Well 2014, Are You Really Leaving?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oh 2014 where have you gone?
Is it possible that I feel like everyone else around me is growing up and getting older but I'm still the same ol' 18 year old frolicking around without a care in the world?  Okay, just kidding because I have real life problems I have to deal with now.  But, I really do feel like time has all of a sudden sped up.  It is absolutely crazy for me to think that last year at this time we were almost two months into our new journey as a family of four.  Now it's all about survival baby...

So I made some resolutions at this time last year too.  Yeah, I wasn't very good about sticking with them.

But here are a few of my favorite moments of 2014:

Maternity Leave
Seriously, I really don't have to say more about this because you understand the beauty of this leave as does Canada because they give their mothers AN ENTIRE YEAR compared to our measly six weeks.  I call bullshit...
However, my darling husband worked the budget around so I could extend my maternity leave as long as possible.  I was able to stay home with this sweet stinker until the end of April.  I feel absolutely blessed to have had the opportunity to stay home for over five months with my precious Lola girl.

Family Vacation to Northern Michigan
We ventured up to Northport, Michigan in July for our first family vacation.  It was a long long drive, but it was such a fun time.  We ended up splitting the drive up halfway in our hometown, so it was the best of both worlds.  Despite the chilly weather we enjoyed spending time together on our first family vacation.  I'm hoping we will be able to spend at least one more summer there before my aunt and uncle decide to sell this beautiful lake home.

Sweet Summertime 
 I enjoyed eight fabulous weeks of summer with both of my munchkins.  While this was a shorter summer than usual, we enjoyed the most of the splash pad, pool, water park and playing outside.  My family falls into such a great routine during these breaks as do I.  I mean we have it down from meals, to naps, to my workouts - it's heaven on Earth.  But every time I have some short of elongated break, it makes me long to be a stay at home mom...

Cohen Lee Turns 4
Mr. Cohen turned the big 4!  I'm still in disbelief that my little man is just a mere year from starting Kindergarten.  The things he has learned and the things he says just blows my mind - good and bad.  He is so kind yet the most wild child I have ever met.  I'm not quite sure where the kid gets his energy because it's not his food since he rarely eats.  Don't judge.  However, he has a heart of gold and I love being able to snuggle with him early in the mornings before his sister wakes up or during nap time when we curl up together in my bed.  Cohen truly loves his sister and there is nothing better than watching him grow into the best big brother to Lola.

Lola Girl Turns 1
Lola girl turned the big 1 in November!  Seeing this little one transform from a tiny infant into a busy and enjoyable toddler has been nothing short of amazing.  It is crazy to think how much one human being can grow in a year.  Watching Lola hit all of her milestones -  new teeth, sleeping through the night, standing, smiling, laughing, crawling and now walking, she just amazes us every day.  She has the sweetest temperament, enjoys all kind of food and loves nothing more than watching her big brother.  Even though our original plans of a huge bash didn't go off as planned, it still ended up being a special day for our sweet girl with the family and friends who really mean the most to her.  And I was still able to decorate appropriately with pink, gold and lots of glitter.

Mama Ran the Mini
I finally made it and ran the full 13.1 miles of the Indianapolis Mini Marathon.  After months of training, I ran the majority of the race with my racing teaching buddy.  My goal was to successfully run the whole thing, which I was able to do and it felt amazing knowing that I finally completed this race.  I've already been asked if I'm doing it again this year and sadly I don't think my life right now has enough time to train.  While I probably physically could do it, I think once was enough...for now at least.
Did I mention I took the most amazing nap post race?

Overall 2014 was really good to us.  I'm thankful for the ability to provide for our family, the health of our children and the fun and laughter we have endured over the last 365 days.  I'm hopeful for a fresh start and a new outlook on things as well as the chance to see if 2015 can top 2014 -- are you up for the challenge?

See ya next year friends! :)

Weekend Shenanigans - Merry Christmas, You Filthy Animals

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

With Christmas being on a Thursday this year, we headed up north to celebrate the holiday a bit more with our families.  I decided that now we have children and until they stop believing in Santa, we will always spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at our own home.  There's something about that magically morning that I want my kids to always experience.  Plus I don't want to have to secretly drag each and every last present to Nana and Papa's house.  

Our original plan had been to head up there Christmas Day during nap time.  However, my dad who never gets sick, came down with the stomach flu.  Honestly I was really okay with staying in my Christmas jammies one extra day...

We got up bright and early Friday morning and hit the road.  And then turned around because I forgot my shoes.  But I'm a true believer in guardian angels.  Had we not turned around we would have witnessed a horrific accident.  The road was covered in black ice, which was not expected.  Literally ten minutes down the road we were detoured because of this accident and sadly we learned that a family of five people had lost control, crossed the median and ended up getting hit by a semi who tried to avoid them.  No one in the car survived.  After learning about the devastation of the accident I couldn't quite shake it from my mind.  It was a real and raw reminder of how precious our life is - another reminder to stop taking it for granted.

Since we were delayed a day with our celebrations, we had to squeeze two into one day.  We spend the morning and early afternoon with my family and then loaded the car up again and headed over to Kurtis' sister's house to celebrate again.  It was fun to see Cohen with his cousins, especially since he doesn't see them that often.  Kurtis and I always leave these family things and talk about how we need to have more of them because once a year just isn't enough.  But life gets busy, we live in three different cities and trying to coordinate schedules is quite difficult.  It was fun though and it's even more fun to see how similar some of their personalities are among each other.  Overall it was a nice Christmas, my kids were spoiled and I ate more candy than probably is legal.

We had planned on staying through Sunday but after seeing that accident Friday we weren't sure what the weather was planning.  So we headed up Saturday afternoon and it ended up being a glorious idea because both kids slept THE.ENTIRE.DRIVE.HOME. Even the dog was passed out.  We got home in the early evening, ate dinner and headed back out to spend some gift cards real quickly before bedtime.  Then Sunday we got up and took all of the Christmas decor down.  We usually keep it up until after the first of the year but with Lola climbing, standing and pulling everything off of the tree, it just made sense to put it away.  I was ready to have my living room back.  Now I need to clean my house.

Any takers?

How was your weekend my friends?

Merry Christmas to All in 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another year and another Christmas is in the books for the Baumgartners.  Last year we were part of the Zombie Club as Miss Lola was a mere six weeks old.  This year was a whole new ballgame.  Cohen was really excited for Santa and truly enjoyed every aspect of the season.  Christmas Eve was a relaxed one spent at home as we watched Christmas movies and anxiously checked to see where Santa was on the Santa Tracker.  Cohen was so wound up and I finally got him to bed at 10:00 as I was ready to go to bed about an hour prior.  But alas, the gifts were perfectly placed, stockings were stuffed to the brim and letters from Santa and Elfie had been placed out ready for the morning.  I even stayed up way past my bedtime to enjoy some alone time with my favorite Christmas character, Ralphie.  (I may be one of about ten people in the world who have no problem watching The Christmas Story multiple times during the 24 hour Christmas run on TV.  And  I also may be the only one that still laughs hysterically at Ralphie in the bunny suit.)

A Christmas miracle occurred the next morning as both kids woke up at 8:00 which meant I got a full 8 hours of sleep.
There is nothing sweeter than the sound of an extremely excited little boy as he sees Santa's loot for the first time.  As Cohen unwrapped his presents he kept saying, "This is the best Christmas ever!"   His excitement and joyfulness melted every part of my heart.  Miss Lola, however, wasn't quite sure what to think of everything going on as she lounged with her dad, drinking her morning bottle.  Presents weren't even a big deal and she would have much rather spent the time watching her brother play and open his own gifts.  This year's hit gifts were the BatCave for Cohen and Lola's pretend remote (which I may have thought I was buying her a play phone, oops).  We originally had planned to head up north later in the afternoon but my poor dad came down with the stomach flu.  But this gave us another day to enjoy some downtime to play with our new gifts from Santa in our Christmas comfies.  

It was a great Christmas and I'm excited to see what the new year has in store.  

Did I mention we also booked our Spring Break beach vacation on Christmas Day?
Once again...holllaaaa!

Merry Christmas my friends!  
What was your favorite part of the holiday?

Sorry Elfie. Mom Was Tired This Year.

Monday, December 22, 2014

As much as I  would love to be, I am not one of those "Pinterest Moms" who can think of the world's cutest things to do with their elves.  This year it was just a miracle that Elfie was such a success in our household.  So I will call this our experimental year with the Elf on the Shelf.  My husband is pretty good at some of the hiding spots but I can't lie when I say there were several (okay probably 80%) of the nights that I had to drag myself out of bed just before I fell asleep to move him.  Next year I vow to be more fun with Elfie.

Now tell me moms, what can I use to bribe with when Elfie leaves us in two days...

Here's the best of Elfie - Tired Mom Style:
 Ahhh...Marshmallow take me away.

 Naughty or Nice?  You be the judge.

 Apparently Elfie is not aware of the 4 square rule.

 Peek a boo!

 Hangin' tough

That one time when you're a kid and you slide down the banister and rack yourself because you're going down too fast and can't stop.  Yeah, that just happened.

I'm in disbelief that Christmas Eve is two days away.  That means just two more nights to spend with Elfie until he heads back to the Northpole.  Elfie, thank you so much for allowing me use you as a pawn in my daily bribery commentary with my rotten typical four year old son.  I will not say goodbye to you, only see you soon because goodbyes are forever and we both know that you will be coming back to our household for as long as Cohen believes in you.

Maybe next year I'll have more pinnable Elfie images...

My Winter Break Will Go a Little Like This

Saturday, December 20, 2014

I have survived half of this year already.  I'm not sure how I have done it, but I did.  This year has been more difficult for me.  The switch from a one child parent to two children parent was the biggest challenge, especially going back to work full time. But finding the balance between my job and home life - now that is the daily struggle.  Teaching used to be such a family friendly profession.  Sadly it has become less and less about family and more directed and controlled by leaders who have either lost touch with what it's like to be in the classroom or have never bee in the classroom at all.
Okay, getting off of my soapbox now...

Honestly I'm in disbelief that it's already time to think of resolutions for the new year (and ones that I can keep longer than 5 minutes).  I finished up my Christmas shopping today and now I just need an evening to spend 4 hours wrapping every. single. gift.
I do not enjoy that process.
But I do enjoy it with a nice cold beer.  Or even better a bubbly glass of Champs.
What I am the most excited about is spending the next two weeks with my little monkeys and my one big hunky monkey husband when he gets some time off of work.  This year I am crossing my fingers for no snow and hoping tropical like temperatures all winter long.
Oh wait, I'm in Indiana...
No, seriously.  If we have another winter like we did last year then you can find me in the Caribbean waiting tables because I sure as hell will not survive another freezing winter.  My body is not programmed for -15 degrees and 2 feet of snow.  Once upon a time I used to have a tan 365 days a year until I realized how terrible it was for me.  (Think Umpa Loompa.  For real, why did I think that looked good?)  Now I just resort to my bronzer to take me back to warmth and beach like weather when I'm down and sad and cold.
Since I have two weeks off here are the things I plan on doing:

1.  Attempt to catch up on my sleep
There is something about waking up to your kids as your alarm clock rather than your own personal one.  I'd much rather get up at 7:30 because my kids are up than because my alarm is telling me to do so.  I'm hoping I can catch up and maybe even create a bit of a surplus in the sleeping area.  Wishful thinking I'm sure.

2.  Spend as much time with my family
By the time I get home at 4:30 every night, I'm cooking dinner, carrying around a grumpy baby, trying to eat dinner myself and then it's time for the kids to go to bed.  Some nights I get to see Lola for maybe two hours, depending on if she got a good nap in at the sitter's or not.  I hate that, I really really do.  So I plan on playing, cuddling and loving on my stinkers as much as possible!

3.  Go on a date
My husband and I haven't been on a date since September -- that's a problem.  I am crossing my fingers to find a night where the two of us can get dinner and drinks and actually enjoy them without eating too fast to taste it and without a baby in our lap.  Hey Maggie -- you think you can pencil us into your schedule?

4.  Get my fitness on
With the flu ravaging through our house last week my workouts got put on the back burner.  But I convinced the hubby to give me my shoes as an early Christmas present..and because I accidentally took them out of the box on Friday and wore them to work out, and then put them back into the box like I didn't do anything.
Whatever.  You know you would've done it too.

5.  Spend some alone time with my DVR
I have about 40243923 shows that just keep piling up on the DVR.  I need to watch and erase ASAP.  Plus I want to blog about my most recent reality obsessions too.  I would call it working really.

I was hoping for a Saturday nap, but I probably should run to the grocery so we don't have to eat peanut butter and jelly for dinner tonight.  Now that is what I call mommy problems...

How do you plan to spend your holidays?

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I've been MIA for the past week due to several circumstances:
1.  Friday I woke up with some kind of bug.  No, I didn't throw up but I will spare you the details of how it did decide to leave my body.  Let's just say that moving around hanging stuff up and getting ready for our Cultural Bazaar was not helping my situation out.  Therefore I left work early and spent the rest of the day confined to my bed.  I have to be honest, I still don't feel 100%.  Maybe it's the ridiculous amount of junk food I have consumed in the past 48 hours...

2.  On Saturday Cohen woke up from his nap acting funny.  He then projectile vomited Exorcist style all over his room.  I spent the rest of the night playing doctor and trying to get the blue slushy he had at Target earlier in the day out of his carpet.  Luckily it was a quick bug, but I'm still wiped out from staying up with him all night.

3.  Sunday Lola woke up super congested with "runny" diapers.  The diaper situation ended by the next day but she was grabbing at her ear.  Why? Because she has ear infection #2 in her left ear since October.  Now she is super clingy and I'm about ready to have a melt down myself about it.

However, the one great thing about this week so far was Cohen's Christmas program.  Last year Lola was not even a month old but this year she was crawling under chairs and waving to make friends with every person that walked past her.  But Cohen, oh my sweet Cohen.  This kid melted my heart times a million.  He had sang his song for me earlier but to have the full effect is something in itself.  I'm not just saying this because he's my child but the second he heard that music his eyes lit up and he sang his little heart out -- he definitely was a shining star on that stage.  I took about a bazillion pictures in hopes that it was distracting away from my free flowing tears.  Seriously, every program I have I cry my eyes out - and I'm not even sad!  The whole thing was just so sweet.  I still can't get his little singing face out of my head.  Afterwards he was so proud of himself too, which made me melt even more.  These are the things you look forward to as a parent.

Well, and the day they decide that sleep is an imperative part of living.

I'm off to bed myself.  I need to make myself familiar with my treadmill tomorrow morning again after a week long hiatus...