Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Holidays (part three)

Our last leg of the holiday tour took us to Omaha to spend Christmas day with the hubby's dad and our Omaha family. We lucked out and the weather was great, so the drive was easy, plus our happy little traveler slept the entire way.

We ran home quickly so the hubs could shower and I could get the last of Grammy's Christmas present (I had gotten an earlier email notification that morning that it had arrived and was sitting on my doorstep). I loaded up the wine bag with more red and off north we headed.

Everyone was excited to catch up with little man and see how his Christmases have been - and we had to get some photos of our dapper looking guy!

Dominic, Cruz, uncle Mook

Uncle Kyle w/ our stylish little guys

Nanu & his boys

My handsome little guy

Posing by the tree - Dom's face is priceless!
After dinner, everyone wanted to see the progress Cruz was making with walking, so we all sat around the living room helping him practice and encouraging him along the way. He is so close - I know he will be walking at any time!

This weekend was all about trying to walk - w/ uncle Kyle

Cruz & auntie Morgan

Action shot - mouth open and everything

Standing on his own

All tuckered out - trying to work is TOUGH work

Sure he looks like an angel, but he is all boy and has a bit of the devil in him

Then we headed downstairs for presents - it was amazing how many presents we had for three little kiddos. They were all so excited as we alternated between each of them and they tore through the wrapping paper.  Cruz was spoiled by so many - new Little People Super Heroes set from Dom, books, clothes, cell phone toy, Mickey Mouse plate/bowl/glass/silverware set, money for his savings (such a great idea!).  We also did a gift exchange for the women and the men and I got a cute array of Morgan's favorite things (cuticle cream, berry holders, a candle) AND my Pampered Chef order from Carly had come in so that was just like a present. I'm REALLY excited about my new salad tongs, colander and baking cooling rack (not sure when this will get used, but it looked pretty cool!).

Super Dominic!

Opening presents

Britt modeling the Booty Pop panties I got her :)

We really had an amazing Christmas! Spending time with our families is always treasured and this year by far was better than the rest with our little toddler. Merry Christmas to all!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Little Bit About Me

While I'm not new to the blogging scene, I wanted to tell you a bit about me in case you're new here. So, grab a drink and read along!

Name: Katie or Kate {by my family and close friends}. Do I love my Do I like my name...sure, it'll do and has served me well for the past 31 years. I suppose its better than some.

Height: 5'7" - {though my old high school volleyball program read differently}

Relationship Status: Happily married to the most wonderful guy for me. He is sweet, smart as hell, HOT, loving, an amazing dad, funny {though often found laughing at his own jokes}, and just about the most frustrating person I have ever met...all rolled up into one big ball of love.

Kiddos: I'm mom to the most amazing little boy, C. He has changed almost everything about my life, but for the better (and sometimes the very challenging). I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but never thought I would be lucky enough to have such a great little guy - he is so intelligent, stubborn, handsome, funny and absolutely adorable.

Location: Nebraska - and before you ask, I did grow up on a farm and loved every minute of it...well, most of the time. Those other times included when my dad felt I needed to walk beans or clean out the pig shed. Yuck.

Occupation: I work in casino marketing for the world's largest gaming company...and they have been great to me for the past 9 years.

College: Major: Travel/Tourism {no I didn't want to be a travel agent!}. Minor: Marketing/Management from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. {You can't spell drunk without U-N-K!} That little phrase there coupled with the fact that at the time they had Chick-Fil-A in the Student Union made my college choice.

Family: my parents {still married}, three older sisters {sorry, ladies, had to throw that in there} and a younger, much taller/balder brother.

Car: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee...yeah, me and about a million other people. {Which, by the way, my hubs still refers to as my "push present" although I know better and didn't actually get one.}

Lucky number: I don't really believe in these, although I'm not a fan of odd numbers and would choose even every time.

Music preferences: growing up I hated country music and only listen to Top 40s, pop, R&B and rap {yeah, this small town farm girl was pretty street - I can rap all of Snoop Dogg's "Lodi Dodi" - true story}. Through the hubs I picked up a love for country music - specifically Kenny Chesney - and these days choose that over any other type.

Best movie(s) ever: if you know me, you know I {heart} movies, mostly going to them in the theater with a big vat of buttery popcorn in my right hand and a large diet Mt. Dew in my left. My all-time favorite movie is Now & Then - back in the day my 3 best girlfriends and I assigned each character based on who they fit most. I was "Teeny" {not sure, though, what that says about me if you know the movie}. Rolling right along in the tween genre, I'm also a Twilight lover. Big time. And I'm Team Edward, in case you wondered. And I'm beyond devastated that it's over. I'm also a big fan of BeachesBreakfast at Tiffany's and I could watch The Devil Wears Prada over and over and over. You know, the classics.

Exercise style: a great work to describe my exercise style is sporadic. I have great intentions, but these days with a toddler getting up early enough or having the energy later in the day to exercise doesn't usually happen. I workout 3 to 5 times per week, usually closer to 3, this week closer to once + a handful of ab exercises.

What time do I wake up in the morning?:  now that the kiddo is back to sleeping through the night, my normal routine is to wake-up any time between 5am and 7am, depending on what I have going on at work that day. Very rarely do I sleep past 8am these days.

A few fun facts about me:
{Have you ever seen Us Weekly's '25 Things You Don't Know About Me'? Whelp, it's my absolute most fave magazine AND I've always wondered what mine would I snagged this opp!}
  1. I don't know what I would do without my iPhone.
  2. Being pregnant with my son and his birth are my greatest accomplishments.
  3. I'm also pretty proud of my success at work.
  4. Though sometimes I wish I could stay at home with my son so as not to miss so many of his milestones. {Shoot, I'm sure that would last about a month!}
  5. I love to travel. I also love flying. The anticipation of going somewhere is overwhelming.
  6. However, I do not like unpacking.
  7. My favorite food forever had been Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets. That is until I had a terrible case of morning sickness while eating said nuggets and that love is no more.
  8. I {heart} caffeine -specifically Diet Mtn. Dew and Green Mountain Coffee English Toffee k-cups with two dollops of Coffee-Mate Carmel Macchiato creamer. 
  9. Getting a handwritten card is waaaay better than an email or a text.
  10. I lived in Manhattan for four months doing my internship for the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
  11. I refuse to litter. 
  12. I cannot sing at all. I used to think I could, and evidently so did my mom, because she used to make me sing in a group with my sisters at church on Sundays in front of the whole congregation.
  13. I love to shop. Shoes and clothes primarily, but I also love browsing Target, the grocery store, online...anything at all that has to do with shopping.
  14. Someday I will own a clothing boutique.
  15. I love photography and wish it could be my profession.
  16. I bite my fingernails and despise myself for doing it.
  17. I absolutely love running outside. I completed my first half marathon in September and hope to do quite a few more this year.
  18. I love to read - I just wish I had more time to do it.
  19. I wish I were more creative than I actually am. Pinterest has been a bit of a lifesaver for me.
  20. I love a great pair of heels and everyone who knows me will attest to this and the fact that you rarely see me wear anything else.
  21. I don't cook, or clean for that matter. {Yeah, my hubs picked out a broken model}.
  22. I think I have a slight case of ADD. Even when I'm laying on the couch, I have to be doing something {on the internet, playing sudoku or solitaire, flipping through a magazine}. It frustrates the hubs...bad.
  23. I keep Blistex with me at all times and apply it approximately 1,200 times a day. I have one located in my make-up bag, my purse, my car, my gym bag, at both offices, on my nightstand, in the crease of "my couch" at home. 
  24. I pray frequently for the health and well-being of those close to me.
  25. I have the best family and friends ever. Period.
  26. I love wine. And generally the cheap stuff. {Keepin' it classy.}
Hopefully now you know a little something about me...and it didn't scare you away!

The Holidays (part two)

On Christmas Eve day, we loaded up the hubby's truck and headed to Emerson to spend the day/night with my side of the family. I love that we have been able to work it out and have all FIVE of my dad/mom's kids in the same place, every year.  I just cannot imagine not being at mom & dad's place on Christmas Eve and even more so on Christmas morning. There is just something about their house....

When we got to the farm, we unloaded mountains of Christmas presents (I love having so many nieces and nephews!) and relaxed until the rest of the fam arrived. As soon as all of the sisters were there, we opened a bottle of wine - well, two because I don't drink that sweet stuff they like - and had a pre-church glass. Then we headed to St. Paul's for the Christmas Eve service...I was a bit bummed that we didn't make it to the candlelight service, but this works out so much better so we can have our big dinner after church and not be rushed. We've been able to figure out the magic touch with Cruz at church, sporting events, basically anywhere in public - feed him. The.Entire.Time.

Our big family - St. Paul's Lutheran Church Christmas Eve service
My loves

My girls - poor DeLaney was not feeling well

Cruz finally got a Christmas tree!

My sisters & brothers (plural if I'm counting Oliver!)

After dinner, we let the kiddos open one present (Cruz had to open his Christmas Eve PJs), played, watched movies and caught up. By little man's bed time, I was repeatedly told I COULD NOT fall asleep with him (like I had a couple weeks prior) and had to come back out so we could all drink and play games. Whelp, this mama was feeling tired and after many attempts to bring me out, they gave up. They even tried sending the hubs in and I was able to talk him into going to bed with us (Score: Katie 1; Family 0). At about 2am, I had been kicked in the head by Cruz a couple times and woke up to loud laughter and talking, so I had to go join in the fun - a racy game of Apples to Apples. We finally got everyone back to bed around 3am. I can't believe what a loser I've become...I used to be the life of the party!

Christmas wishes!

Santa Cruz in his rocking chair

Dayvaney lost her 2nd front tooth
(On a side note her Tooth Fairy brings her $5...definitely inflation from the quarter I used to get!)

Practicing walking...he took five steps on his own that night!

Kisses for auntie TeTe
(I swear, Tess, if your kids won't call me KiKi, then at least mine will call you TeTe!)

My handsome Pops.
On Christmas morning, we woke up nice and early so the kiddos could attack their loads of presents. This year was definitely more fun since Cruz could open his presents, would get excited at each of them and then focus only on the wrapping paper or boxes. Of course.

The "shoe pic" we got Sophie & Day

Have you ever seen so many presents?

Cruz helping Grandma open her gifts

A new Radio Flyer 4-in-1 trike!

Loved his drum set...not so sure we love the noise that comes with it!
After cleaning up, a quick breakfast and finishing packing, we headed off to Omaha for leg three of our Manganaro Christmas vacation.

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Holidays (part one)

As much as I had been a bit of a bah-humbug this year as far as decorating, getting into Christmas music and all that jazz, I was extremely excited for the holidays and our whirlwind trip to visit our families! I absolutely adore every minute I get to spend with the hubby, my little man and our loved ones....even when it's just chilling around the house, drinking some wine and catching up.

Fortunately we have a system that has worked very well since Nick and I began "seriously" dating a while back. We start by heading up to his mom's in Laurel on the 23rd to spend time with her, Duane, Marc & Brittany. Then drive to Emerson to be with my immediate family and finally end up in Omaha on Christmas day with Nick's dad and step mom, Janice, and the rest of that crew. Obviously we would love to be able to spend more time with all of them, but as far as amicable Christmas visits go - we are very lucky.

On Sunday morning, I got up really early to finish some last minute Christmas wrapping and packing - which of course I had left until the absolute last minute. After getting all of us ready to go - we left for Laurel around 9am. It was planned perfectly that Cruz fell asleep as we were driving out of Omaha and didn't wake up until we hit the Laurel city (hubs, who are you kidding - it's a village!) limit.  I continue to thank my lucky stars that he is a good traveler.

We got to Grandma C's and immediately started in on the bloody Mary's and vino (my kind of holiday!) and eating all the snacks Carol had prepared - hamballs, meatballs, cheese dip and veggies. Then, Cruz opened up a present - his walker/scooter from gma - and I was told that I needed to choose one of two ottomans that she had gotten for me. I had decided we needed a storage ottoman in our living room since getting rid of our dangerous coffee table once little man became mobile. We decided on one I had picked out from Target that would lighten up our living room a bit with all of the black leather furniture we currently have in there.

Common theme this weekend: WINE!
Fun with boxes...why didn't I just wrap these bad boys up??
More box fun on mommy's new ottoman!
Grandma Carol spoiled me with a couple choices for our living room ottoman
Loved the lights on the Christmas tree...maybe he will get one of those next year :)
Later the ladies got started in the kitchen on dinner. We whipped up filets, Paula Deen's shrimp & mushroom pasta,  green bean casserole and rolls. Everything was delish and I love that Carol involves Britt and I in the cooking so we can learn different ways to prepare meals our hubbies love. It's also helped me venture into cooking things a bit more sophisticated...compared to the sandwiches and soups I usually made him eat.

After dinner we dug into presents. Cruz had a ton - he got a couple books, some clothes, a small drum set/noisemaker, a couple Rockabye Baby CDs, a pair of cute laceless gray shoes, a basketball hoop/ball and some bath toys. Nick got a scale from Cruz (not saying ANYTHING, he has been watching his weight and our scale was crap!), some clothes from his mom, a Hy-Vee gift card and some cash. I got a ton too - a bag of styling goodies: new hair dryer, liters of Pureology shampoo/conditioner, hairspray, Jennifer Anniston perfume (I know, I'm such a dork, but it smells so good...let's be honest, I LOVE her), the ottoman and a Simple Human stainless trash can.  Can you say spoiled?
So much fun opening gifts this year -
he actually knew how to tear the paper after opening the many gifts from his birthday
Britt & Mook - girlfriend was downing the wine! It was great to have some competition this year :)
Loves reading his books - we added a ton to his library after this weekend.
Boxes can be used as chairs too
Opening more presents with grandma C
Throwing with daddy
Marc & Britt had to leave early Monday morning, so we ushered them out around 4:30am so they could make it back to Omaha for work and I snapped this picture of my sleeping buddy. 

Passed out after all of the Christmas fun -
I may have passed out next to him while I "tried to get him to sleep" and never woke back up!
Man, I was boring this Christmas!
After we all woke up, Carol and Duane stayed with little man so the hubs and I could hit up the gym...of course Nick had to show me where he was king at Laurel-Concord High School! Then we made breakfast - Carol & I tag-teamed an omelet for Nick and he raved about it all day. After packing up the car, we headed off to Emerson for part two of our Christmas vacation.

We had such a great day/night in Laurel and were looking forward to the fun that the rest of our trip would bring as well!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

First Haircut

Our little raggedy Andy finally got his hair cut. It has been a long time coming and I cannot believe how long we let it get before bringing him's especially evident in this first picture compared to how dapper our little man looks now! And just in time for the holidays.

Of course his first hair cut had to be a special one and no one but my stylist, Ricky, would be allowed to touch his mane. :)   Ricky was so great with Cruz and little man did so well in the chair...he was so interested in what Ricky was doing that he barely moved an inch the entire time. Oh, and how handsome does he look now?

Before Pic: shaggy McShaggerson
Side view of the length

Cruz loved being in front of the mirror and watching the action

Ricky was so patient with him...and smart! The combs definitely kept his attention. 

Getting our hair cut makes us "so big!"

Our little cheeseball

Helping Ricky with his hair

Finished product - what a handsome little boy

And a couple Instagram shots!