Toddler Talk

This is from a million years ago. I always planned to add to it but never managed. I wanted to publish it such as it is because I was so tickled to read it. From July of 2013!

Jack: MOM! I’m a pizza!
Me: A pizza?
Jack: Mom, you will cook me the pizza and Harper… Harper will put dough on me the pizza!

Jack: Uncle Matt is at his house. (Nate was on the phone with Uncle Matt)
Me: Yes.
Jack: Are Molly and Mareyna there too? (His cousins)
Me: Yes. We’re going to go visit them in March, won’t that be fun?
Jack: Do they have a play room?
Me: Yes.
Jack: Is it upstairs or downstairs?
Me: It’s downstairs. They don’t have an upstairs, isn’t that neat?
Jack: … Do they have an outside?

A Milk Protein Allergy

So I guess as a third baby trying to distinguish himself as a unique person and not a smaller version of his brother or sister, Zane has a milk protein allergy. It started with a little streak of blood in his poop where I was told not to worry unless it happened again within the next few days. And so i hoped it was a fluke but apparently it was not.

The first doctor I saw (not my kids’ regular doctor) suggested I try him on formula for a few weeks while pumping to make sure that was the problem, but I have had a terrible relationship with the pump in the past and was afraid to dry up my milk. Zane is a huge baby, like 85th percentile weight, so obviously the allergy wasn’t stopping him from growing, but after having cut dairy from my diet it seems like it has improved his digestive health. I would even go so far as to say improved our night time sleep. Except for the last few nights with another hiccup or two he’s spent the last few weeks after the elimination waking up one time between his 9ish feeding and 7am. I mean it was a damn Christmas miracle (until 2 nights ago, we’ve been back to 2 wake ups and occasional in between fussing). So given the fact that it’s cold and flu season I’ve been pretty determined to eliminate dairy and keep nursing. Also given his stubborn refusal to sleep through the night I’ll be damned if I’m mixing bottles in the middle of the night. I’ll reconsider at 6 months probably but for now I’m surviving without dairy, but just barely. Sadly it’s in everything. Thank goodness milk is now listed under allergens on most food things.

I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but man is it hard! I’ve been planning my first day back on dairy. Dreaming even. Bagel with cream cheese, maybe a chocolate chip muffin. Coffee with creamer, regular or non dairy (wtf non dairy creamer, why must you have dairy??). Pizza! Holy cow the pizza. And cookies and brownies and chocolate and Doritos. At some point our regular doc suggested I try some dairy and see how he does. I freaking can’t wait.

In the mean time I’ve been using vanilla almond milk in my cereal, French vanilla coconut creamer in my coffee, vegan buttery spread (which made my snickerdoodles smell and taste oddly fishy) and I even tried almond mozzarella cheese which I seriously do not recommend. I was desperate for pizza but I will go heavy on the toppings and cheeseless in the future! I’m glad being a vegan is so in right now.

I also find myself googling fast food ingredients to see what’s safe because I know I won’t be able to avoid it for a whole year although it has forced me to cut back which isn’t all bad.

In summary, I miss dairy and it’s a good thing this guy is so cute!


Third Try’s a Charm!

In Feb 2008 Nate and I moved into a fabulous house in Apex, NC. It was big, it was pretty, it seemed like the last house we would ever need to live in and since it was next to an undeveloped commercial lot we felt like we got a pretty good deal on it.

In 2010 after Jack was born we started thinking maybe not. It was still a great house but the yard was crazy small and it would be nice to have a bigger yard and maybe be in a neighborhood with a pool and other fun kid things, so we put the house on the market for the first time.  Jack was a very little baby, we had very few lookers and gave up after a few months.

In 2012 Harper was born and we repeated the process with similar results. Apparently the empty lot next door which really never bothered us much was a deal breaker for a lot of people. So once again we took the house back off the market figuring if we were going to be stuck in a house it was a pretty great house to be stuck in.

Fast forward to 2014 and we were pregnant with baby 3 and everywhere you looked there were news stories about the real estate market and how there were more buyers than houses and what a great time it was to sell your house and so we talked to our very patient realtor and went back on the market. Holy cow those news articles were right! We maybe averaged one showing a week the first two times we tried to sell the house and this time it was at least 3-5? I think it took us 1.5 months or so, about 50 showings total to sell the house, but we actually managed to sell it! And then came the hard part.. finding a house to buy!

That doesn’t seem like it would be the hard part, right? Seems like it should be the fun part but man it was hard. I wish I had kept a count of how many we looked at.. maybe 20? Some good, some bad, some astoundingly awful. In the end we put offers on 3 houses total before one stuck. The first house the people weren’t willing to negotiate much and we felt they were over priced so we sadly walked away. (They wound up selling like two months later for less than what we offered so we weren’t the only ones thinking they were over priced!) The second house was a new build and we submitted a competing offer and lost, and the third house was one we walked through the first time and said ‘too much work!’ and almost didn’t go back to. Fortunately we were getting pretty desperate so we gave it a second chance and chose to see the potential over the amount of work, all of which was/is cosmetic.

And then we moved! I was 6 months pregnant by then so I wasn’t the most helpful mover in the world, but we managed and I have to say it’s pretty fabulous at the new house! Great house, huge yard awesome family friendly neighborhood. We really lucked out. 

Plus the house has enough future home improvement potential that we should be able to find fun projects to keep us busy, in case we ever get bored or find ourselves with free time with 3 kids. We’ll see. 🙂 We’ve already tackled several projects and I’m making a list of a ton more for.. some day!

Oh, So it’s Going to be One of Those Days?

It all started off normal enough… and with a plan!

The Plan:
1. My mom picks kids up at 9
2. Vacuum house quick shower
3. 10:45, go drop dog off for boarding
4. 11:15 Arrive at Jersey Mikes to pick up lunch on my way to
5. 11:30 Hair appointment with Meg
6. At some point the shipping company would call 30 minutes before delivering Harper’s big girl bed giving me plenty of time for the 15 minute from home from the salon.

1. My mom picks kids up at 9
2. Vacuum house, world’s fastest shower, too warm for pants must shave legs
3. 11:00, go drop dog off for boarding. Forgot dog’s chow and meds! Fail.
4. 11:30 Hair appointment with Meg
5. 12:30 (aka, right before getting my hair shampooed and dried) get a call from the shipping company saying they’re at my house and no one is home.
7. Get hair shampooed and drive home as quickly as legally safe, curse all stop lights.
8. Thank driver SO MUCH for waiting, get delivery of Harper’s bed
9: 1:10, get in car to drive dog’s chow and meds to vet. See that vet takes a 1 hour break from 1:30 to 2:30. Drive quickly and make it by 1:20.

So yeah. That was my (partial) day. Time to go take a nap!

I Went to Target at 8:30 on Christmas Eve

In my defense, I had my Christmas shopping done before December. With the exception of a few things I spontaneously purchased after.. my major shopping was DONE! I was extremely proud of myself.

Flash forward to Christmas Eve.

After going to my parents’ house for dinner and gifts we got home, fed the pets, tucked the kids into bed and got to work on Santa-ing and assembling. My job was to pack up some old toys to make room to unpack the new toys upstairs and assemble the crock pot breakfast casserole (which was much better than a previous one I made, but still in my opinion no comparison to a regular one). Nate’s job was to assemble the scooters. Harper’s scooter went together without a hitch but then when Nate opened the box for Jack’s we were in for a surprise. A surprise in that it was obviously a used scooter. Like, parts out of packaging, and major wear on the wheels. I was so disappointed! It was 8:30 on Christmas Eve and I will DEFINITELY check packaging from now on when I buy something.

So off to Target I went to hopefully trade it out for an actual new scooter that Jack would probably never notice the difference on, but WE NOTICED. Nate said Target was open til 9 but I thought surely no one would be there at 8:30 on Christmas Eve. I should have known better. I noticed the Walgreens down the street from my house was PACKED, but somehow did not equate that to Target also being pretty dang busy. And it certainly was. Fortunately while everyone and their brother was pushing around shopping carts of stuff and there were a million check out lines open, the customer service area was empty. I was completely convinced they would be sold out on Christmas Eve but they had 6 in stock and I managed to get in, and out, and back home within about 15 minutes. I think that’s a new record for me at a Target!

So thank you, Target, for being open late Christmas Eve, even though the only reason I needed you to be open late Christmas Eve is because you put stuff back out on the shelf without checking it out first! If you’re going to resell used stuff, at least mark it used and maybe consider discounting it too. No one wants to be surprised by a used scooter for their kid on Christmas Eve.

Hey Look, it’s Winter!

So, funny story. I just was checking on unpublished posts and I found one called “Hey Look, it’s Fall!” Only it’s really practically winter so I guess I missed the boat on that one, huh? At least we’re rolling back around to the new year now so I can attempt another “Will Blog More” news years resolution, because that obviously worked out really well for me last year. At least I did stick to my other resolution to exercise more!

Back to my point, which was sort of winter. Today is Jack’s first cough and sniffles of the season. I’m frankly shocked since he’s in preschool two days a week now and they both do other activities around other kids who presumably have germs. It seemed like illness was holding out a really long time this year, but I was too afraid to say it out loud and jinx myself. Then I actually thought about it and realized that they had plenty of viruses over the summer to make up for missing a few in early winter.

So I did a search and made him a hot honey and lemon drink for his cough and he was SUPER excited about it until it was ready to drink. I tried it, it was actually really good and he won’t touch it. I feel like I’ve been duped! I opened the NC Honey bear we got from the fair and used the last of my lemon juice and he said he feels fine. Which he probably does because he has no fever, but can’t he at least try it??


A Change of Plans (Again).

Last Thanksgiving we were going to go to Kentucky to visit Nate’s family. Then Jack got sick, Harper got sick, and finally Nate and I got sick and we had to reschedule.

In March, we were all ready for our next attempt at Kentucky! And then couple of days before we were due to leave Jack came down with a fever. Really? What horrible timing. So we gave it a couple of days hoping he’d get better but it was a stubborn fever so we caved and rescheduled.

So fast forward to today. Or yesterday to be more accurate. My mom was watching the kids and I packed 500 bags (holy cow kids have a lot of stuff) and about 15 minutes before dinner Jack started getting really clingy and when he came to sit in my lap and he felt like he was on fire! I swear at my mom’s house he seemed fine. We even went to visit Meg at work on our way home because she was out of town last weekend and wanted to see them before we went out of town for a long weekend. I took his temperature and it was 102.4. How unfortunate!

We talked about it after bedtime. We did NOT want to cancel again. We also did not want to take a sick kid in the car for 9 hours to visit other kids who could then get sick. So I crossed my fingers that as suddenly as it came on it would burn off over night. It did not.

Jack woke up at 5:20 asking to tinkle (which is unusual, I think he just already wasn’t sleeping well) and while he was up I took his temp. Back up to 102.7. SIGH. So no Kentucky for us. We sent Nate on by himself which is sad. I wish we could go too, Jack is pretty disappointed not to see his cousins.

And really I can’t believe he’s sick! He has no obvious symptoms right now, so we’ll see how it goes.

Fun with Motion Sickness

Yesterday was supposed to be a super fun day. I was going to take the kids for a walk, then take them to the pool and it was going to be AWESOME!

Instead, Jack BEGGED to go to the park before the pool, and not just any park. He wanted to go to Kelly Road Park (which is unfortunately also the closest park to us that is the farthest from the pool). So we left for our walk at 8:40, by 9:15 we were at the park and then by 9:40 I was loading kids into the car to go to the pool (pool opens at 10).

We were pulling into the parking lot at the pool by 9:55 and all of a sudden as we were looking for a parking spot Jack started throwing up. In his car seat. I parked quickly on the outer loop of the parking lot and started to assess the mess. My first thought was we picked up a virus on our way home from Georgia on Sunday, but then it hit me. The tire swing. It was the last thing he played on before getting in the car. Spinning, and spinning, and spinning and spinning. Some people can take it, some people can’t. Jack comes from a long line of people who can’t take it and in hindsight I wish I had considered that before putting him directly in the car and driving to the pool.

Poor kid was a mess. I got him out of the car and wiped up the applesauce puke (thank god that was his snack) the best I could. I changed his clothes and wiped him down and then we drove home. He went immediately inside to lay down on the sofa and I kept Harper in the garage with me while I cleaned up the mess. I had to take the car seat out so I could take the cover off to wash. I had to wash the towel that was wedged under the car seat and 2 sets of clothes since he had to sit in the pukey seat on his way home too (but with burp cloths and stuff between him and the seat). I scrubbed the seat straps and the seat of my car. It was something else.

After about 20 minutes (it was also time consuming) he came outside into the garage feeling better. Aside from the fact that I made us take it easy for the rest of the day which involved playing inside and more TV than usual he had a pretty normal rest of his day.

So, important life lesson learned! Tire swings are just as awful and evil as I remember them being as a child, and Jack will not be allowed to play on them and then get directly into the car ever again!

Summer Fun (aka, Living at the Park)

Jack finished preschool a couple of weeks ago and all other regularly scheduled local activities have shut down to make way for summer camps, so we’ve been spending a lot of time at the various parks in the area. Also, I finally caved and bought a double jog stroller (which I tried jogging with and they should really call them “walk strollers” because anyone who can jog while pushing 55lbs of kid in a 30lb stroller must be WAY more fit than I am. Maybe someday, but until then we walk and I dread hills, both the ups and downs).

So today’s itinerary was similar to most of our morning summer plans, “let’s go to the park and take a walk on the greenway then play til we have to go home for lunch.”

We had never walked on this greenway before, so it was all new. I had been told it crossed the highway and before too long we were there!


Overlooking the highway, the kids were fascinated but man was it loud!


Then a funny thing happened on our walk… we found another park! Of course we had to stop and play for a little while. Then we headed back. Total we only managed 1.3 miles instead of the 2 I had hoped for, but we had to be back to the main park in time to meet GiGi and I didn’t want to miss a chance for them to play at this fun little park, so we cut our walk short.


GiGi met us back at the park around 10 and Harper enjoyed climbing into and out of the stroller (among other things).


A good portion of our park time was spent playing in the sand box. Although there was a field trip of some sort to the park which left some areas completely overrun by bigger kids, this corner of the park was sparsely populated so Jack felt safe getting out his sand toys (which he sometimes prefers to leave in the car so he can avoid sharing them).

Finally at 11:15 we decided to call it a day (plus it started sprinkling and due to the tropical storm out there it’s only going to get worse). And home we went. We drove through McDonald’s on the way home to pick up lunch, as I’ve found passing fries to the baby is a good way to keep her awake in the car.. alas we lost her about 3 minutes away from home. Since I’m a mean mommy I woke her up, fed her lunch and made her play til nap time anyways and now I’m just crossing my fingers that it won’t hurt her nap any in the long run.

Back Yard Upgrade (Part 127)

Or at least that’s what it feels like. When we moved in we had grass, and some plants and a tree.

Before - Back Yard Bed

Then we put in a patio on one side, and created a big pine straw area for the dogs to use the bathroom in (to keep the poop out of our yard, and also to spare the grass).

New Patio Finished

And expanded the flower bed on the other side.

Bird Area

Then we had someone put in rocks and sod (which I somehow don’t have an original picture of). (Also, that’s dormant zoysia on the ground there, with fescue coming up.)


Then when we failed to sell the house for the second time we decided to put in a play set for the kids. Obviously we have a teeny back yard but we lucked out and found a really cool one to fit. So now we have a play set! And mulch, so very very much mulch. And now we’re questioning the need for the patio and the giant dog area, so there may be another update in the future.


Tada! There are two slides (but no one likes the teeny slide so that’s kind of a bummer) and a climbing wall. Then a wooden phone and a steering column where Jack likes to “drive the car to the butterfly house.” It’s really been pretty fantastic so far.