Friday, October 24, 2014

Lunch love.

Sometimes there are things that happen that are so Mom-errific that all you can do is beam with pride and chuckle. And also blog about it.

I put my first love note in Alex's lunch box last week, smiling ever-so-smugly to myself as I thought "I am SO nailing this Mom thing." *high five self* You know, because he's been in school nearly two months and I'm just now putting a note in his lunch. In my defense, he eats hot lunch every day--so technically it was the FIRST time I packed his lunch. Winning.

When we got home that day, we started our daily ritual of going through his folder to talk about his day, what he learned, and look at all his papers. Then, with an ear-to-ear smile he said, "Mom! I got your love note and it made me so happy. I even wrote you back!"

He pulled the note out of his folder and unfolded it carefully--with such pride in his work--and handed it to me as if was the most precious gift in the world. And to be honest, it was.

This was my original note.
He wrote "Alex" on the top
and "Dad" by the heart.

This is the rest of his reply on the back of my note.

It's hard to see it all, because he wrote in pencil and my marker bled through the backside of the paper, but at the top he wrote "Deeaal" which is such a hilarious capture of his personality right now. EVERYTHING is dealmaking with him. Sometimes he doesn't quite get what a "deal" is and will use his mad negotiating skills to get to bed 5 minutes earlier...and he thinks he "won." It's so funny.

My heart parts were ALL OVER as he shared with me what and how he wrote me back. You can see he also wrote "Alex," "Dad," "Mom," and drew a heart and a smiley face just like I did in my note.

What a Mommy milestone. I got my first love note from my boy and I'm so proud. Saving it foreverandeverandever, then end.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Harper and the Hippo.

WUT?! 12 months!?!?

Real talk: I've been in denial about it. All of these "firsts" with Harper are also "lasts" for me as a Mom, so that's been super mega weird to deal with. But we're not here for my therapy session, are we? We're here for this little lady:

Oh my. I know for 12 months all we've talked about is how happy she is - and I must repeat myself for the 12th glorious time: she's just filled to the brim with joy. That's not to say she doesn't have her own, very strong personality--because she does. This girl is fierce, she is strong, she is dramatic and she is determined. But she wears the cape and crown well and uses her powers mostly for good.

But to use an Alex-ism, there are times when she's "just not that into it." Exhibit A:

Patience is not her virtue.

In terms of other milestones, she has taken a few steps here and there, but we have yet to capture any of them on camera. Secretly I think she's waiting for a full-on YouYube contract and her 10% off the top. She's still rocking her two bottom teeth with no others in sight but will eat anything you put in front of her with reckless abandon. Current favorites are green grapes, blueberries, cheese and avocado.

Happy birthday my sweet, baby girl. The day you were born is the day our family became complete. Your Daddy, Alex and I love you a million billion and back again. You are my heart, and I am yours. xo.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Halloween preview.

One of our most fun family traditions is going to the Detroit Zoo Boo. We've gone every year with my parents since Alex was born with the exception of last year--because, you know, I was in the hospital doing some other things--but Alex and Samuel still went with Grammi & Poppi.

This year was another great memory maker. We had fabulous weather and I must say, my ladybug and train engineer were two of the cutest trick-or-treaters around!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Today I am sad. I am angry. I am confused. I am heartbroken.

Last night, we learned that the baby brother of Alex's best friend at school died over the weekend. It was a SIDS-related tragedy that has left an entire family heartbroken.

Listen, I know there's a lot wrong with this world, and so much of the "big" stuff has our attention right now. And usually I'm here to write about the funny and the crazy and bring a little levity to the world. But this? This won't make the news. This won't be in the paper.

But it is here. Here for you to read about and here for you to pray over. Please pray for this mother, this father, this brother--that they may feel the peace and grace of Jesus in this time of unfathomable despair and anger.

Bless you, baby Jack. You were the sweetest little red headed bundle of joy and I will pray for your Mommy, Daddy, and brother every day. Amen.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

That one time I ran and wasn't being chased by a bear.

I have this friend. Her name is Keliann and she tricks me into agreeing to do things that I would otherwise probably not do. Like running. She has big boobs and I think she uses them to hypnotize me, but whatever.

Keliann convinced me that a 5K on my resume would be a good thing. "You'll be so proud of yourself!" she swore to me. And to make her argument more compelling, she insisted that it should be a Color Run. Because, you know, they're fun.

And so, during the wee hours of this most recent Saturday morning, I put on some ridiculously obnoxious spandex pants (violation of life #1) and a white tee shirt (#2) and ran (#3) ~3.1 miles to a loud and colorful finish line.

And you know what? It was sort of fun. And I almost liked it.

In no way does this classify me as a "runner" and you can also take it to the bank that I ate nothing but Dairy Queen the following day as a reward because all my parts and pieces hurt...but I DID it.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The #SkimmLife.

From time to time I like to share things that make my life easier and smarter to help you make your life easier and smarter. See also: beverages containing tequila, beauty products 101crafty home things, and even the occasional Halloween costume life hack.

Rarely am I serious and rarely are my helpful tips and tricks related to real life. But recently I came across a company called theSkimm--and it's my new morning addiction. It's a daily (free) email newsletter that quickly breaks down current events, world trends and pretty much anything "now"—and it’s written with snark, wit and humor. And the co-founders? Two smart, sassy ladies who are taking the news world by storm.

Click here or the image above to sign up. All you need is an email address. And that's all they'll ever ask for!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Regarding Kindergarten.

With just over 3 weeks of Kindergarten under our belts, I've taken the time and energy to come out from hiding underneath my kitchen table clutching a bottle of Don Julio to discuss how our world has changed. Kindergarten is a wonderful, magical place. But there's also a shitload of crap that nobody really wants to talk to you about. But me? Oh you know I want to talk about it.

First, we'll discuss the restroom. Oh yes. Kindergartners still go poop, did you know that? And did you also know that because of the relatively sick and twisted world we live in, they're pretty much left to their own devices to do this? Alex knows how to wipe himself, make no mistake about that. But if the kid who sits next to him doesn't know how? Dear Lord. A situation.

Next, let's discuss lunch. Alex attends before (and after) school latchkey, so in addition to hot lunch, he's also offered a hot breakfast. Nice, right? I've noted before that he has a hollow leg and will eat anything that's not nailed down, so getting him to eat the school food is not the problem. Getting him to not eat ALL the school food is the problem. You see, he has an online account that I place funds in, and every time he visits his girlfriends (aka the lunch ladies) they deduct money from his account. Either he's eating very, very well, or I'm funding the head chef's 2015 family trip to Greece.

Recess is a whole 'nother situation. They play outside, sure. But where? When? I have no idea. And if he forgets to bring home one more jacket I'll probably lose my mind.

I cannot even discuss the PTO at this moment in time. Don Julio and I will be back for another sesh on that in a week or so. At the end of the day, it's very nice people doing very nice things. But the efficiency-obsessed Type A in me just doesn't have the patience.

In summary, Alex is loving everything about Kindergarten. He's certain he's going to marry his teacher someday and is really thriving. I'm so proud of him. As for me? I also love his teacher, but will stop short of a marriage proposal. I also have control issues that I'm working through and wishing for the easy, scheduled days with Aunt Jane.

I try to be a very "go with the flow" kind of person, and I swear I'm not a helicopter Mom...but I really just miss him. I miss knowing the names and faces of all his friends and getting all of his silly inside jokes. This is why I'd like to just strap a Go Pro to his head and call it a day. Do you think the public school system would be into that?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Harper and the hippo.

ELEVEN MONTHS...exsqueeze moi? How am I already planning a 1st birthday party for this bundle of sass?! It's not just a river in Egypt, is what I'm saying.

Oh that mischievous little look on her face says it ALL about 11 months. She very much understands the word "no" and very much does not like to hear it. She has the BEST b*tch face and if she didn't put on such a show every time the cameras came out, I'd have a photo of it here to share with you. (Diva,  I'm telling you.) Want a mental picture? Imagine Grumpy Cat but that face above. That's as accurate as I can get with it.

Other notable updates include a TOOTH! She's got one rogue little chomper coming through on her bottom gums and if her crankiness and fondness of chewing on everything of late is any indication, there's a whole set of dentures to follow shortly.

Also, she thinks she can walk...and while I admire her persistence, the reality of the situation is that she cannot walk. Hence the recent meeting of her forehead with the business end of our kitchen cabinets:

One thing is for certain: this girl is confident if nothing else. Where Alex was a shy, reserved and quiet baby, Harper would like everyone to know she's in the room and to pay attention to her always. I suppose she gets that from her Dad? Ha.

Happy 11 months, our sweet girl! Your bright eyes and sweet smile continue to brighten the world, our world.

P.S. - Here's Alex at 11 months for comparison.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A tribute.

A week from today, this smart, handsome and confident little boy starts kindergarten. I'm so proud of him.


Among other things, he tells me he can't wait to play on the playground, pick out his lunches and learn from his new teacher.

The key word there being "new," because he's had a teacher for the last 5 years and she is wonderful. Beyond wonderful, in fact. It's funny that most of my emotions around Alex going to kindergarten aren't centered around what he's going to; they're focused on what he's leaving.

I've raved more than once about how incredible Mrs. Davis' Daycare is, but it's also important to acknowledge that it's so much more for Alex. For Joe and me, it is a place where we knew he was safe, he was learning, and he was growing. But for Alex, it was his world. It's where he made his first friends, and learned how to BE a friend. It's where he learned to read and write his name. It's where he learned how to wash his hands and to be polite. He was encouraged to pray before meals, to honor our country and respect all people.

Aunt Jane (and yes, even Uncle Tom) have been much, much more than "just a daycare" for us. They're part of the village that has helped to shape and mold our Alex into the smart, creative and eager boy that he is. And for that I'm eternally thankful.

The wonderful news is that this isn't "goodbye" to our Aunt Jane, because Miss Harper will still be at Mrs. Davis' Daycare. I've half joked that she can stay there until she goes to College, but each day the idea sounds more appealing.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Welcome, Daniel Isaac!

On August 18 at 9:37 am, little Daniel Issac joined the party at 21 inches long and 8 lbs., 14 oz. He's sweet as pie and is so loved by many already, but it should be noted that I spent >20 hours in a car to meet him, so I feel like "Best Auntie" was an earned title. Note: I still loathe toll roads, all of Canada and public restrooms. But this boy? Love him.

In related news, I recently started having a love affair
with hot rollers. Best life idea, ever.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Harper and the Hippo.

Hello lovelies! Long time no see. So much has happened since we last chatted. We went on a special Alex-only trip to Chicago to celebrate Kindergarten and on Monday Alex and Harper got another new cousin! More on both of those later...

Let's chat about this little spark of sass, shall we?

She's 10 months old and all up in errybody's business. Still nary a tooth in sight (le sigh) but she's learned she can gum anything to death and pretty much eats what we eat now. And all the people said, "amen!" 

At her 9 month well visit we finally saw some growth outside that 30% mark, which I think is due in part to little Miss Piggy eating entire chicken breasts for dinner, but no matter. She's much more confident in pulling herself up on things and has really started to interact with her toys more. Her personality remains that of a 13 year old, and I've resigned myself to the fact that she's basically a carbon copy of me and I should accept the circle of life.

Truly, she's a joy. It's impossible to be around her and not smile or giggle right along. Additionally, she's hardcore winning at life in the hair department and her eyelashes are nothing short of unfair. I'm so proud to be her Momma.

"Oh, herro dere."

"Who, me?"

Such sweetness.

A true capture of the moment.
Girl's got places to go and toys to find!

P.S. - Here's Alex at 10 months. I CAN'T WITH THE TEETH.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Life, death and woodchucks.

Lately, Alex has been VERY into questions and learning all about everything. It sounds super weird and morbid, but his latest fascination is death. Not particularly HOW people die (i.e. I'm not talking to my 5 year old about murder and guns and blood and gore), but what happens after you die "because you're old" ..and what it means to go to Heaven and to have your body die and be buried here on earth, but your spirit and soul in Heaven with Jesus. We covered a lot of that last week, talking specifically about his GG (which he can relate to and where most of the questions stem from because he knew his GG before he died--of old age--and understands his death and that GG is in Heaven but his body is buried on Earth in a cemetery).

Last night on the way home from daycare, he was very quiet. This is unusual, so I asked him, "Whatcha thinking about, bud?"

Right away, he responds with, "If GG's body is in the ground, but his Spirit is in Heaven with Jesus, how did it get there? How did they separate?"

Oh boy.

I know. He's five. FIVE. Being his Mom is hard sometimes because he thinks everything through. Thoroughly. Most kids would have been totally satisfied with the standard "body goes in the ground and spirit goes to Heaven" answer, but he has to know HOW that happens.

We spent the next few miles talking about that--him asking more questions and me giving the most honest, sensible answers that I could for his mind to grasp. I'm into reality as a parenting style. Judge away. He seemed completely satisfied with my answers, so I asked him one last time, "Bud, do you have any more questions for Mommy? I'll answer anything you want."

Giggling from the backseat, he asks...

"How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?"

And that, my friends, is how we do in the VeeDub household. Deep, meaningful conversations about the afterlife straight into silly, unanswerable tongue twisters.

But if you were curious, the answer is: about 700 pounds on a good day, with the wind at his back.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Harper and the Hippo.

We've hit the "out as long as she was in milestone." NINE MONTHS, y'all...and someone is super excited about it.

This girl. She's...ridiculous. She's very nosy and social and must be the center of all the things at all times. If you are paying even the slightest bit of attention to the smallest of things...albeit the tomato plant across the patio or the laundry that needs folding, she's all, "Exsqueeze me? Please pay more attention to me. I am the cutest ruler of this household." And so it goes.

Still no signs of teeth, but she'll nom anything she can get her cabbage patch paws on to death until it's a mushy mound of swallowable goo. Bananas are still a menu favorite, but she's also keen on avocado and watermelon. As noted above, her personality is enormous, and people stop us everywhere we go to comment on her: a) smile b) eyes 3) laugh and d) all of the above.

And yes...if you were wondering, she's totally rocking her Heelarious high heels from Aunt Caitlin. Diva, right here.

"These are very fancy."

"My contractual obligations are up!
I'm outta here. Have your people call my people."

P.S. - Here's Alex at 9 months, for comparison.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hey girl, hey.

Ooohh weee! Things have been rather quiet around here lately, haven't they? Well, I promise it's not because I'm hiding any life revelations or grand secrets, but more because I've honestly just been bizzy as a bee and loving every minute. (And also, if we're being totally honest, I've done what most every other blogger on earth has done and transitioned a lot of my random thoughts/pictures/musings over to Instagram. Join me?)

What a summer we've had! I took a week-long trip to DC for work but also rather coincidentally got to spend time with my bestie for 7 straight days. We haven't done that since high school and it was kind of amazing.

I also had Lasek surgery back in May, and have threatened more than once to blog about it. I'm sure I'll never actually get around to it, so rest easy knowing that 1) I can see; b) I don't regret it; and 3) I still reach for my glasses every morning out of sheer habit.

Last weekend, we had a family reunion for my Dad's side of the crazies family--the Talicska clan.

We even made shirts for the occasion, which might seem confusing to normal people but they totally make sense to us. I'm uncertain as to whether or not that hotel will have us back, but it was a great weekend!

And, as you know, my brother and SIL had their sweet baby boy, Michael, in June and we're planning our next trip to Connecticut for when my sister has her baby boy in August. BABIES. BABIES EVERYWHERE.

My own children continue to be the cutest things with two legs and eyeballs on earth, and it's hard to believe that Alex starts school in the fall. (Hold me.) We're taking him on a very special trip to Chicago this weekend in preparation. Just him and us. Special requests from a 5 year old include: taking the train, hotel with a pool (on the roof!) and a trip to the beach. I also think I'm going to blow his mind with a taxi ride. Being a parent is the funnest.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Welcome to the family, Michael!

My sweet and littlest nephew, Michael Andrew, was born June 20 at 3:46 pm. He was a perfect 8 lbs. 4.6 oz. and 21 in. long.

He's the perfect addition to our family and we love him so much!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Harper and the Hippo.

The irony of this moment is not lost on me. I sit here typing my baby girl's 8 month update from the lobby of the hospital as we all wait for the arrival of my brother and SIL's very first baby, "Rookie."

He and Jill are in the room that will change their life forever. They're Exhausted. Overjoyed. Anxious. The warming table is empty and waiting for our sweet Rookie. Kyle's pacing the floor. Jill is as comfy as she can be in her bed & loving the epidural through the contractions. I'm so proud of them.

I remember that day and those moments before we had Alex. You don't know what you don't know, but all you know is that you want your baby NOW. Or yesterday. You want to just bypass all the crazy and skip right to being a family. It's the worst and best kind of limbo.

And here I sit, five years after my "limbo" with two little munchkins. One who is 5 going on 17 and is kind, funny, loving and sweet. And another who is a bucket full of sugar and sass and is eight months. Time, you are a jerk.

This sweet angel has made quite a bit of progress over the last month. She scooting in an "I can get myself from here to there but it's not exactly crawling" sort of way. She loves her bouncer and exersaucer and her personality is the size of a 3 year old. 

And the girl can EAT. She has a very strong opinion (and lets us know it) about dinner. She knows what we're giving her is flavorless mushy crap, and she is like I WANT RIBS! I WANT TACOS! I keep telling her that as soon as she grows a tooth, I'll be happy to oblige. Girl loves bananas, though.

In summary, she's an absolute delight. Sleeps and eats like a dream, but mighty me she's going to be a HANDFUL. She's a mover, a shaker and a talker. Basically, she's me in a tiny little nugget body and diapers. What's that they say? Karma...

P.S. - Here's Alex at 8 months.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

I spent the better part of last week home on the couch, resting my eyes after Lasek surgery. (More on the later, but the good news is I can sort of see to type this blog post.)

Anyway, all my favorite friends from the Today Show were running a special series called "Modern Dads" in advance of Father's Day. It was all very cool and hip--with Willie, Al, Carson and Matt going fishing and drinking beers, talking all mushy about their dads, what they've done differently and what it's like to be a "Modern Dad."

They reminisced about how their fathers did not change diapers. Or clean. Or do dishes. Or show affection. Or pretty much do ANYTHING other than work and "be the man" of the household.

Let me just say right here and now that I hope this "Modern Dad" thing is a trend and that all women can experience the awesomeness that is a true and equal partner in every sense of the word. I can promise you that if Joe didn't change diapers Harper would be sitting in a lot of pee. And if he didn't do dishes we'd use paper plates. And if he didn't hug and kiss our children, they would not be the happy little clams that they are.

In every sense of the word. Joe is the glue that holds my shit together. That is very real, and although I'm probably not very great at showing it all the time, it is my truth...and I cherish him for it.

I have what some consider that rare gem of a "Modern Dad." He cooks. He cleans. He changes diapers. He romances me. He cuddles our babies. Basically, he does All The Things. In stark contrast, I order pizza, pay someone else to clean and 90% of the time lovingly convince him it's "his turn" for the poopy diapers. I'm chaotic, moody, messy and a little bit crazy, but he doesn't seem to mind.

What I'm trying to say ever so eloquently is that today is Joey Day. He's a wonderful father and husband who is "in it to win it" with me. In every sense of the word, we are partners and I'm so thankful.

I'd also be remiss today to not mention the wonderful man that is my OWN father. In an era where the "Modern Dad" was probably not as prevalent, I had the privilege having a Dad who didn't flinch when I asked him to carry a tampon in his coat jacket for me, or to hug and kiss me goodbye as I went off to school. To this day, he's very much the bar I hold all other men to...and that's a relatively high achievement for anyone!

So, cheers to you, Modern Dads everywhere! Thanks for rolling into the 20th Century. We appreciate you!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Where it all began.

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I'd share a glimpse into how it all began with Alex and Harper's Mommy and Daddy.

We're that couple. We met at work. It was awkward and secret and totally not how any relationship should probably start, but it makes for some great stories and even better memories.

Our first actual conversation was totally staged. And recorded. The company we both worked for was filming and photographing a product for an upcoming ad campaign, and instead of hiring models, they used real employees as "background people."

I knew he was going. He knew I was going. We both knew everyone wanted to set us up. AWKWARD.

Then, to make matters worse (better?), the photographer randomly "posed" us together as a couple chatting in the background "because we looked right together." So there's that. We probably should add him to our Christmas card distribution.

Totally normal first date, right?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

An emergent situation.

So how was your Memorial Day, lovelies? Ours had all the makings of a fun and relaxing Monday. Here's how it started:

Peaceful, right? We were at Joe's friend Scott's place for the day...looking forward to boat rides, swimming and a cookout. From that dock, Alex ran all the way up to the house, SO excited to tell us about the fish he saw. And then he tripped on the sidewalk and went face first into the very unforgiving cement edge of the first step.

I'll spare you the photos of the wound, because ewwww they are mega gross (text me if you really want to see them), but suffice it to say we spent the first half of the day in Urgent Care and the second half in the ER. (Urgent Care was closest to the lake house, and they suggested we go to the hospital for a CT scan, but once there, it was suggested we opt not to expose his little body to that much radiation when he wasn't exhibiting any signs of brain damage. Was still a valuable trip, though, because the  ER docs took out the glue the Urgent Care docs used and stitched him up, instead. Hopefully that will lessen what's sure to be a pretty badass scar.) It might also be worth noting that I spent the day pretty much covered in blood, but I'm super proud of my Betty Homemaker skills because that brand new white shirt I opted to wear for the holiday? You'd never know it spent the day as a replacement for gauze. Bleach ninja, right here.

We never did get that boat ride. Or the swimming. But we are so thankful that our boy is on the mend and that it wasn't worse.