these emotions started pouring into me, and I told myself out loud that when Nick got back, I am doing something alone...without him...without the kids...
I haven't decided quite what, yet.
I thought about going out for drinks with some girlfriends, but then I realized I don't really have any close girlfriends that I really want to just be like, "hey, let's go have a few margs, and complain about life!"
Maybe I'll go to Target alone, and spend hours there just browsing (which will ultimately turn to shopping).
Maybe I'll just go get a room at a hotel with a day spa, and pamper myself.
Maybe I'll just go have dinner by myself at the Outback and sit at the bar, enjoy a cocktail, and a nice steak....peacefully.

I don't know...
But gosh darnit, I am doing something ALONE!
And thank God my husband is highly encouraging this.

Random photos...
I went to use the bathroom, and I came back to a crying little boy with a purple princess crown on his head and a big sister with a huge smile on her face...
poor kid.
I always find princess crowns on him and glitter all over him.
Just let it happen, dude....just let it happen...

He got over it and started to embrace it after a while....kinda.

Tomorrow night can't get hear fast enough.
I think I may be going a little crazy...

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Germs, Crowds, Gross Food

I never knew so much sass could be in such a little body.
I asked her if I could take a quick photo of her on my phone, and this is what she gave me...
 Eat your heart out, Tyra Banks.
She can "smeyes" better than you!
I am totally in love with this outfit, and her little cowgirl boots are Jessica Simpson.
I didn't even know J. Simpson made children's shoes!
This could be dangerous to my bank account....
I've seen several mommy bloggers post about their love/hate relationship with Chuck E. Cheese.
I hate it.
My parents never took me there as a kid, and as a parent, I TOTALLY get why now.
You win, mom and win.
Just a Few Things I hate about it:
* The place is germy, and let me tell you, I am the farthest thing from a "germ a phobe" there is.
* There are unsupervised kids running around...EVERY. WHERE. 

* Gross, greasy food. 

These are just a FEW things.
But because we live in a place where we can't take the kids outside to play all year round, sometimes, it's one of the few places you can take your kids for some indoor fun.
So when Dannika got an invite to a birthday party there for a classmate, I cringed at the thought of taking her.
She was soooo excited to get an invite though, so I knew we'd be headed there. 
 She had so much fun, and despite the "ick" factor of that place, I loved seeing her smile and have such a blast.
It made it ten times more fun because pretty much her entire preschool class was there.
It was nice to finally put some faces to the names of her classmates that she is always talking about.
I'm not one of those parents that are overly involved in her preschool. 
I don't volunteer or really make an effort to go inside to pick her up. 
I go through the drop off/pick up line.
Look, I send my kid to preschool, cause I need that time to myself!
I don't need to be volunteering my childless time at her school!
I only know the face of maybe 3 of her classmates, and that's because they're her "best friends".

That smile is so worth it.

Barney isn't even on TV anymore, but she knows who he is?
I don't know, but she thinks he's great.
And this photo of yours truly was a hot topic on my Facebook page yesterday.
Apparently, there's a lot of Dallas Cowboys haters out there.
Seriously though, I've been a loyal fan for almost 2 decades now.
Do you really think your opinion of MY team is going to make me say...
"You're right. The Cowboys suck. So I'm going to change my allegiance to YOUR team."
And to me, they'll always be the original "America's Team".

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jumbled Randomness

Thank you for all the kind thoughts, words, and prayers for my son!
With profuse sweating, I redressed his wound for the first time by myself today, and I must say that it's healing nicely!
He doesn't cry anymore when the bandages come off, so that means it doesn't hurt!
And based on the look on his face...
I'd say he's going to be alright!

This is our LAST weekend as just a family of 3!
My husband graduates next week and comes home!
I'm so excited!

Work out update.
I can now fit in all my old clothes. 
I usually lose a lot of weight when hubby leaves though (because I tend to work out a lot more to fill the extra time that I have).
I'm expecting to gain 5lbs back when he comes home, which is cool.
I always say that it's good to have a 5-10lbs of weight that you can gain or lose and you're comfortable with it. 
Again, I have a small frame, so 10lbs is a lot, but I have 5lbs that I can play with.
I have been really into drinking infused water when I work out.
I don't like sugary anything, but water gets boring, so I like to spruce it up.
My favorite lately is water with English cucumber, lemon, and a sprig of fresh rosemary.
It's SO refreshing, and it makes it feel like Spring time (until I look out the window and see a pile of snow on our deck...ew).

And lastly, because I can't leave a photo of my precious daughter out of this post...
Here's a "selfie" she took with my phone...

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Needing Some Prayers

I took my son to the doctor today to get his hand looked at.
I hadn't touched the dressing that the burn unit had put on his hand, so it would be my first time seeing his little fingers.
Honestly, I didn't even look at his fingers at the hospital because I was so traumatized.
I remember glancing at these huge blisters that had formed on his tiny hands, and bawling.
The nurses wouldn't let me watch them pop the blisters and cut the dead skin off.
I was so distraught.
It's been two days now, so I thought I could handle it.
I held him down while the doctor delicately cut the dressing off to assess the wound.

A soon as I saw the last layer of gauze come off, I wanted to puke.
It was like something out of a horror movie.
As she reapplied the antibiotic ointment and redress it, my son started screaming in pain.
I started to shake and get dizzy.
I somehow managed to hold it together at the doctor's office.
It wasn't until I got out to the parking lot in my Jeep when the tears started coming uncontrollably.

Never in my life have I ever felt so irresponsible as a parent.
My four year old has never been to the ER for anything other than the occasional high fever.
Even with everyone telling me their horror stories with accidents with their children (some that sounded worse than my situation), it still doesn't make me feel better.

I know accidents happen, and kids get hurt.
It's part of growing up.
I just don't think my 5 month old needs an "accident" like this as part of growing up.
He won't remember this, and won't learn anything from it.

The doctor said these types of burns takes 3 weeks to heal.
I know God can heal on HIS own time.
I've been praying so hard for him to heal quickly and painlessly. 
I don't ask God for much.
Most of my prayers are prayers of thankfulness.
But'm needing some prayers for my son and for me.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I know I complain a lot about New England.
But I thought I'd address something today, because people are getting the wrong impression of my complaints.
First of all, I don't hate New England people.
I hate Boston drivers.
Even Bostonians hate Boston drivers...yeah...they all hate each other on the road there, and if you don't believe me...go attempt to drive there.
But New Englanders that we have met here and let into our lives have been extremely friendly.
I live on the friendliest street I've ever lived on, and we attend a church with some of the most welcoming and kind-hearted people I have ever met.
Some New Englanders tend to be pretty rough around the edges with their "Bah-ston accents", but I've gotten used to that.
That's just how they are here!
The guy at the deli yelled at me to hurry up with my order once, and I took it for rudeness.
After being back to that deli a few times, he still yells at me, but with a smile, a joke, and a genuine curiosity about how my kids are doing.
I get it.
It's the culture here.
I hate the roads IN Boston.
I hate New England winters.
That means I most likely will hate winter in Michigan, Maine, North Dakota, Alaska....basically anywhere in the world where snow is the norm during the winter. 
But I have never lived in any place that snows in the winter, so for now, I hate New England winters.
I could never, ever, ever permanently make a place with winters like here my forever home.
I get the winter blues really. bad. 
I can't live in a place where I'm only happy 6-8 months out of the year.
So I hope this straightened everything out for anyone who got the COMPLETE wrong impression.
And no, I won't stop complaining about the winter, because guess what?
It snowed all day yesterday, and we got another "burst of snow" today.
Our snow fall totals are more than Alaska this winter.
That isn't normal.....

And for those of you asking how my little man is doing...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My First Ambulance Ride

I sit here after an insanely crazy morning trying to figure out how to describe it.
My daughter is currently happily playing in her playroom, and my son is napping.
It leaves me here for the first time today with a little bit of peace.

This morning started off like any other crazy morning in my house with two kids and just me.
I normally start my Keurig for my morning coffee with my son on my hip, and my daughter seated at the breakfast bar.
I have a bumbo chair that I normally seat him in, but he was being extremely fussy, so I held him with one hand while trying to fix a bowl of cereal for my daughter with the other hand.
Before I knew it, my son started flailing his arms around, and I watched in slow motion his tiny little hand go straight under the coffee stream coming out of my Keurig.
It's crazy how everything seemed to go in "slo-mo", and instead of pulling his hand away quickly, I felt like he had his hand under that stream for an eternity before I snapped back into reality.
As soon as I pulled his hand away, he started crying this shrill cry of pain that I've never heard come out of him. 
I immediately turned the cold water on, and ran his fingers under it.
Next, I wrapped an ice cube in some paper towels and put it in his hand so he could hold onto it.
They looked a little red, and I thought, "phew, hopefully, this is as bad as it's gonna get."
After 25 minutes of his inconsolable, torturous cry, I looked at his fingers, and realized it was starting to form a little blister.
I panicked, and decided to take him into the ER by our house.
He screamed the entire way there, and when we got to the ER, as soon as I saw the front desk lady, I broke down in tears telling her my son had burned his hand.
He was screaming, I was crying...I had bed hair that I managed to whip into a crappy pony tail...we were a hot mess.
Thank God my daughter was being brave, and kept reassuring me that "it was ok".
She even kept singing the whole time to Mattis hoping her singing would calm him down.
The last thing we needed was all 3 of us to be a blubbering mess.

I felt like the worst mother ever.
I kept thinking in my head, "way to go, you idiot! you get the award for mom of the year!"
I felt horrible.

We were admitted immediately, and when the doctor came to look at it, he suggested because of the size of the blisters, he wanted us to go the the Children's Burn Unit at Shriner's in Boston.
I freaked out.
Burn unit?!
That's where they take seriously injured people!!!
When he realized how distraught I was, he called an ambulance for us.
I think the fact that I told him I get anxiety driving into Boston and the fact that there was an incoming snow storm made him realize we needed an ambulance.
He reassured me that he didn't think it was a bad burn, but because they specialize in burns in children, he thought it'd be best. 
By the time we were settled in the ambulance, the Tylenol had kicked in, and my little guy was fast asleep in his carseat on top of the stretcher.
It was the first time, I felt a little bit of peace, and the EMT awkwardly tried his best to comfort me. (he was a REALLY young guy, and I was probably some crying hot mess of a cougar to him)

So I didn't know this, but Shriner's Children's Burn Unit is one of THE best burn units in the country for children.
As soon as we got there, I was warmly welcomed by a team of nurses who were so upbeat, happy, and positive.
I felt immediately calm just because they made me feel like my son was the most important patient in the world.
They took Dannika to the supply room to get bandages and gauze for Mattis, and they even let her listen to his heart with their stethoscopes.
Dannika felt like "Doc McStuffins".
They opened the bandages from the first ER, and the blisters on his middle and ring finger had doubled in size.
I started having a panic attack, and again started bawling.
I kept telling them what a horrible mom I was.
Because the size of the blisters were so big, and they were on his tiny fingers, they decided it was best to pop the blisters.

The 5 minutes it took them to pop the blisters, treat them, and wrap his hands up were the 5 most agonizing minutes of my life!
My son was screaming in pain, and I felt absolutely helpless.

Afterwards, they discharged us, but I loved how they did not rush me out to the waiting area.
The nurses told me to nurse him for as long as I needed, and closed the door.
 They told me if I needed anything to call them.
They took Dannika out of the room, and played with her.
She came back a few minutes later with two stuffed animals that they had let her pick out for herself and Mattis.
Seriously, if every hospital had staff as chipper and happy as children's hospitals, the hospital wouldn't be such a bad place!

Then came the social worker.
I know why we have social workers, and I was so nervous.
I already felt like a horrible mom, and I was beating myself up over this.
I was afraid this social worker would make me feel the same.
She was so friendly, but at the same time, I could totally tell she was assessing the situation to make sure it wasn't a child abuse case.
Thank God my four year old could corroborate my story.

My amazing neighbor drove all the way down to Boston to pick us up, and he even offered to drive us into Boston for Mattis' next appointment.
He knows my fear of driving in Boston.

 So my son has second degree burns, and because it's a scald burn, they won't know the extent of the burn until 2-3 days.
We have an appointment back at Shriners on Thursday so they can assess it.
Until then, my son is stuck wearing a big sock over his little bandaged hand.
He doesn't even seem to realize the trauma that has happened this morning.
I think I'm more traumatized than he is.
I came home, looked at my Keurig, and seriously considered putting it away where I couldn't see it. 

I know accidents happen, and kids get hurt.
But it's hard when you were directly responsible for the injury.

Can I also add...
I was seriously amazed at the level of care we received at Shriners.
On my way home from the hospital, I walked through the lobby and saw a myriad of children with burns far more complex than my little guy's fingers.
It absolutely broke my heart.
With all these serious cases, the staff treated us like we were just as important as everyone else.
Seriously, an amazing hospital.
I seriously tip my hat to people who are willing to go into a profession working with sick and hurt children. 
There's no way I could be so positive all the time!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ice Dams?

 Ever heard of an ice dam?
Neither have I until I moved to this part of the country.
Basically, ice dams happen in your home when you get snow, the snow melts, the water runs into tiny little cracks and crevices on your roof, the water freezes overnight in the cracks, the next day, the water starts to melt (due to the sun or poor insulation), and it starts leaking into your house.
Yeah...we have those.
It's not fun to have leaks in random parts of your house. 
Oh, and we are expecting another 6-8 inches of snow tomorrow followed by rain towards the end of the week which could possibly make our little problem a big problem.
Nick is leaving today, and I was originally pretty pumped because it's his last week away.
But now that I have to deal with these ice dams and leaks, I'm not too happy about him leaving.

I've always thought Boston/New England would be a cool place to just visit.
There's so much history here and just some really cool things about it that you can't find anywhere else in the country.
Now that I've lived here, and it's put such a sour taste in my mouth, I'll be ok if I never come back to this part of the country ever again when Nick is done here.

I'm so over this.
As you can see, Mattis was not impressed with the snow or the snow attire.
He's definitely my son!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Late Valentine's Day Date (and a couple loose recipes)

Guess what?
I'm currently sitting ALONE in my living room with a nice hot cup of joe, and sipping it s-l-o-w-l-y.
The kids are upstairs in bed with the hubby, and I am enjoying this time alone.
It's pure bliss.

Did I mention we got MORE freaking snow?!
We seriously got like another 6 inches on top of the 12 we got on Thursday!
Again, if you are praying for snow, please stop!

I'm certainly glad that Nick was home this time, cause my daughter was in pure heaven having someone to play with outside in the white stuff.

I mean seriously...Nick definitely "one up'ed" me (times a thousand) when not only does he go OUT in the snow with Dannika, but he lays down in it too?!?

She had to dig her little tricycle out of the snow.

I bet you couldn't tell by this picture that Nick hates the snow too.

Oh, and just to cross it off the bucket list, I stepped in the snow yesterday.
This is the first and last time this Winter.

It's been really nice having parent #2 around to take this little guy off my hands.

Every Saturday, we go to ballet class, and Mattis wants to be held for the entire hour that we are there.
Not only does he want to be held, but every once in a while, he demands that you stand up and bounce him vigorously until your arms feel like they're about to fall off.
It gets very tiring, very fast.
It was nice to give that responsibility to daddy for once.

Before we got slammed with the snow, we did manage to get out of the house!
We started our morning with breakfast at this little diner in Natick called "Station 5 Grille".

We headed to the mall afterwards to do some favorite past time. :-)
Nick also wanted to take Dannika out for a Valentine's Day "day date", so we had lunch there too.
When I was deployed to Japan, I remember going to this adorable sushi place where you sat around the sushi bar, and plates of different kinds of sashimi and sushi were delivered to you via conveyor belt.
Each plate was color coded, and the price of the plate depended on the color of it.
We found a "conveyor belt sushi" place here in that Natick Mall called Wasabi.
It was totally nostalgic, and it took me back to Japan (except we were in a shopping mall in Massachusetts...but you know).

As the plates come around, if you see something you like, you take it off the belt.
At the end of your meal, the server takes your plates and adds up the total amount of your bill based on what color plates you have in front of you.
Pretty cool, huh?!

A date isn't a date without dessert.
Nick took Dannika to Crumbs cupcake shop in the mall for a devil's food cupcake.

And yes, that is a Princess Ana doll that my daughter insists has to go EVERYWHERE with us.

For our Valentine's Day date night, Nick and I decided to stay in and cook.
(I mean, even if we decided to go out, the snow would have prevented that).
We wanted alone time without the kids, so we put our son to bed at 7.
We got Dannika bathed and in her jammies, gave her a bowl of popcorn, and turned on Disney Jr. upstairs in our room.
We gave her strict instructions not to come downstairs...unless she was dying.
Her response was, "I KNOOOOOW mama! You and daddy are on a date...I KNOOOW!"
(I may have reminded her more than once not to come down....)
After it was just the two of us downstairs, it was pure uninterrupted bliss.
We sat down to an amazing glass of Rosé.

Homemade shrimp cocktail and raw brussel sprouts salad.

This brussel sprouts salad was amazing. 
I never thought of eating brussel sprouts raw in a salad form, but it was so good.
It has shaved brussel sprouts, shaved carrots, julienne green apple, and sliced scallions.
For the dressing, I whisked together 1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. 
My husband LOVED it.

For our main course, we had stuffed clam, filet mignon wrapped in bacon with sundried tomato butter, and roasted garlic and sundried tomato green beans with shallots.
The stuffed clam was the only thing not home made. 
I bought it at Whole Foods, and just popped it in the oven.
The filet mignon turned out amazing. 
I used sea salt and cracked pepper to season it, wrapped a slice of thing bacon around it, seared it for a minute on a hot pan on each side, and popped them in the oven at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.
They came out PERFECTLY medium.
The Sundried tomato butter on top of the filet was just unsalted butter, chopped sundried tomatoes, minced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
For the green beans, I cooked bacon until it was crispy, sauteed shallots in the bacon fat, and added the green beans.
I then added chopped roasted garlic (that I bought premade from the Whole Foods olive bar), and chopped sundried tomato.
I then put a lid over it, and let it steam a little.
Definitely nothing healthy about these dishes!
With as health conscious as we are in this house, we do like to indulge every once in a while for special occasions.

The night was perfect.
We enjoyed drinks.
We talked about life, love, kids, and work.
We laughed uncontrollably.
Having uninterrupted time alone without kids getting in the way really made me appreciate being married to my best friend.
It felt like we were the two 24 year olds that met 6 years ago on the rifle range just flirting with each other.
I can't wait till next Valentine's Day, my love!