Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cruz Lately

I just can't get over how fun...and funny...Cruz is these days. The kid is smarting up right before our eyes and he wows us almost daily with the new things he knows.

I mean, he already knows how to pump a keg and get daddy a beer. Don't pretend you're not impressed.

Note: C did not actually pour a beer, nor has he ever drank any - at least I don't think he has
This pic is for fun only  :)

He is also the best welcome home surprise...ever! I was so happy to see my little dude - and my big dude - waiting for me as I was coming down the escalator at Eppley the other day. And a Thomas Happy Birthday balloon? The sweetest. I will let you guess who picked that one out. 

And later that night at dinner, my money-hungry little guy decided to face dive into the wishing fountain inside La Mesa restaurant to grab some "monies" as he likes to refer to them. He was playing with Day and Ace while the adults finished eating and the next thing I know, I hear Dayvaney yell my name see Cruz's head peek up above the side of fountain...and he was soaked! I was that mom who had to scoop my 'soaked from head to toe' little one out of the fountain at a restaurant and carry him dripping wet while getting disapproving looks from most of the patrons. The only ones who didn't give me those looks? The mamas with toddlers. They gave me that "I know how you feel, sister" look. Which I appreciated. Five minutes later, we were all laughing about it.  It really was pretty funny.

What was not funny? Picking up Cruz from daycare and having the teacher tell us that he was bitten that another kid.  Um, excuse me, say what? My kid was bitten? By another kid? Please tell me you're kidding. But they weren't. They informed us that the other kid's - a little girl - parents were notified of her behavior as well. 

Evidently they were both going for the same toy and that little girl decided to sink her teeth into Cruz's precious little arm so she could play with it.

The bad thing for that little girl? My kid knows the names of all his classmates, so he keeps saying "Evy, no bite. Ouchie! Dat's naughty" while shaking his pointer finger in the air. All I can say is Evy better watch herself next time I'm at school. Kidding. Or I am. Ok, I am. But look at those teeth marks in the picture below! Girlfriend sunk her teeth in deep.

Between all the beer and bites, I just can't help myself from loving every minute with this little guy. Can you blame me?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blog Love

My girl Heather from over at LIMB recently reached out to her peeps to find out what their daily must-reads are, so I thought it apt for me to do the same with my fave people who keep up with Cruz man and I over here.

So, I'm looking for some new blog reads.  I have tons of loves out there in blogland, but there is always room for more. If you would be so kind as to leave some recommendations over here in the comments, I would be forever in your debt....or would just be really super, duper thankful.

And on that, I leave you with this sweet little grin.

And this one. Yes, he's discovered his nipples....and asks to see everyone else's. I'm a bit nervous for the first time his daycare report out references him asking the little girls about theirs...or worse, the teachers.

And is it wrong to be jealous of your 1 1/2 year old's tan? Just look at his deep, dark farmer's tan!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fall Faves

If you know me, you know that I'm not a lover of fall. Granted once we get into that season between my beloved summer and my least favorite cold, dreary winter months, I am generally okay with it.

I suppose there are some good things about it....

Like a nice pair of skinnies, slouchy boots and a comfy, casual cardigan. 

And of all the sports my husband watches throughout the year, my favorite is football season and the tailgating and in-home football parties that go with. It also doesn't hurt that we have a "wives fantasy football league" either...

I also love burning some fall-flavored least it's what fall means to me circa my mom's kitchen growing up. One of my faves is B&BW Spice

I have to say the one thing that can help me forget how much I will miss my warm summer months would have to be putting my plans together for my fall wardrobe. And this year is no different. I was scouring F21's website the other night after I put little man to bed and I have to tell you my wish list ended up being quite a bit north of $500. Hence the reason for a "wish list." I didn't think Nick would be too pleased if I made that purchase right there and then.

Check out my top finds...

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9

I plan on owning most of these items (above) here in the near future. I mean, when you can get all of this under $200 that seems like quite the steal to me. And how incredibly great are all of these?

Hmmm...maybe I'm not too bummed for fall after all.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Friday, August 23, 2013

On The Daycare Front

As you know from previous posts, little man is in daycare officially four to five days a week.

And as I've mentioned it's been hard for both of us. After a couple of weeks of dropping him off every morning and feeling miserable when I leave because he just doesn't want me to go ("mama, stay with me?"), I had a realization one morning that perhaps my tactics weren't good. Here is what I started out doing:

For the first few days, I would take him into his classroom, get him settled, find him toys to play with, engage him with the other kiddos and then when he wasn't looking, I would sneak off quiet as a ninja and out the door. One morning after doing this, I decided to look through the one-way window and see how he reacted.

And my heart broke.

I saw him looking around, walking around, looking for me. And then I saw tears well up in his big blue eyes as he continued looking around for me. What a jerk. How could I leave my child feeling like that?  I could only imagine what was going through his mind. I couldn't take it. I had to walk out right then and there and my eyes flooded with tears on my way to the car.

I decided that the next morning, I would try another tactic. Hopefully one that wouldn't leave him feeling abandoned. Gah, abandoned is such a harsh word. Do you think he felt that way?

So the next day, I happened to drop him off right around breakfast and was hopeful this would be a good distraction. I got him settled around the table with the other kiddos and waited until they handed out his plate of food. I told him I had to go to work, that I wanted him to have the best day and that daddy would be there to pick him up later in his big truck (he has this obsession with Nick's truck, I think because it has a DVD player and daddy lets him watch Mickey whenever they go anywhere...but, I digress).

He said, "mama, no! Mama, stay with me" and climbed up into my lap and wrapped his arms around my neck with turbo strength. After prying his arms off and getting him settled back in his chair, I tried my hardest to talk him through his day and how much fun he would have. Once I stood up, he tried again to get me to stay and I continued to talk him through what they were going to do that day. It ended up, he stayed in his chair and ate and as I walked out, he turned in his chair and his eyes followed me all the way to the door, but then he turned back to his pancakes and that was that.

This new method seems to be working better and I feel better about it, so we will see.


On a happier, more positive note (thank God, I'm sure you're all thinking...) we have officially introduced peanut butter into little man's diet. And I couldn't be more excited. No more sneaking spoonfuls of peanut butter and hiding it from him so he doesn't ask for some...wait, who does that? Oh yeah, I do.

And yes, he's sitting on the counter, in his diaper, owning that jar of peanut butter. Isn't that how everyone does it?? I love how he just gets after it and shoveled fist after fist right into his mouth. Some people say he looks like his daddy, but it was in this moment with the peanut butter dripping off his fingers and covering his face, that he resembled his mama...

Take a look at him lovin' up on some PB&J. Yum.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Viva Las Work Trip

Well, hello there. It's been too long.

I'm just sobering up getting my life back on track after a whirlwind Las Vegas work trip. Right now I'm on a flight and just cruising over some canyon (if you can believe what the pilot is saying) en route for Omaha...and most importantly, to see my boys. I cannot wait to give Cruzer the biggest squeeze.

Side note: I'm pretty certain the girl next to me is severely hungover and looks to be barely making it through this little flight...let's hope she can make it to the bathroom on time should something come back up. Lord, she's already gotten up four times to use the restroom so far, not entirely sure what else could be going on.

Anyway back to Vegas...

Headed out for a marketing council meeting for our company and, while I won't bore you with those details, I have to say loads were accomplished in these past few days. You have to imagine when you get the entire corporate and property marketing leaders from the world's largest gaming company in one room that some pretty fantastic stuff is going to be cooked up.

Personally, I feel thankful to be a part of it AND thankful for all I got to experience outside of that meeting room.

The room - if you are staying at Flamingo, you must get a Go! room - far and away their best product. Although, on work trips of late, I find myself always getting put up there and really want to check out more of our hotel know for comparison and stuff. I mean, if they wanted to put me up at the new Nobu Tower at Caesars, I wouldn't complain.

(photo courtesy of Flamingo Las Vegas website)

The food - dinner at Center Cut Steakhouse at Flamingo, Carmine's Italian in the Forum Shoppes, Old Homestead Steakhouse at Caesars and a late night pizza run to the Pizza Joint after super long happy hour/mingling sesh at Toby Keith's. And one of the best burgers during lunch at KGB's at Harrah's. If you're in Vegas, check out Old Homestead - a bit pricey but one of the best places I've ever eaten...actually Nick and I were at the same restaurant at the Borgata in Atlantic City, but it didn't hold a candle to this one. Three words. Asiago bacon muffin. Delicious.

The shows - sadly I haven't been to too many shows in Vegas over the past many years I've visited. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I would rather spend my hours at the pool or face deep in cocktails - or better yet both at the same time - but they just haven't been a priority. However, when the tickets are free it would be just wrong not to take advantage. On Monday, I checked out a Love, the Beatles cirque show at Mirage and on Tuesday Absinthe at Caesars. If you want a recommendation on a bad ass show to take in on your next Vegas trip, Absinthe is far and away THE one to see. It's a mix of raunchy humor and old-time big top carnival and circus acts inside a cozy little tent outside Caesars Palace. But take this as your warning, it's not just a little raunchy-risque, it takes it to the next level and I was out-loud laughing the entire time.

Of course, last minute I realized that I hadn't picked up a little gift for Cruzer, so after our cocktail mix & mingle I high-tailed it to the Forum Shoppes. Of course, I stopped in H&M and found tons of great stuff that I wanted to try one, BUT this trip wasn't about me and I was able to pick some great items for little man. I found the cutest pair of jeans for him.  Black, slightly distressed and slim cut? Um, yes please!

And I may have picked up this little guy in the airport...I know airport toys are pathetic, but when you spent most of your trip eating and drinking, sometimes you have to get creative. And truth be told, our little airplane loving kid will go bonkers for this.

Now if you don't mind, I'm going to try and get some shut eye for the remainder of this flight...and dream about this little sweetheart.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Childcare Update

Last month, I talked about our childcare situation - or lack there of - here.

Since that post, we've had a couple big changes: 1) we said goodbye to our beloved nanny J and 2) Cruz started day care...yet again. Both days were full of tears and loads of heartache.

When we originally brought C to day care back in January 2012 - when he was 2 months old, mind you - I remember it being tough. It was tough for me as a mom having to get used to going back to work and not spending every hour of the day with him, as I had the prior two months on maternity leave. I was a bucket of tears for a good two weeks every day I had to drop him off.

But Cruz? He was fine - he didn't know any better. He was two months old, remember? All he was concerned with was when he would get his next bottle, getting his diaper changed when it needed it and having a place to sleep.

Last week, Cruz started a new day care in Millard. We had checked this one out before choosing Primrose the first time around because it was part of the Millard School system, but also the proximity couldn't be beat - it's literally three blocks from our house. At that time there were just no spots available, should we have chosen it.

On the first day, I had to wake our sleeping boy up (definitely hate doing this - note to self, get this boy to bed earlier at night!) and dressed him and we were out the door. I have to say that was much easier than our first day care experience because back then I had to wake up earlier to feed him before leaving the house and pack a bag with enough bottles, etc for him to make it through the day. Now as long as he's there by 8am, he gets breakfast, so we just need about 10 minutes. We wake up, I rock him for a bit while we talk about his day, change his diaper and clothes and we are off.

Here are a couple first day of school pics of our little man. Obviously poorly planned by me...and yes, in one he is standing in our bare flower pot in front of the trash can because, well, why not? Good planning, mom...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

21 Months Old!

What's new with Cruz...

Talking - he continues to impress with his mad talking skills. He really just picks up on every little word we say and some that I'm not even sure where he learned them. 
  • Mine - definitely can do without this one
  • Peanut butter - the kiddo tasted it for the first time this month and More on that later.
  • Eat it - as he's shoving parts of his meal to his daddy or I when he doesn't want anymore
  • Popcorn - and he loves it
  • Sunshine - he says "mama shun-sine" when he wants to sing "You Are My Sunshine" while we rock
  • Hip-up - hiccup. I'm not sure I've heard him have hiccups since he was a baby, but recently gets them quite often and it's super cute. "Mama hip-up!"
  • Phrases
    • I need it - in relation to his sippy, toy, snack, etc
    • Here you go!
    • I got it 
    • I want it - when someone else has something he wants
    • I don't want it - when he doesn't want to do something or is mid-fit
    • Come on! - whenever he wants you to do something with him or follow him
    • I found it - when he finds a toy he's been searching for
    • I did it! - proud of himself

Singing - this boy loves to sing. It started with a couple lullabies we regularly sing while we are rocking to bed - "Rock A Bye Baby" (he asks for "Rock Bye")  and "You Are My Sunshine" (and "Shun-sine").  Daddy has taught him "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" and we recently got him to sing the "ABCs" all the way through. It is all about the cutest thing I've ever heard. (Just as I'm typing this, we are watching the CMA Music Fest and as he is listening to Kasey Musgraves, he is singing back to her "Hey - ah - aay."

Tickling the ivories with his cousins
Eating - picky, picky and more picky this month. It always seems like he eats better for everyone else but us. We've had lots of tantrums over dinner - tossing food off his tray, mashing it on his tray and pushing it off the edges. Some days he will eat something...and the next it's the worst thing ever. BUT we did introduce peanut butter and you wouldn't believe how much he loves it!

Maybe if I made ice cream for him every night.....
Games - He's always been good at correlating the noise to the animal when we ask him "what does a pig say?" "Oink!" Lately, we play a game where I ask him "does a puppy say 'moo'?" and he says, "no mama, cow!" We go through every single animal he knows like this....and he's like "no mama (you silly adult, a puppy doesn't say that!)"

Counting the creamers at breakfast
(can you tell he's saying "twooo" here?)
Potty training - little man has officially begun going in the big boy potty and I love it. Back in May he started telling us "poo poo" and "pee pee" when he had to go...and generally he did just that. Nanny J and I had talked for a long while about it and I just wasn't ready. Finally...finally! I talked to Nick and we decided to give it a shot. And so we are in the midst of potty training little man and he is doing so well! I have to admit there has been many times he's been running around the house nakey lately after going on the big boy potty with his arms stretched in the air, yelling, "I pooo pooooo!" I don't care who you are, that's just cute! :)

Child care - all in one month we have had our last day with nanny J and started a new daycare (more to come on that) - and on both of those days I cried my eyes out. 

Toys - this kiddo was spoiled with a new man kitchen this month and he loves it so much. And while I'm not impressed that it currently resides in our living room and covers up the entire fireplace, I have to say that I love how happy it makes him. And playing with it brings me back to my younger days as well.

This month has been another great one. I absolutely love every minute of our little guy. He is seriously (no, seriously) so smart and lovable and awesome. 

Happy 21 months, little Mango! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Happiness Lately

I posted this quote on Insta a while back, but I find myself going back to it quite often. When I think things suck or I'm feeling overwhelmed, stressed or crabby - I just think about how great my life is. I'm fortunate to have the most amazing friends and family, a great husband, blessed with a rock star kiddo, a career I thoroughly enjoy...and so much more.

Sometimes it's just nice to reflect on those things.  Because the best things in life, aren't things.

A little bit of my happiness lately...

These two - my entire world all cuddled up in this little picture. I am more in love with Nick lately than I have been in the last 12 years of our relationship. He is my original main man and the one person I go to with everything. And Cruz. What a fun, happy, smart, loving little guy we were blessed with. Loving this stage in his life - there is something new every day - new words, actions, faces. And I just love how great Nick is with him and how much Cruz absolutely adores his daddy.

This food - it's so like me to feature food as something that makes me happy. Really, Katie? But...I have been craving this dish from J. Coco ever since eating the entire thing and basically licking my plate clean enjoying it like a lady last week on our anniversary date. It was a chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella cheese on a bed of heirloom tomatoes and onions drizzled in a balsamic sauce and sprinkled with feta cheese. And yes, it was as amazing as it sounds...and looks.

That new toy - last week Nick decided we didn't have enough "age appropriate" toys for little man. Enter a trip to Toys R Us on a random weeknight, where I had to talk him out of buying this kitchen (manly kitchen if you ask my husband...see, it has a grill and a pizza oven), a work bench AND a motorized car. Fortunately, he listened to me (and later praised me for not letting him do that). And Cruz? He is with it. We play with it every morning and night. He loves handing mama a coffee cup and bringing the coffee pot over to fill it up and then give me a breakfast hot dog. And me? I enjoy playing house with him quite a bit more than I should.

This wallet - last weekend when we were back home at our local watering hole (aka Skinny's Corner Bar), I noticed an all-to-familiar tractor sticker residing on my dad's worn out leather wallet. When I asked him about it, he told me Cruz had put it on there a few weeks back...and he just didn't want to remove it.  (Internally, this made my heart melt. Papa loves his grand babies so much.)

This cheeseball and that shirt - if you know me, you know I just love t-shirts with fun sayings. Suffice it to say that when I saw this one on Etsy - I just had to get it. Lord knows this kid is the center of this little ole blog. I'm lucky to have found this hobby as a place to document our life and everything about this little guy.

These girls - I'm pretty lucky to have three amazing sisters. Granted, I may not have always thought they were "amazing" let's just say, but I love that we are all so close now and have a pretty dang good time whenever we are together.

That bath and this picture - I can't get over how absolutely adorable he looks in this pic. I mean, those lips! Bath time is a fun time for him and I, but my favorite part is how after I wrap him up in his towel, he has to have a few minutes of snuggle time in the rocking chair. Ok...if you insist.

Then again, a few minutes after the snuggle time mentioned above, this same innocent little boy was on the changing table grabbing at his "dinger" as it's referred to in our household and proceeds to question,

"Mama, dinger?"

And I said, "yes, that is your dinger. Please don't mess with it."

Then he said, "big dinger!" (with probably more enthusiasm than it warranted)

Me: "um, let's hope for your sake."

(Thanks to his daddy for teaching him how to use opposites - big and small - evidently that lesson was used in the context of his body parts. I suppose boys will be boys.)

Just a little of my happiness to share with you. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Yet Another Weekend Post

Yep, it's Wednesday and I'm just recapping our weekend.

Partly because my weekend didn't end until Monday night (yay to having two days off this week!) and partly because I've been lazy and feeling under the weather.

But when weekends look this good - babies and blue topless trucks - why wouldn't you want to savor it?

And does it seem to anyone else that weekend posts are taking over this little ole blog? I think that just means we're having a damn good summer. And I don't want it to end...ever. It's about this time every year that I say this to myself, yet do I do anything about it and move down South. Nope. Because I love what we have here in Nebraska. Our family and most of our friends all within a very reasonable driving distance. You just can't beat that.

Now onto the weekend...

Darius Rucker at Stir Cove.  4,000 drinking, partying, country-listening folk in one outdoor venue. I was just jealous I was working and not enjoying myself like everyone else.

After a long day of golf for Nick and work for me, we loaded the car for Emerson - a six pack for him and a great country play list for me. Our plans to hang with the Lynch's were curtailed once we got home and they were asleep, so we headed into town and met my parents for beers and Fireball shots at Skinny's. I absolutely love being home. Seeing old friends, reminiscing, having drinks with mom & dad...some of my favorite times.

Well it didn't take me long to catch up with everyone else...and after they shouted out last call, Nick and I headed home, drove past the house and down to the farm. He loved seeing the cows (like father, like son) and then we thought it would be a great idea to climb around in the Fuchser semi. (Totally not what you think.) I love getting the chance to tell Nick stories about what it was like growing up on the farm (man, I sound so country!) and that night was no exception.

We planned a Sunday Funday with mom and her girls (aka all her daughters) AND all of her grandkiddos (minus Blaker). Lunch at Napoli's, kiddos playing in Tahazouka Park, cocktails on Jen's new patio and meeting the guys at the golf course after the Father-Son tournament.

Any weekend that involves my family...and I suppose some an amazing one.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Four Years of Wedded Bliss

Yesterday the old ball and chain and I celebrated four years of marriage. I can honestly say there is no one else in the world I would choose to have spent these last four years with. He is my number one guy, my best friend and I still have the hots for that gorgeous face.

Last night's anniversary dinner at J.Coco

On our wedding day - August 1, 2009

Our first picture together - October 2000

At this risk of this getting too cheesy - that's definitely not us - that is all I have to say.