Category Archives: Christmas

invasion of the orbeez


Summer got to celebrate Christmas 5 times this year which of course included 5 times the family, friends, and gifts at our home, my parents’ house, Scott’s place, his mom’s house and his brother’s house. I KNOW. Deprived.

We had a blast at my parents’ on Christmas Eve until 8:30pm when my baby hit the inconsolable point of no return – my cue for us to head home. When we left, my plan was to keep her awake for the 15 minute car ride home because after 8pm all the good parking spots in my lot are taken. And I knew if she fell asleep in the car I’d end up carrying the dead weight of a 38 pound child plus a purse, a backpack, leftovers, gifts, and my sanity across a football field. So we climbed in the car. I convinced her to sing Christmas songs with me to keep her awake. I put the car in reverse. “Oh the weather outside is fright”… bam. Sleeping.

14 minutes later we arrived home, and with the strength of 1000 gorillas I got everyone and everything inside by piling 2 king sized pillows, 2 purses, peppermint bark, 1000 legos, 50,000 shopkins and a 5-year-old on my back like a scrap metal truck and unlocking the door with my toes while sweat dripped from my pits.

Santa was good to my baby this year. He had stuffed everything she asked him for into her stocking and placed it under the tree while she slept. And when she woke up Christmas morning and ripped the paper off her gifts with fervor, little hearts in her eyes sparkled when she laid them upon her first ever bag of orbeez. If you are unfamiliar with orbeez, take a gander at YouTube for Kids and you’ll see the 239,738,438 videos Summer has adoringly watched of kids playing with them.


The 8oz bag was the size of my hand. Just add water and they’ll bloom into little jelly balls from Heaven. I suggested we use maybe half the bag to save some for a later date but she insisted we put them all in. Her present, her Christmas, her choice. At first I thought the pasta pot would be big enough, but then decided we should maybe use a punch bowl just in case. The package said something about blah blah 1 tsp equals blah 1 quart when hydrated blah blah. A quart… a quart is like one of those little cartons of milk you get in grade school with lunch right? Or is it a half gallon… meh, punch bowl would be safe.

For all of 8 minutes.

The beads started expanding more than I thought they would and threatened to spill over the top of the punch bowl so I grabbed the pasta pot and transferred a bunch in. Then I had to grab a big glass bowl and do the same. Then a few oversized cups. My pots and pans. Some cereal bowls. The crock pot.



I took another look at the bag and it said something about 20,000 marble sized jelly beads. TWENTY THOUSAND MARBLES people. I had missed that part but…but…you know, orbeez!


They’re actually kind of fun to play with but now that Summer has been at her dad’s for 2 days I’ve been staring at 20,000 gel balls that have taken over my dining room and I don’t know what the fuck to do with them. I thought putting a bunch in the colander would dry them out and maybe make them shrink back down to beads but 2 days later and…


That would have been too easy. This morning however, I discovered that Summer had put 1 orbee in a container by itself and it has since shrunk back down to a bead! So now I’m off to go place 20,000 jelly balls in 20,000 separate spaces.


Talk to you all next Christmas.


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stupid zoo lights

Summer’s new thing is that whenever someone does or says something that she doesn’t like, she says that the person isn’t allowed to go to her birthday party. I’m happy to report that I’ve officially been uninvited at least 10 times now because, well, there’s the whole no candy canes for breakfast thing for starters….

Anywho, my friend and I decided that this past weekend we would take our girls to the Lincoln Park Zoo for the annual zoo lights. They put up thousands of Christmas lights all over and with one of my mantras being there is no such thing as too many Christmas lights, I’m pretty sure the fact that I have never been to see these zoo lights is illegal.

This past Sunday was the perfect weather for it, so Summer, my friend Sharon and I put on our coats and headed out the door. Then I had to run back in to grab umbrellas in case it started drizzling later. Then I had to run back in to grab monkey and blankie. Then I had to run back in to grab gloves and a sippy cup. We were out the door for the 4th time and finally on our way.

Traffic was horrible driving into the city but we braved the bumper to bumper drive that took us almost an hour, picked up Sharon’s daughter at her dad’s, then headed towards the zoo. The exit off Lake Shore Drive was backed up for a good mile but we sat patiently, asking the girls what they were most excited to see. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” came from the back seat a good 4,283 times on the exit ramp and I assured the girls that one more turn and we’d be there. We finally got off the exit ramp and we could see the stoplight where we would be turning into the parking lot. FINALLY.

I cut someone off to get over.

I got in the turn lane.

We were 3 cars away at the red light.

Come on green arrow.

And then….

oh hell no….

what is he DOING?

oh no, no nooooooooo…..

lot full

Can’t see it? Here, let me zoom in for you…..

no birthday party for you

The guy literally put those cones and the sign up while we were waiting the 45 seconds for the light to turn green! So to summarize my entire day from beginning to end in less than 2 seconds, it went something like this:

Want to go to the zoo lights?

yeah noooooooo

To make sure the night wasn’t a total loss, we took the girls out for dinner and ice cream which ended up being SO much more fun than seeing some stupid lights on some stupid trees at the stupid boring zoo. See?


Zoo totally forgotten.


Filed under Christmas, Kids, life, Parenting, ridiculousness

things a happenin’

Thanksgiving came and went in a blink and Christmas is officially peeking around the corner at me as I pretend that I’ve bought all of my presents while secretly hiding the sweat that’s pooling in the waistband of my underroos knowing damn well I haven’t bought a thing. So for now to get my mind off of it, here are a few photos of what’s been going on in these here parts lately… IMG_0401 babies Jumping on Auntie Jaime’s bed is the best! p.s.Owl City’s Good Time gets the highest jumps out of 3-year-olds… bed jumping sleeping beauty For the 5th year in a row I participated in the annual Weddingbee ornament exchange. This year I was given Mrs. Glasses and for weeks I worried about how I was going to make a handmade ornament that looked like a pair of glasses. And then it hit me…duh, a bee with glasses for a bee with glasses… bee adalyn My boss came into town and fed us lots of food while we dared him to ice skate on the rink behind this tree. He wasn’t having it. Note to self – feed boss man more wine before trying to get him to strap sharp blades to his feet and glide around like a delicate swan…. Bill birthday card Exact words spoken before snapping the greatest picture in the history of ever: “Mommy, there’s a booger on my finger and it’s freaking me out…” booger caleb A fun time was had by all at work playing the open-the-vending-machine-press-the-button-and-catch-the-flying-can-before-it-hits-you-in-the-crotch game…. catch the can shrek My car has officially sprouted its annual antlers from Dollar Tree… DSC03823 DSC03824 I wondered for days while the snow was melting why on earth the slush running off my patio table was a sick yellowish color. Then all of the snow melted to reveal a present from the squirrels with teeth marks in it. An hour later it was gone. We’re just all going to agree that it’s a piece of chocolate. Squirrel=3, Me=0. Asshole. chocolate dad Doggie torture…. doggie torture Brother-in-law torture (don’t let that face fool you, he always looks like that when I see him)… IMG_0367 I am officially 100% Hunger Games obsessed. I ended up going to see the third in the theater by myself because I was super impatient and couldn’t wait for my Hunger Games partner in crime to join me…and now I’m dying for the 4th…damn you Mockingjay 1 for ending where you did! hunger games IMG_0359 And for the best song to add to your Christmas kitchen dance party playlist (why yes we do have one of those that we danced to for 2 hours last night, we’ll surely be adding more songs to it nightly)…


Filed under Christmas, Family, home, Kids, life, Love, Office Jaime, Parenting, Photography, ridiculousness, Thanksgiving

window number four


My friend gave us an advent calendar last night. It’s nothing fancy, no hidden chocolates or anything exciting behind each window, just flaps numbered 1-24 counting down the days until Jesus’s birthday. We hung it on the closet near the front door so we would remember every morning to open a new window. And this morning we started the countdown. Except after we opened the window marked “1”, Summer wanted to open more. I gave her the option – either she can close #1 and open #24 making the countdown the same only backwards, or we could wait until tomorrow to open the next one. She chose to go for #24 simply because she wanted to open another window, because opening #1 and leaving it at that wasn’t enough. And after our countdown was officially reversed, she wanted to open #4. I told her we can’t open #4 yet, it’s only the first day.

You would have thought I shot her puppy, cancelled her birthday party, and peed in her apple juice all at the same time.

My girl cried. Hard. With tears rolling down her face, she curled up in a ball on the floor and bawled her eyes out almost to the point of me giving in and letting her open #4 because she is that good. But with the clock ticking and a 30 minute drive to daycare calling, I ended up putting my purse on one shoulder, a backpack on the other, keys and travel mug full of coffee in one arm, and a weeping 3 year old like a sack of potatoes in the other as we walked out the door and probably woke up every neighbor in the process with crying screams echoing down the hall. Window #4 stayed closed.

The whole way to daycare I thought about how I want her to know that there are rules. That there are certain things we do for a reason. That patience is a wonderful thing. But at the same time, she’s 3. She’s been in daycare since she was 16 months old. She has a pretty structured day with scheduled snack time, and naptime, and potty break time, and reading time, and plenty of important rules. Don’t hit your friends. Throw away your garbage. Don’t wipe your snot under the table (a lesson learned last week). And obviously she has rules at home that are worth enforcing. Brush your teeth. Put your toys away. Don’t hit the dogs. Bedtime at 8:30. Potty before bed. And with all these rules that we have to follow, in the grand scheme of things, does opening window #4 on day #1 on a silly paper advent calendar really matter? Is it hurting anyone? Will she even care about the calendar by day 8? Is it really a rule worthy of enforcing?

It’s really not.

So after I got home from dropping her off, I decided that while it was good that I didn’t give in while she was tantruming on the floor, maybe I should just open up window #4 for her… you know, to show her that if she wants to open the silly little paper flaps in whatever order she chooses, I’m completely fine with it.

And then I thought that maybe I should open one more since it is technically the second day of Advent and all.

And one more just to let her know that really, it’s her Advent calendar, her way.

Aaaaaaaaaand maybe just one more to really drive the message home.

I think you see where this is going…..


Shit. Luckily the only one who saw me do it was Hazy and she’s not telling.


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Filed under Christmas, Funny, Kids, life, Parenting, ridiculousness


While Summer was obviously on the nice list this year, a point which can be proven with one glance at our living room, aka Toys R Us 2, I do believe I may have landed on the naughty list because I ended up with a stocking full of what you may refer to as ‘the stomach flu’. I lovingly call it ‘kill me know because death has got to be better than this’. The morning after Christmas, or any morning for that matter, there’s something not so fun about torturing your severely dehydrated self with little sips of water that you know will land you head-first back in the toilet only making you more thirsty. I haven’t been that sick since I think ever and I still think I maybe kinda should have taken Scott up on his offer to take me to the ER. Even my breast milk dried up, it was that bad. Luckily for me, Scott was home that day – there was no way I could have taken care of my little one which is just a horrible feeling to begin with let alone when it’s piled on top of a nasty case of the full body shakes. And then, at 7:00pm that night, in a dismal haze I vaguely remember Scott darting in and out of the bedroom while I simultaneously caught the baby mid-air with my eyes closed and arms up as I heard him faintly mutter, “zomg-I’m-gonna-throw-up-blurp….” The next thing I knew, I was pulling my big girl panties up to my chin ’cause flu or no flu, I was officially back on momma duty.

And while I still am and forever will be a strong advocate for ‘formula is fantastic’, I’m convinced that Summer didn’t get sick because of breast milk. It really is a magical thing with all its antibodies and healing powers and fairy dust and stuff and considering that 7 out of the 10 of us that were together got sick at some point over then next week and she didn’t, I think that’s pretty cool. So for a few days after I puked out my spleen, small intestines and a kidney, I was an every 2 hours, no excuses, pumping machine. I was determined to get the boobies working again. And now a week later I’m happy to report the mom boobs are almost back in full force.

Alright, enough about my boobs, enjoy some happy pictures from the holidays…

Everyone opened presents, even the doggies. And as for Summer? Well…my baby’s a natural:

Summer finally got to meet cousin Megan in person and it was love at first sight:

We tried on some Christmas loot from Nanna and Auntie Moosha… I don’t know what it is about this baby and hats but I just want to squeeeeeze her:

We hung out with our cousins, Meat Paws and Caleb and played with the new toys:

And I stumbled upon this ferocious little bear cub roaring at me in the nursery recliner. I think we’ll just have to keep her and meet her demands of lots of kisses to keep her under control. Be afraid…be very afraid:

And on New Year’s Eve, since I was pregnant on our 1 year wedding anniversary and didn’t want to risk sudden death by pastry, we finally ate our wedding cake (still probably not the smartest just coming off the stomach flu but call me brave like that…or just really, really stupid):

And after realizing the hard thing in the middle was a wooden dowel and NOT a solidified worm larvae like I thought at first…

…I’m happy to report that Amy has some mad baking skillz that hold up to the tests of time, a move, a few power outages and a little freezer burn.

I’m also happy to report that I made it to midnight, though that’s more than I can say for this one…

and this one…

She and bedtime bear rang in the new year together in dreamland.

From my family to yours, I hope you had a wonderful holiday!! Happy New Year!


Filed under Christmas, Holiday, New Years, Summer

momma’s first Christmas

This is seriously getting out of control.

I realize this whole baby’s first Christmas thing is so much more for me than my 6-month-old, especially considering the girl still believes that toes make the best pacifiers and the word ‘whoa’ is hilarious for some reason and green beans are the devil incarnate served with a spoon. So while wrapping musical toys that light up and blow bubbles, and telling baby girl all about Santa on our drives to Nanna’s, and making her laugh while dancing like a goon to the Beach Boys ‘Little Saint Nick’ has been way too much fun, I’m no dummy thinking that she’s gonna retain any of this. But you know, that’ll never stop me from sucking all the sentiment out of the fact that this is my baby’s first Christmas and honestly, Christmas through momma eyes is pretty freaking fantastic! So this weekend we’ll have the cheesy DVR yule log on the tv and I’ll actually remember to kiss Scott and baby under the mistletoe that we leave up all year round and completely forget about, and I’ll be taking a thousand pictures of Summer ripping the paper on her presents while letting her lick my Christmas ham. Literally. 😉 I can’t wait.

The only thing I haven’t quite figured out yet is what to tell her when she’s old enough to realize we don’t have a fireplace for Santa. If he goes down our chimney, he ends up in the furnace.


Filed under Christmas

ugly holiday sweater day

It’s that time of year again, and I swear every year we have fewer and fewer participants making my chances of winning that much better, muah ah ah ah ah.

Here’s a look back at past years leading up to today…

2008: 1st Annual UHSD – It was a moo-ey Christmas fo’ sho’.

2009: 2nd Annual UHSD…Nothing says Christmas like a barnyard full of animals.

But Jaime, where do the animals sleep when Christmas is over? Ah looky looky…

2010: 3rd Annual UHSD…I was 3 months pregnant under this jingly number:

2011: 4th Annual UHSD….is the best part the little yellow kitty peeking out behind the snowmen?

No sir, it’s the big tree on me bum.

I want the damn nutcracker prize.


Filed under Christmas, Office Jaime, ridiculousness