Wednesday, January 18, 2017

a whole lotta nuthin'... and AF..

So... I've been a bit spotty in blogging lately, and can't even quite blame busy life when I sit at a desk all day and still have the same available time to blog (time when I should be working, but need a break from the mind-numbing spreadsheets/numbers/census data I've been working on...)

I think it's just because - well - I feel like I don't have much to say lately... this was such a great outlet after we lost our first pregnancy at 11.5 weeks (omg almost FIVE YEARS AGO) and tried to keep busy while TTA...

And then it was the perfect place to come and bitch on CD1, and analyze/agonize over the TWW and crazy/imagined symptoms while TTC our Button...

And then it was somewhat lifestyle - Making Things Monday, Wardrobe-Wednesdays, Carride Chronicles... a Reading Challenge... having fun with a growing little boy...

And I quickly fell back into the swing of things as we began TFAS to bring us Ms. Mack...

But now, here we are.  A family of four that may or may not* be done with kids...
*(if you ask E, he's done - thanks his lucky stars that we were blessed with two healthy children - and wants to quit while we're ahead...... ***even though, you know - we're 2 for 3...)

but if you ask me? (which people frequently do... and what business is it of theirs?!?!)

If you ask me, I don't feel done... in the sense that I look back at pictures of Ms. Mack as a pink, twitchy mewling newborn and think, I want that again!!!
I remember what-felt-like-constant nursing (which of course, at the time could be inconvenient - OMG I just want to get through this store and get home before she needs to nurse... but now I'm like, WHIP IT OUT ANYWHERE! Girl's gotta eat!) I remember that and think, I miss that!!! ((I also miss the being off of work and being able to nurse 'round the clock... but the pumping at work? NO THANK YOU))

Anyways - I'm not convinced we're done.

So, here we are, a family of four FOR NOW... And what do I blog about?

I feel like I've just now begun to master the juggling of work, laundry, dishes, play time, personal time (what is that?!) and time with my husband - there's no time for anymore Lifestyle...
(well, yes - I'm still wearing clothes on Wednesdays... but by the time I think to take a picture, I've been in PJs for over an hour already... and the closest I get to MakingThings now is when I make dinner - and half the time it's pre-seasoned meats from the butcher that I just chuck in the oven and serve with frozen vegetables (defrosted and cooked, of course))

Anyway - I thought I'd have this neatly segued into getting my first AF and setting up an appointment for an IUD, but - I have no clue how that went originally in my head...

I got AF for the first time last Thursday (since MARCH 2015!!! (excluding the postpartum bleeding a year ago)) and realized I wasn't making birth control a high-priority to-do because I was pretty sure I wasn't ovulating (while nursing).

But over the last month, we've dropped to nursing twice a day (upon waking in the morning and before bed at night).  I kept that up through our trip to Texas at Christmastime (mostly to make sure the flights went smooth (and they did - just kept sticking a boob in her mouth! lmao) and to keep a semblance of routine while traveling...)
The first full week back to work after the holidays, we dropped our morning session (omg totally left us with a precious extra 10-15 minutes each morning!)
Somewhere along there, my hormones triggered and I must have ovulated (thank goodness we played it safe and E pulled out during NYE sex!!!!!) because last Thursday morning, as we were getting ready, I wiped after peeing and was like,  wait - wha....... is tha- HOLY SHIT!

So - now that I AM ovulating, it is high time to see about birth control - also because, for possibly the first time since getting pregnant with BUTTON, I feel like I have my "normal" sex drive back! OMG PRAISE JEEBUS FINALLY!!!

IUD consult appointment is made for next Thursday! (even though I've done a decent amount of research, and polled and read through opinions on facebook (ha!) and have pretty much settled on the Mirena...)
And the nurse said they wait until during AF to insert (yeck really?) so hopefully timing will work out perfectly, and I'll be ready to get it come next AF!

(I also dusted off old Fertility Friend to at least just chart right now for the sole purpose of knowing when to wear black pants and underwear in expectation of AF each month... lol)

Here's to worrying about period underwear again!

(have to admit - it's kind of weird/NICE to have AF back again and it just be "another thing" versus RUNNING MY LIFE for years of TTC and TTA and TTC-AL...)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I Married My father...

We had our annual hibachi Friends Holiday dinner last weekend (after a few minor changes - like the bad weather (snow & ice) that built up through the day, generating a change in venue (to something closer and not up on a mountain) and giving us a few less friends around the table (Dee was coming solo - no babysitter - and got nervous slipping and sliding in her car, so she turned around and headed back home..))

I got drunk (but not so bad that I was severely hungover Sunday morning... just slightly, that when I put down Ms. Mack for a nap at 11:30 I joined her... lol) and fell over in my chair at dinner - it was that kind of night...

but - I made a random epiphanic observation as I watched E goof off with his friends, cracking jokes and being the one to make everyone laugh:

I married my father!

And I totally say that in a good way...

I started to notice as I got into teen years and a bit older, that my dad loves social gatherings - and loves to perform and be the jester - loves to make people laugh and smile (or shake their heads and chuckle at his lewd jokes. yup. lol)

No wallflower for sure...

So as we were all hanging out / pre-gaming (zomg I used to do that at 10pm before heading to Hoboken for hours... now our pre-game is done at 5pm. HAHA) in our kitchen with friends before our annual dinner (babysitter had the kids in their playroom, so we let loose a bit...) I watched him do the same thing I've seen my dad to at numerous social gatherings - entertain.

I had always heard, "A girl marries someone just like her daddy!"

And I never realized, it's true! (More and more, I realize - as my mom treats me more and more like a peer, and complains about him not listening (yup, I married my father!) or insisting he remembered correctly when they disagree on who messed up the shopping list... (YUP I married my father!!)

But. I like that. 

A girl's first man is her daddy - and apparently, so is her last man!

 Also - the other day as I was picking him up, Button drank from a Danimals smoothie he found in the garbage at daycare...

forget marrying daddy - like father, like son?!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Year in Review...

It's 2017... an entire calendar year (and then some) has passed since a crazy little girl entered our lives...

So she technically came home to us in 2015, but still... 2016..... what a year...

And holy cow - December felt like such a hot mess... I guess it started around Thanksgiving... 
we had that holiday, and then a birthday party, a birthday brunch...
 driving around to all the parties...

and then Maddie's birthday party (oh holy pictures to come...) and then another birthday party the very next day...

and then it was prepping for a trip to Texas, getting gifts exchanged with family (inlaws) (which we didn't do until after we got back) and getting gifts for secret santas at work, and seeing the Rockettes with my bestie Dee...
 (saw the tree first in Rockefeller Center, followed by the awesome light show (see below - Macy's I think?) and dinner/drinks before the show...)

 and making MistleToes with my MommyTribe and their babies...

And having our recently-divorced friend, Mr. Potato Head - remember the PotatoHeads?! - over almost every weekend...
We had started to set our alarm clocks a little later each morning, and snoozed "just one more time" too many times...

whew - 3 work days into the new year, and we've made it out of the house not even on time but EARLY each morning.  I changed my alarm clock back to what it should be, and only snooze once or twice.  (It also helps when Button cries out early each morning.  For us to fix his blanket.  Which is just at the foot of his bed..... -_-)

Yes, the sink is still filled with dirty dishes (and - um.. maybe some crusty dip from Sunday when the in-laws were over to exchange Christmas gifts...) and there is still a load of whites in the dryer that need to be folded before I start the laundry cycle all over again tomorrow night...
But.  I made it to hot yoga last night, and I've made it to work early the past three mornings - in part because I've been picking out my clothes the night before!

2017 Goals so far?
1. Wash my coffee mug out each morning at work (I used to just rinse it... oh, every few days.... BLECH)
2. Pick out clothes (for kids AND for me!) the night before! NO MATTER WHAT!

Also - I recently saw this on another blog (thanks NSChica!) and wanted to do the same!
(Another andplusalso- as I read these questions for 2017, I wish I'd seen it for 2016! So for some of the answers, the 2015 response will be there as well in pink!)

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
parented 2 children?? lol really - learned how to balance work and making dinner and loving on my kids and letting unimportant things (ahem - dishes and laundry) fall to the wayside...
I also made my first article of clothing! I made Ms. Mack a poncho! (first edition - many revisions needed, like a zipper on the front - and I'll be attempting #2 out of fleece soon!)

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
  I'm not sure I made a point to make any resolutions last year.... (goes back to read first 2016 posts...)
 (oh yea - that's why - I was a little preoccupied with weigh-ins and boobs. ha)
I will make more for this year! first being the two mentioned above - washing my cup out daily at work, and picking out clothes the night before...
I also want to get more organized - I'll be buying (maybe tonight!) shelves and cube units for the kids' playroom in the basement...

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
  We're not quite as close as "before" - but she's still in my "circle" of friends (her husband is in E's circle at least) - fBFF had her second baby (second boy) in July (on E's birthday!)

4. Did anyone close to you die?
E's great uncle (and our former neighbor (I guess what made us close)- we lived across from him in our first apartment) died in August...

5. What countries did you visit?
The country of Texas (lmao - E always gets a kick out of all the big Texas flags there - like, "why don't they fly the AMERICAN flag?!"
but really - first year in a while we didn't travel much - stayed in the 'States in 2016!
in 2015 - we went to Cancun! Button's first visit abroad (oh his passport photo is so funny....) and Ms. Mack was only 8 weeks along!

6.  What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
  a bigger kitchen and attached open-plan dining room... (hint - we may start house-hunting soon and I've started to make my wish-list!)

7. What moments from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
  I have to say, there are no big individual moments - but more overall experiences... like the experiences and friends I gained during the breastfeeding journey (and oh the moments nursing a little... when I wasn't freaking the f*ck out and popping her off and on and off and on, cursing and swearing, with tears running down, that she wasn't latching right and not getting enough..... sigh)
or the decorating I did the night before for a big Wonderland First Birthday Party, getting everything just-so... (just like I'll always remember hanging those red and white "Circus Tent" swathes of fabric throughout our entire garage 3.5 years ago for a Circus Bash...)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
hm. well there's the whole feeding a human with my body (WOOOT!) that required several months of hard work... and there's the whole buying a sewing machine and teaching myself to sew (with echoes of lessons from my mom when I was a tween years ago)

9. What was your biggest failure?
  I don't quite see it as a failure but definitely a part of my life that could use change/work - and that's probably the relationship with husband - just in the We just went from us three to us four, and if you felt like you took backseat all of a sudden to our first child, you probably feel like you just got pushed back even farther on the bench of priorities sense.  Physical intimacy flew out the window so far (both during the pregnancy and in 2016 - probably due to the still-crazy hormones of nursing...) but I have to say, in the last few weeks it has already started to improve...
I also recently saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 where Tula's family is all, "You were a girlfriend before you were a mom!"
So that's good to keep in mind as we try to schedule dates (big annual friends' dinner this Saturday! time to get a sitter, get dressed/glitzed up and get our drink&dine on!)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
  I think I bought too much to sift through and label "the best"... but it wasn't a year we bought a house (2012) or a car (mine in 2014) or anything else major...

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
hm. I've seen answers say their big-sibling kids because they were such great big-siblings.. except Button almost dislocated Ms. Mack's arm once, so.....
but really,  he adapted to losing his only-child-status very well (could have something to do with sharing time with two other dogs pre-Ms. Mack!)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
towards the end of the year, E's adopted sister (19yo) scared us all when she told someone she thought of hurting herself... she was hospitalized briefly, and then came to stay with us for about a week... I honestly do not believe she's at risk of self-harm, but has now begun acting out - skipping school, left her sister at their joint-job without a ride home, got into a minor car accident when she let a boy (unlicensed!) drive her (FIL's) car...
It's debatable if she'll graduate high school, and I really really wish she would - you need a diploma to get so many places....
   (2015 was the year ex-BIL left SIL - he ruled that year for being despicable...)

14. Where did most of your money go?
   LuLaRoe.... (lmao) just my personal money... of course most of our joint money goes to our mortgage and daycare costs...

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
  My parents' visit in July - and I had most of the week off - I love having them love on my kids!

16. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
  happier - I'm sleeping through the night! LOL
b) thinner or fatter?
  totally thinner... less than 2 weeks PP versus 1 year PP and working out regularly =P
c) richer or poorer
  hm probably neither - probably have just about the same amount of $$ in the bank...

17. What do you wish you'd done more of?
  more blogging! I used to blog at least a few times a week, and I just discovered I only blogged a few times (if that) per month in 2016... I love having the memories/stories to look back on and read, and I can obviously tell I was much busier than before - but still...

18. What do you wish you'd done less of?
  personal shopping... I definitely love to shop, and can tell I get into "shopping moods" where I buy and buy. and then can be in NotTheMood and can load a shopping card - "Window Shop" if you will - and then abandon the whole cart... but how much personal money I could have saved on stuff that I really didn't need...

19. How did you spend Christmas?
  with my family in Texas!!! (talk about an epic post coming.... but first, must post about Mack's bday party!)
2015? also with my family who came up from Texas to see little miss, but more importantly - spend it with little miss cuddled up on me...

20. Did you fall in love in 2016?
  Absolutely - with my daughter... I try to find reason behind why she's so much more tied to me than Button is (she nursed 12+ months and he only nursed 5 weeks? or I had a much longer actual maternity leave with her (we were literally together 24/7) than with him ?) but she is.  She's my little bug, my shadow who will toddle around after me when we get home from work/daycare and who only wants to see my face (and boobs lol) first thing in the morning as she stands up and peers over her crib rails...

21. What was your favorite TV program?
OH-MAI-GAWD I read Outlander and then got addicted to the show on Starz (like, binge-watched 4 hours worth at 11pm one night...)

22. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
  Hate is such a strong word, and no - I don't hate anyone now that I didn't last year... (some people have gotten on my nerves, that's for sure! lol)

23. What did you want and get?
   There's not much I need or want - and if it's something like going out with friends for a relaxing drink, or finally getting a haircut (after almost a year!), or even a pair of shoes I like - I usually get it for myself. so - lots. I wanted to get my hair cut before our Texas trip and I sure crammed it in...

24. What did you want and not get?
 more like what did I want to do and not get to? lol - finishing (crocheting) Ms. Mack's quilt... (need cream-colored yarn!)
ooo - I wanted Cinchers to take off and make money - but then I got booted from the BuySellTrade LLR group for selling non-LuLa. LOL whatever

25. What was your favorite film this year?
   I can't even remember what movies I've seen - it's usually months/years after they hit the theaters... I saw Girl on the Train with E at a fancy-ass dine-in theater, so it was more the ambiance AND the actual movie that made it my favorite...

26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
   I turned 31 this year in August (agh) and honestly just had to go look at my personal calendar to remember what I did to celebrate lol... the night before my actual birthday was my date with E - a fancy dinner which was over by 7:30 (lmao oh my how times have changed) so we ended up going to a local Anthony's CoalFirePizza to have some drinks on their patio... I think we were headed home by 9pm... so lame...
The actual day was at my IL's for their other daughter's high school graduation party (I'm sure blended in with birthday cake and gifts...)
2015 was spent with friends at a wonderful dessert/drinks restaurant, in a fabulous backless dress - with a little half-baked-bump along for the ride...

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
  (Well, just check out my Wardrobe Wednesdays!)  but really - mostly nursing tanks and cardigans (which worked best with skirts!)
After I stopped pumping at work around October, the options opened up!!! I do a pretty casual "business casual" and loved my skinny jeans and boots and puffy vest for the fall!

and in 2015, it was the year of unbuttoned pants, stretch tanks, and maternity clothes... =P
28. What kept you sane?
  Honestly? being able to have a glass of wine at night after the kids went to bed - whether I folded laundry while drinking it or sat on my ass and read... lol

29. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
   no words....
ok some words... I binged on reading books 1-3 and binged on watching season 1 and first half of season 2... and then tried to give myself a break - I found that I couldn't dive into book 4 right away... and so, when I started back up with watching episodes from season 2, I think I literally said, while watching on the computer in the basement with my glass of wine, "Oh my LORD I forgot how sexy he is..."

30. What political issue stirred you the most?
   oh gosh - probably like most people answering this question, it was the political shit show election of 2015... I truly don't know what to expect for the next four years, for better or worse - but I work in healthcare and I'm sure there'll be changes...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The number of the day is..... ONE!

I got the email this morning... the one from BabyCenter that's all,


Your toddler is ONE!

And "your toddler likes to stack and sort!"

I'm sorry, you must be mistaken.  SHE'S STILL MY BABY!!!!!!

But... she is one year old today....

  one year ago (give or take a few days) I was walking and shopping and eating hot wings (I HATE hot wings! I cried because my lips burned... lol) trying to get Ms. Mack interested in meeting the world...

 And on her own time table, out she came... (albeit a little rocky..)

And now this girl is enjoying birthday muffins at daycare today with her birthday twin (a "classmate" born on the same day!)

Button got to head to the baby room and wish his little sister a Happy Birthday....
(can't tell if he's eating her muffin or kissing her hand.... LOL)


(12-month appointment tomorrow, stats to follow!!!)
ALSO - big birthday party post to come!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marathon Catch-Up

This is like, the third passing of the baton in this marathon\relay race of a Catch-Up...

I think I left off with Halloween - owls, pirates and Superman, Oh My!

The next weekend, the girls (my MIL, E's aunt and cousin, and my 3 SIL's) went to Atlantic City for a much-needed girls' night... (plus, my MIL got a free comp'd room! jack pot!)
We got a great room (one king size bed, one L-shape couch, and then got an air mattress delivered. which promptly "popped" on the nightstand handle.... see dead - deflated mattress in hallway waiting for pick up! LOL!)
And then on the first sweep through the casinos, I put $10 or so into a slot machine and hit big! I pulled the lever a few more times, and then cashed out at $90, and put that voucher away!
I jumped at the chance for an outdoor-hottub soak (complete with drinks!) before we headed out for dinner and drinks.  (This is moment I discovered roulette... #newAddict... (not REALLY...) but seriously - started the entire trip with $150 to "play with" and came home the next morning with almost $190 - pretty successful trip!!)

Two days before Thanksgiving, Button came down with a stomach bug... (diarrhea. of course.) so E and I had to do half days at work (one of us worked the morning, then we tagged the other in to be able to work the afternoon).
 (I took this to try to show E a scratch/bruise Button had)
instead, I got a picture of the world's worst haircut, 
and a poor sick boy, complete with purple bags...

He was feeling better by Thanksgiving (and finally had his appetite back on the up-swing) so we had a great time my IL's.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we decided last minute to go to the annual local Fire Department Holiday parade...
(Past years,  E has been in the parade with his previous fire department - boozed up in either makeup, tights, or both...)

And then Black Friday I had work (yay healthcare...) and E had his annual NHL game with the guys, so he dropped Ms. Mack off with me at work around 4pm and she helped me clean up and file...

Let's bookmark it there (work is calling...) - at least we're almost into December!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

11/12ths of a year...

I simply cannot believe today is December.  The month that this little girl was born, a year ago...

(pretty sure this was at the Double-Ear-Infection doctor appointment...)

While party planning is ramping up (i.e. I've received daily Amazon deliveries for the past week of supplies and decorations...) we've been enjoying this little almost-walker!

Little Ms. Mack has been taking independent steps the last few days!!!!
As in, she'll be standing at her table, and then turn and take off - only to face plant... -_-

Anyways - back to her 11-month stats!

Weight: 17lb6.5oz (last weight taken is as of 10/28 when we went in for her ear-check... of course, she was wearing (clean) diaper vs her usual butt-naked... but still! up like 12oz from 2 weeks prior! (yes. as much as I've gotten away from counting every ounce, once a counter - always a counter. lol)

Height:(last measured at 9m - 27.5")
((12m appt booked for Dec 22nd!!!))
Eating: The last few days she hasn't been very enthusiastic about solids (except bread. lol) - she'll still eat her purees or Stage 3's though... (they also still keep a back-up stash at daycare, but she's great at eating their food!)
Can use pretty much any of the sippy-cup styles we have now, and we don't need to use the little rubber spill-proof inserts! Girl already mastered how to tip the cup back down when she wants a break!!!
Still nursing morning and night... I thought the other day we'd start to wean in the morning (it was Monday - we totally overslept (by like 30 minutes!!!) and I was all set to make that day 1, except then she was a crank-face while we were getting ready, and while I was trying to get her shoes on, I just yanked down my shirt and let her have at it... -_- ) oh well.

Sleep: We head upstairs usually around 7:30 to get into PJ's and nurse... she then sleeps through until about 7:30-8am (depending on if Button wakes her up...)
She is definitely following in her brother's shoes when it comes to napping.... a typical day is one midday nap, usually about 1.5 hours... (of course, on the weekends we're too busy running around that it's usually 1-2 naps per day, about 30-45m each while in the car...)
ohmygosh she sleeps just like her brother... <3
(Button as an infant!)

Wearing: Size 3 diapers still... mostly 12M clothes... I'm in a vicious cycle of putting her in a certain size (like 9months) when she'd be more comfortable/not have cropped pants in a bigger size, but then when I moved her formally to the bigger size (i.e. I clean out her drawers) then she only truly fits in that size for like, a month.  So then I leave her in that size for longer than I should in order to wear all of her cute pieces, and - rinse/repeat... I need to suck it up and get her cleaned out of 9month clothes...
She's also wearing size 2/3 shoes! Yes, shoes every day - it helps keep her feet warm, too =)
And if I thought I'd have a problem with clothes for a girl, lord help me... she's already got like, 8-9 pairs of shoes in her current size...

LOVES: still loves baths, loves being tickled (her "tickle button" that never fails is her actual belly button! =P )

loves cruising on her walker, playing in baskets (and taking clothes out!) and hanging with "friends"

(this is her birthday-buddy at daycare! they were both born on December 21st!)

HATES : her new thing is she'll sometimes stiffen up if she doesn't want to be set down, or put in her highchair... like, she literally won't bend at the waist if I'm trying to sit her on the floor with toys while I get ready for work, so I end up laying her down in the midst of her "tantrum" (oh yes, I think they're starting with her this young... she knows what she wants!!)

Milestone: Ms. Mack's started to copy-cat a lot: sounds, faces, sticking out her tongue... : P
 ohmyGAWD ignore my FILTHY mirror.... (just finally cleaned it last night, BTW)
right before Button brushed his teeth - 
which, after watching, totally made sense why my mirror was this dirty...

Nicknames: Bug (? don't ask lol) , Mack, MadGirl, Maddo, Maddie, BabyGirl

This girl - you can see she's going to be a force to be reckoned with!  If Button takes a toy, boy does she let you know she's pissed!
She is learning to "talk" and will non-stop babble sometimes when E gets home from work (sometimes she yells!)
She's still my little cuddly-shadow-bug, but will happily squeal and squirm for Daddy when he walks in the door from work (I get home first, so am responsible for picking up kids, letting dogs out, feeding dogs, getting dinner going... etc. UGH)

I know I'm a week late on the 11-month update, so a lot of these happenings are around, on or right after she turned 11 months....
But we also got rid of the Jump-a-Roo... kind of like the car seat, this was one that both my kids played in!!! (after watching below, you can probably see that Ms. Mack was fine with ditching the jumper! poor gal, got all shook up!)
And also.....
we have a WALKER!!!

HA - no, no, no - not that kind of walker...
(although - speaking of TWD... given last week's episode, I'm kind of glad there's only 2 left in 2016...)

No, we have a WALKER!

It started as one or two "I'm falling/running but let's pretend I'm walking!" steps between E and I...

and then a few nights ago, she was standing there, looking at me - I could SEE her gears turnin' - and she deliberately toddled, one... two... three steps before falling on her butt!!

And now?

This girl is getting more and more confident - and not in a good way!!! LOL

She'll be standing at her table, or the coffeetable/ottoman or the couch, and then just turn around and take off - only to face plant 3-4 steps later...

I've gotta give it to the gutsy girl - she'll definitely be cruising everywhere by the time we head to Texas for Christmas time!

Oh boy... four highly mobile toddlers under the age of 4....


(One last photo dump...)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Summer, Grandparents, Trucks & Costumes

Working today, on Black Friday...

And I am ok with it.

(First off - I avoid all those CRAZY-ASS SHOPPERS out there!!!)
 But also, and I know I've said this before, but I really believe my time away from my kids helps me be a better mother - more patient, especially!

I was recently reading an older blog post where the author from ByTheBrooke said about the same:

"I think I need a professional career to challenge me and make me happy and I am pretty sure it makes me a better wife and a better mom to NOT be a full-time homemaker/housekeeper/butt wiper."

That said, we had a great time yesterday (except Ms. Mack wails her head off if anyone is holding her besides mostly me... Daddy is sometimes an acceptable substitute... where I wished Button was a little less AllDaddyAllDayEerDay, Ms. Mack is total stage-four cling-on... be careful what you wish for, right?? lol)

And here's some more photo dumpage to slowly get us caught up:

We spent a weekend down the shore, enjoying the brisk-but-sunny days and the available laps to play in...

First time back-carrying Ms. Mack! She loved it!

My mom's parents drove up (FROM TEXAS! long story short, my grandfather - a former commercial airlines pilot - refuses to fly as a passenger...  lmao)
and thoroughly enjoyed time with their great-grandchildren

Button ran poor Grandad ragged - "Come see this!!    Come with me to my play room!!    Hey Grandad, check out this slide!!"

We went to a Touch-a-Truck event (very local, at my SIL's elementary school) and we got a little silly...

Yup... that would be a naked Button, with a bag over his head.....

Don't Ask...

I cleared out too-small clothes, and *gulp* pumping supplies...
(ok ok, I kept one single set, and my hand pump.... in case....)
seriously - we're still nursing 2x a day - morning and night, and I'm enjoying this stress-free phase! 
but - we did finish up the freezer stash for b.milk at daycare!

 And then it was time for magic to transform little babies into Owls and Pirates, and mommies and daddies into Daphne and Clark Kent!

We have a future NY Ranger (Daddy will have to attend the ass-crack-of-dawn practices!!)
We've also found a new yoga studio that has Mommy&Me classes, so both kiddos can come - and Button loves the aerial silks!

Next up (and not too late) is Ms. Mack's 11 month check-up!

And holy-birthday-planning!!!!