Thursday, December 6, 2012

A & E

I have a little cross necklace with two circle charms on the same chain. One charm says A. The other, E.

Tonight, Asher noticed it. He told me, "You have letters on that, Mom."

I said, "Yes, do you know what they are?"

He identified them and said "That one says Asher," when he noted the A.

I explained, "I have the A and E on my necklace because the A is for Asher and the E is for Elias. I wear them because I'm your mommy and I love you so much that I want to wear your letters."

He listened intently. Then stood up, crossed the kitchen to where I sat on the floor and wrapped his arms around me.

I don't want to forget this sweet moment. Man I love these boys.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Extreme poop

Yes, I'm writing about poop.

But, it's a daily part of my life. So, why not? Right? Besides, when you read this story you will understand why it needs to be a part of blog history.

Anyways, here are some pictures of Elias from several months back. (Soon-to-be parents, turn the other way. This will horrify you.) And yes, we documented this incident because it was so freaking pooptastic.

As you can see, there was poop. Plenty of poop. All was well in the world.

But now, now we have the opposite extreme on our hands. Quite literally, actually, on my hands.

A little history. Both Asher and Elias had to take Miralax daily (baby does, ped approved) when they started solids. Their little systems just couldn't handle the new poop in their world. But Elias has taken it to a whole new extreme. Bless his heart.

Last week, he'd been almost a week without pooping. Which, many doctors will say can be just fine for a baby (or at least a breastfed baby, because that's all I really know). But Elias was not fine. He was clearly uncomfortable. And, after a few little hard stools, we upped the Miralax doses and increased the prune frequency in his meals. That didn't seem to help.

One afternoon, Joni said he was really struggling to poop. Straining. Red face. You know the drill, right mamas? So, I did a little infant suppository. Usually that does the trick.

This time, it worked. Sort of. He immediately needed to poop. And it was STUCK. And I mean STUCK. He screamed and cried for what felt like hours. Joni and I kept checking his diaper and looking at each other like, "What the EFF are we supposed to do?"

We tried rubbing his belly and putting him in a warm sink of water. And we could see there was poop. But it was stuck. In our sight, yes. And not coming out. The water made him scream more.

I picked up the phone and called the doc. My favorite nurse answered (thank you, God) and she said, "Honey, do you have any gloves and some petroleum jelly?" I thought, "I was afraid you'd say that. Shit." Instead, I said, "Yes ma'm. Let me gather my supplies."

Joni kept soothing a crying (read: miserable, hysterical) Elias while I prepared. Favorite Nurse gave me a pep talk on the line. I was to put on the gloves, lubricate Elias' poor bottom and pull out the poop. Now, you can stop reading if you want to. And I wouldn't blame you. But, if you're brave. Read on.

I started pulling out little pieces of rock hard poop. Elias kept screaming. Joni was trying to not gag and cry at the same time. (Elias was really pitiful.) Asher was eaitng M&M's or something to stay occupied.

Then, I reached a point where I couldn't do anymore. And there was so much stuck in there. I could see it.

Favorite Nurse said, "Ok Momma, now he may tear. And that's ok. Just do your best." I said, "It's huge and I can't get it! Really? He may TEAR?" And Favorite Nurse said, "Ok, well, you're going to have to get a thermometer and use that to poke in there and break apart the poop. Use it to cut the poop. Then, it'll be in pieces that you can get out."

Holy shit. Holy shit. Holy shit. This is not happening.

Oh, but it did. I did as I was instructed. Favorite nurse was encouraging me. Elias was screaming. Joni was traumatized.

But ladies and gentleman of the internet, I did it. I broke apart the world's largest shit ball with a thermometer and saved my poor baby from endless pain. That thing wasn't coming out on its own. I did it. I'm a poop hero.

(And for the record, we're adding more Miralax to the daily meal plan and trying to keep him more regular. So far, so good.)

Congrats if you actually made it this far in this story of stool. And if you've done this poop digging before, I commend you. It's no easy feat. Whew.

The things you'll do for love.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stickygrams for my Instagrams

What did we do before Instagram? And before that, what did we do before Facebook? My kids are going to have digital baby books, since I click pictures of them every 2.2 seconds with my phone. The technology allows me to share (read: overshare) with everyone, but sometimes I get sad because I feel like there are a lot less prints around the house.

Then, on some brilliant mom's blog, I stumbled upon making magnets from your Instagram photos. Bingo! Right on! Yay! And, they are so stylish and pretty. Who doesn't want squared photo magnets of all your favorite photos greeting you on the door to your fridge? And, instead of having little magnet circles or something on that back, the entire surface is a magnet. (This is important to wives like me that get in trouble for scratching up the stainless surfaces with all my magnet tendencies.)

So, I ordered my first set of Stickygrams. And, I think at the time I got a set for free because they usually have some sort of special going on. I've gotten them for grandparents' gifts, too. Their interface is super easy. You just connect with your Instagram account and click and drag to your magnet. Easy peasy.

I've arranged them in different ways on my fridge. They really are pretty sharp looking. And I just love them.

I kept meaning to write a blog post about them because I'm just THAT in love with them. But, I kept forgetting. Then, today I get an email from my Stickygram friends that I have my own 'share' code now. If you want to order some yourself, then you get $2 off using my code (and I get credit, too). It's a win(for you)-win(for me)-win(for your fridge)-win(for mine) for all of us.

Get on it for Christmas, y'all!

Use the promo code FRIEND462P.  Just go to to start.

Asher's Apps: Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally

This interactive episode of Mickey's Clubhouse is fast becoming our new favorite app. This Road Rally app (on our iPad) takes Asher through an episode of the show where he has to interact along the way. There are shapes to find, buttons to push, trees to shake, and ducks to count. It's really cute and Asher enjoys being involved in one of his favorite tv shows.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Giving Thanks

As we approach Thanksgiving, I wanted to send out a 'thankful' note to friends and family. And, I wanted something that we could share as a family with others out there who may be on the hunt for ways to say give thanks.

I asked my lovely designer friend, Kristen, to put together some 'I am thankful for...' strips that could be made into links and displayed as a 'thankful' chain in our home. I then shared these little pieces of thanks along with our Thanksgiving note with some of our loved ones.

And, of course any Thanksgiving card isn't complete without attempted turkey handprints from my boys. Asher, carefully put the blue eye on each turkey. And Elias was less cooperative and his turkeys were solid red, and in the form of just a plain handprint. :)

In case anyone else out there is looking for something to show their thankfulness, I'm going to post the documents here. We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! And remember, give thanks with a grateful heart.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Asher's Apps: Fisher Price Laugh & Learn

Forgot about this little blog series. But Asher sure hasn't slowed down on his app playing. Or app rearranging on my phone. Or random phone calling.

There are a few apps that Asher always turns to. And the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn apps are always popular. And I like that they are from a trustworthy brand and are very well done.

There are several apps in the series. Our current fave is the Shapes & Colors or the Monkey. Download them and enjoy the learning!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My baby boys' Happy Birthday rap video

Yesterday was my main man's birthday. And, because all important birthday deserve videos, I coerced the kids to participate in a little rap tribute.

You know, I had all these costume changes in my plan. And changes of location. You know, mention bath and the boys would be in the bath. Right. I didn't think through Asher's new disdain of 'taking pictures' and Elias's new mobility. So, we made do.

Here it is. Our baby boys celebrating their dada.

They sure love their daddy. And so do I.

(One day, they may not love that I have forever virtually published them in this rap video. But, for now, I love it!)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Bridgeton Park Halloween

Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen!

Since moving in to our new home, there is one thing we've heard from everyone we've met. -- You are going to love Halloween! And everyone was right.

For starters, a good portion of the homes decorated for Halloween. I hope this is a good indication of the amount of Christmas decorating that's going to take place because that excites me to no end. Also, we all partipcated in the 'boo' tradition until every house in the hood had the 'ghostly ghost' hanging on our front doors. The holiday-er in me has just been so excited about all of this good stuff.

So, that leads us to today. Rusty left work early and we loaded up the big Romero wagon as soon as he got home. We made our way to the end of our street to meet up with everyone else - all dressed up! - for the Annual Bridgeton Park Halloween Parade. There was a banner and hundreds of people. It was the cutest thing.

Elias was perched in the wagon, posing as Fireman Asher's very own fire station dalmation. He was just mesmerized by everything going on around him (and there was a lot). Asher explored and visited everyone and wasn't afraid at all by any of the costumes (and some of them were creepy). I quickly joined the scores of other parents with giant cameras snapping photos every 2.2 seconds.

Madelyn and her best friend Sophia, chillin.

The parade continued to the far end of the hood where it culminated in a block pizza party - complete with a kids DJ. Kids danced and ate and parents drank and chased.

Look at that circle of kids in there hugging.

Why didn't anyone inform me that the hat string made my cheeks so poofy? Oh well.
But my big boy (we dropped Elias off with Nini and my parents at the house during the parade so he could stay warm) wanted to play with the big, big boys. He walked in the middle of multiple sword fights. Climbed the hilly hills and fell a number of times (no tears here!).

There was this awesome tree (and if anyone knows what it is, please tell me because I need to plant one immediately) and many of the older boys played in and around it. And Asher.

Seriously. This is the coolest. Tree. Ever. I need one.

I didn't realize how creepy that skeleton kid looked until I reviewed the pics. Ha.
Our neighbor Gray (aka Wolfpack fan) is the sweetest kid. He plays with Asher here and does the best job of keeping him entertained (and safe). He took Asher under his wing and made sure he didn't hurt himself. He followed him around, played catch and just generally was so awesome with him. Thank you, Gray!

More fun in the coolest. Tree. Ever.

Rolling up his sleeves.

When the time came to trick or treat, Asher and his pal Madelyn just marched on up to the first house and did their thing. Asher's obsessed with doorbells, so clearly trick or treating was going to be a hit. Doorbells and candy. Duh. We caught up with Gray and his sister Molly and went to a few more houses. I heard Gray telling everyone, "He likes M&M's" when it came time to give Asher his candy. How sweet is that?

Look at my candy, Daddy!

Examining the creepy headless, screeching witch at one door step.

(Yes, I know, there are a ton of pictures here. But these next few just crack me up and therefore, must be included.)

Molly, come on!

Fine. I'll go on without you.

Priorities: AIRPLANE! I see AIRPLANE right 'dere!
It was cold. And we headed home to examine our loot with Nini and pass out candy from the warmth of our house. We had so many trick or treaters it was crazy. Asher loved seeing who came to the door. One reaction was the best. He said, "OHHH, whoaaaaa!" at one fella's wolf costume. We ran out of candy after about 45 minutes - and I started out with a lot, y'all. Next year: buy more. Much, much more.

It was a great adventure. A great Halloween. A great neighborhood event. Great memories! Yay!

Annnnnd as if those weren't enough.... Here are more photos. Thanks, Dad!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Our new home: progress

We moved this summer - into our forever home. And it's amazing. And I love it. We all do.

There are still a handful of things I want to change, but money doesn't grow on trees. Duh. I made a few necessary-for-my-sanity updates when we first moved in. These include:
  • Replacing brass knobs on all cabinetry throughout the house with brushed nickel or white hardware.
  • Removing wallpaper and border all around the house. (Well, not me personally, but my wallpaper angel.)
  • Painting over the dark shades that were everywhere.
  • Bringing down the very brass ceiling fans and putting up more neutral, modern fans. (Again, not me, but I did the shopping.)
  • Taking down light fixtures and bathroom fixtures and spray painting them brushed nickel or bright blue or antiqued bronze. Thanks, Rustoleum, for your awesomeness.
After just those few things, it already felt much more tolerable to me. I just wanted it to be at a point that I was proud of it when I gave tours and not constantly saying, "Yeah, those knobs. I hate them, too." And it's unreal what a big difference these little changes made, particularly in the kitchen. The heart of our home.

Meanwhile, Rusty tackled the curb appeal. I admit, when we first started house hunting I looked right past this house many times because I just didn't like the exterior. I know, silly. Rusty and I became weekend warriors, though, and got right to work.

We took down all the shutters and spray painted them. (Three coats. My tennis shoes and nose hairs were black, too.) I painted the front door. We had two bradford pear trees cut down (one was half dead). We cleared out all the shrubs that weren't our taste and seeded the front lawn. We (with the help of Asher and a few hard workers) relocated the little rock retaining wall to around the side tree and created a natural area. And I worked for hours on the bushes out front with my new trimmer. (No one warned me that my arms would be all quivery for hours after that I would be incapable of gripping anything.)

I learned during this process (and being home during work hours looking out my office windows that I can now see out of because the bushes are trimmed) that we are probably the only people in this neighborhood that do our own yard work. And our own painting and such. Neighbors (well, their landscaping teams) are laying sod, we are laying bright yellow grass seed mats. Ha.

All of this to say, we are so blessed to be in this home. And I'm so proud to show off some of the before, during and now photos. Check it!

Before: What were they thinking with these bushes, ya'll? This photo courtsey of Google maps.
When we purchased it, the weird perpendicular bushes were already removed.
During: The two pear trees are gone. Front giant wall of sidewalk shrubs remain.
Natural area with 'rock retaining wall' and two oddly-placed and badly-pruned crepe myrtles remained.

During: I didn't want to say goodbye to those crepe myrtles, but they were in odd shapes.
And, one was directly in front of our front door. With the other trees gone, they were really out of place.
Now: Grass is growing. (For the record, I hate that grass mat thing that's so bright and in your face.
But, it got our grass growing on that slope, so it'll do.)

Now: No more crazy bush wall along the walk.
Pretty house, I love you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Oh, Asher. I love you.

Tonight, on my post dinner walk with my little boys, Asher saw some of the neighbor's Halloween decorations.

I couldn't understand what he was exclaiming at first. He just kept saying something over and over, wanting me to understand and react accordingly.

And, as I usually do, I tried to sound it out and surmise the situation to piece it together.

Then I figured it out.

"Oh gracious!"

Oh gracious?

Damn I love you, kid. I definitely do.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Capturing the now

We set out on a family adventure this afternoon.

I had my camera in tow and wanted to capture some moments with my boys. I don't think when we left to go 'to the park' that Rusty realized I had a mini-photo session in mind.

Asher's been going through a 'no taking pictures' phase. But, Elias just started crawling and the boys had on their matching plaid tartan pants. And, hello, pictures are needed!

There was no such thing as a brothers photo together. Asher was having none of that. So, after trying to wrangle shots of my rock-climbing two-year-old, Elias was sweetly content with my mama-razzi rolling-in-the-grass picture taking.

So, these are our now.

"No taking pictures, Mommy!"

Sadly, the session was cut short when I had a bad (really, really, really bad) mom moment. I had E in my arms and the camera around my neck. I was setting him down in a spot for a great shot and while squatting down myself, I am not sure what happened. But sweet E leaned back and we lost our balance and he fell to the ground. He hit his head really hard - on concrete. I'm cringing as I type this. It was pitiful. He cried and cried. Rusty, thankfully, didn't yell at me. (I'm not sure how he managed that.) I feel awful. I immediately put the camera aside and loved on my little man and his big noggin. He seemed fine though after a few minutes. I obsessed over it (duh), checked his pupils for dilation (repeatedly) and examined his head countless times. And I still feel awful about it. Ugh. So, these are now the pictures I took before dropping my baby. Sigh.
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