chica-go-go-go

So let’s discuss what actually happened last weekend in Chicago. I am now more comfortable in Chicago now than I am in Salt Lake because every part of Salt Lake I was once familiar with has been torn down or torn apart, it’s very unsettling. Chicago has stayed pretty much the same since the first time I went there five years ago and it just keeps getting better the more familiar I become with it.

(Side note: Sunday morning tourists asked me for directions and I was actually able to give them easily, which is pretty much the benchmark of city familiarity.)

So Hotel Allegro in Chicago invited Addie and me to come test out their new kids program with several other moms and their kids over the weekend. (Perhaps you’re familiar with Kimpton hotels? They were super hip before every hotel was trying to be super hip. They own the Monaco in Salt Lake, man have I always wanted to stay at the Monaco.) First glance you wouldn’t see Hotel Allegro and think “FANTASTIC PLACE FOR KIDS!” because it’s very hip, and very cool. Potty training ruined my hip and cool and I’ve been very self conscious ever since. Addie was greeted with a Kimpton Kids bag full of fun stuff to keep her busy, the staff was always excited to see her running around and they even had a child sized leopard print robe for Addie to wear which clinched her Hotel Allegro loyalty.

Chicago

Since we didn’t have Vivi with us Addie INSISTED on using the stairs for everything. In fact at one point she insisted that we ride the elevator up to the top (19th) floor, then take the stairs all the way down. I began getting queasy with all the around and around on the 11th floor and had to finish out the descent in an elevator. We ended up compromising with riding the elevator to the 3rd floor then taking what we dubbed “the fancy stairs” to the ground floor. (There were exactly 69 steps to the ground floor, I decided I’d count on my fifteenth trip down them.)

 

The hotel set us up with passes to some of the most popular area attractions, public transit credits, a map and a challenge. If we completed a five stop scavenger hunt by the time we checked out Addie would get a prize. A PRIZE. I laid out the map and began plotting the best, most time efficient route to check off all five stops and still have time for other activities. Addie just wanted to run up and down the stairs but I insisted on mapping out our route so as to win and not waste a single moment.

This is where I segue for a moment and say I am a MASTER of public transit. I live for public transit and Chicago has some really good public transit among buses, subways and trains. Even without public transit I am really good at planning out super efficient routes with minimal time wasted and all opportunities taken. This special skill of mine is what leaves me INFURIATED on on the third to last episode of America’s Next Top model every season when the girls are given 4 hours to do 5 go sees. PLAN IT OUT BEFORE YOU SET OUT GIRLS, YOU’LL GET BACK WITH PLENTY OF TIME WHICH IS HALF THE BATTLE.

Friday night Addie and I met all the other moms and hotel staff in the lobby for Kid’s Hour which included tasty lemonade, popcorn and a rousing game of Chicago themed Connect 4. Addie and I took a trip down Michigan Ave. to the Lego Store, American Girl Place (Side note: Addie could care less about  American Girl Place but insists on going there every time we’re in Chicago) LUSH, and the Disney Store where she picked up a sweet bow and arrow as her souvenir. Since we still had daylight to burn we walked over to the Sears Tower (I know it’s been renamed the Willis Tower but that name is stupid, it will always be the Sears Tower) and took a one minute 103 floor elevator ride to the top, Addie then shouted “I DIDN’T KNOW CHICAGO WAS BY THE OCEAN!” before we stood in a giant glass box and looked down 103 floors down.

Whew.

We then took the 103 floor one minute elevator ride down, ordered a stuffed cheese pizza from Giordano’s, went back to our hotel room where cookies and milk were awaiting our return. We gorged ourselves as we watched The Lorax in our matching animal print robes before Addie asked (ASKED!) if we could go to bed at 10:15 pm.

Day one and items #1 (Sears Tower) and #2 (Chicago Style Pizza) on the scavenger hunt list? Check, check and check.

As soon as the sun was up Addie was up shooting arrows at any solid surface in our room, which at one point included my head (accidentally.)

Since we didn’t have to be to lunch until later I let Addie order from the room service menu. Y’all? THE KID’S MIND WAS BLOWN BY ROOM SERVICE.

How to impress a seven year old, leopard robe and room service.

We could have ended the trip right there and she would have come back to Indiana a changed woman. But the day was only getting started. By the time we were ready to leave for lunch with the whole group Addie put on her sensible shoes only to realize her feet had apparently grown one size in a month.

OFF TO THE NINE LEVEL MACY’S WITH A TIFFANY GLASS CEILING!

Tiffany Glass ceilings make buying $30 running shoes way more posh.

With shoes that fit we headed to lunch with everyone at Millennium Park before breaking off to complete our scavenger hunts. Addie and I took a detour to The Bean (Cloud Gate) then checked off item #3 in front of Crown Fountain. Addie didn’t want to get wet for some crazy reason, I’m convinced the Tiffany Glass Ceiling shoe buying experience made her older and somewhat less fun.

SO. PROUD.

Chicago

We then boarded the train to Lincoln Park Zoo (scavenger hunt item #4) where Addie had her first experience with Dippin’ Dots (two thumbs up!) and a Gorilla. (“MOM! I can see his butt!” *giggle giggle*) Just as soon as we got to the zoo we were off again on a bus/subway down to the Field Museum. Addie wasn’t really okay with the subway. “TOO DARK!” she declared. Once we made it to the Field Museum Addie took over.

“HALL OF GEMS! BIRDS! DINOSAURS! MUMMIES! WHAAALLLEEESSS!!!!” Her favorite was the mummies but she won’t admit it, she asked to go back to the exhibit three times. As we were getting ready to leave we caught sight of a Mold-A-Rama, something I can remember vividly from my numerous childhood trips to Hogle Zoo in Utah but was never actually allowed to do.

Addie

It was so worth $2 to stick it to my mom and make that cheesy dinosaur souvenir from what is most likely toxic plastic.

I wasn’t alone in my Mold-A-Rama desires either, dozens of people on twitter said they were never allowed to make one either and that they now must go to Chicago to procure one.

Final stop on our scavenger hunt? Check. Childhood nostalgia vicariously experienced through my oldest? Check.

It was back to the restaurant at the hotel, 312 Chicago for dinner and y’all? Meatballs are delicious. Addie ate about 12. She set a trend for kids at the table ordering Shirley Temples and as if the fancy drink and meatballs weren’t enough a giant hunk of a chef came in with a deliciously enticing Italian accent and asked if the kids would please follow him to the kitchen so they could make pizza with him. I’m not stupid, I followed right along because that man with the accent (Chef Luca) was going to be helping my kid cook, meaning he was going to be talking a lot with his accent and I wasn’t going to miss out on that.

Cooking with Chef Luca. (I liked Chef Luca *ehem*)

I took pictures of course, it would have been weird to just stand there listening to Chef Luca, which is reason #342 why I love being a photographer, you have an excuse to stand near very attractive chefs with very scintillating accents as they help your child make pizza.

Cooking with Chef Luca. (I liked Chef Luca *ehem*)

Cooking with Chef Luca. (I liked Chef Luca *ehem*)

(The pizza was delicious.)

I spent part of the evening talking with Mary, the hotel’s general manager (who brought her own seven year old son along on all of our adventures) and told her how happy I was to have Addie see moms and women as managers. (Turns out the CEO of Kimpton is a woman as well. WHEE!) After dinner we went back up to our room and watched Mirror, Mirror which is easily one of my new favorite movies. Addie had some harebrained idea that we were going to go watch fireworks on Navy Pier at 10 pm but she was out cold by 10:01 pm.

Day two? Check.

SUNDAY! “CAN WE HAVE BREAKFAST IN BED AGAIN? I WANT THE SAME THING BUT THIS TIME WITH MORE WHIPPED CREAM!” as then she proceeded to jump back and forth between the beds before I had even put my contacts in.

Chicago

Chicago
Breakfast was served but french toast, strawberries, and hot chocolate didn’t seem like enough so we headed out to procure cupcakes as a second breakfast.

Chicago

We met up with everyone else and rode a trolley to Ed Debevic’s where we were verbally assaulted and served cheeseburgers and fries. If I could work somewhere for a day? It would be as a server at Ed Debevic’s.

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

The trolley then took us down to Navy Pier (I love open air tours, our driver was amazingly knowledgeable and kept up with ALL. THE. QUESTIONS. from the gaggle of seven year old children on board.) where we boarded a SeaDog Cruise and basically had our faces blown off by fresh Lake Michigan air as we learned more about Chicago and saw the city from a whole other angle.

We didn’t have to board our bus back to Indy for a few hours so we wandered around the streets of Chicago some more before checking out of our lovely hotel room and bidding the marvelous staff of the Hotel Allegro adieu.  (The bellhops kept a close eye on Addie and her comings and goings, paying attention to little things that made her feel very, very important.)

The temptation is always there to book the cheapest hotel possible because you’re really only there to sleep, right? Wrong. I’ve learned that when it comes to booking a hotel (ESPECIALLY with kids) you have to book one that has special accommodations for kids so they don’t feel left out and one that you enjoy being at when the day is over (or when you just need a rest and escape from all of the busy) otherwise you’ll just leave your vacation feeling as though you need a vacation. Having a hotel in the middle of everything meant we were never far from something to do (or new shoes at 10 am.)

I will always be forever grateful to Hotel Allegro for inviting us up for the weekend at a time when both Addie and I desperately needed to get away with each other. Thank you guys for taking such good care of us and for inspiring me to take annual trips just like this one with Addie from now on. If there’s a Kimpton where we’re going? We’ll be staying there. Chicago? We love you, until next time. -Addie and Casey

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Huge thank you to Hotel Allegro for putting us up for two nights, giving us passes to so many attractions and for feeding us throughout our stay. All opinions are our own and we were not compensated or influenced in any way (I mean, aside from awesome, we were influenced by awesome.) To find out more about Hotel Allegro “Kids Rule” Summer program or any other Kimpton properties, visit KimptonHotels.com.

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(Anything to add Addie? “Can we go back tomorrow?” “No.” “Darn.“)

 

everything I know about cloth diapering I learned from the internet (or by messy accident.)

Most days I love cloth diapers, other days I’m okay with them, and some days I just don’t want to deal with them.

We still have and use disposable on occasion, mainly for overnight, super nasty and constant poop issues (teething) or when Vivi has an enormous gnarly rash that requires crazy amounts of various oils, potions and creams. Cloth diapers can be finicky and finding what works can sometimes be infuriating. After the recent yeasty beasty rash of 2012 I had all but given up ever using cloth again. However, going to the store to actually buy diapers for $20 a box physically hurt, and having to clean out the diaper pail? Whew. With cloth you have a never ending diaper supply, it’s a very comforting feeling. (The feeling is probably similar to breastfeeding, baby food! On demand! For free!)

Besides, they’re super cute.

a rainbow of cloth diapers.

It bums me out when someone turns their nose up and proclaims how gross and disgusting cloth diapers are when they’ve never used them. I am not loading my washing machine full of poo twice a week, in fact there isn’t even any poop in my house because it all gets flushed down the toilet where it belongs. (Technically you’re supposed to flush poop from disposables down the toilet too, but how many people actually do that?) Some people make their own diapers, some people buy the most expensive and convenient ones possible, some people find the cheapest option and make it work, while other people, like me, find a balance in all of the above.

What makes me qualified to talk about cloth diapers? Eh, not much. Aside from the fact that I’ve used them for a year now, I have traveled with them twice, I have a very difficult baby to fit (with all that chubby going on) and I did an extensive review for Babble wherein I tested over 20 different brands and styles of diapers, which is not something many people have the opportunity to do.

I finally feel like I’m at a place where I have found a groove, I’m no longer out there looking for the next best thing or something that works better than what I have. I have tried a lot, and I have my established favorites (as well as my well established not so favorites.) In list form, here’s the world of cloth diapering according to Casey.

  • I have four favorite brands (in no particular order.) BumGenius 4.0 are easy to stuff, hold up well, fit well and keep messes in, perhaps the easiest to use and most straight forward. Apple Cheeks with the bamboo insert (not the microfiber.) These ones fit *really* well, the insert actually shakes out in the wash on its own, and the bamboo insert is super soft and absorbent without too much bulk. Rumparooz are really well made, really absorbent (the two microfiber inserts snap to each other so there’s less sliding around) and they have inner gussets that keep the super leaky poop (and poop in general) under control and away from the edges.  OhKaty are my fourth favorite, they also fit really well, are crazy absorbent and come in the MOST delicious colors of any of the diapers I own.

thighs of POWER

  • Storing them. I have a three layer basket from The Container Store that holds all my clean diapers and accessories (wet bags, liners, wipes, sprays, and lotions.) I keep the dirty diapers in a big flip top garbage can with an elastic topped pail liner in it. Two pail liners is kind of a must, that way when you wash one you can just throw the other one in and continue to use your pail. Stink hasn’t ever been an issue, I have one pail liner from Planet Wise (fun colors) and one from Kissaluvs (boring white but supposedly antibacterial.) I could easily suggest either brand.

chubby cloth baby

  • Wet Bags. You use wet bags when you’re out and about to keep your clean and dirty diapers in. I have a Wet n’ Dry tote from Smitten Baby that I really like. The strap is starting to wear out but I use the crap out of it so I’m not all that surprised. I don’t like their customer service at all, which makes me sad, but they do make a really good product. Downfall? You have to hunt the Smitten Baby brand down, you can’t just buy one. I’ve bought one from Baby Steals and one from Zulily. Etsy also has a marvelous selection of wet bags.

cloth diaper butt flap.

  • Soap. Oh man. I swear to you I have used every soap ever suggested by anyone ever. We have a top loading HE machine and water so hard it actually hurts coming out of the faucet. I’ve settled on bumGenius diaper detergent and Rockin’ Green Hard Rock as my two favorites.  BioKleen Bac-Out is my most favorite way to strip and de-stink them. (I also use Borax as a water softener when I strip them.)

diapers in the sun

  • Dryer Balls. I hang dry my covers and put my liners in the dryer. I have four anti static dryer balls that keep the inserts (especially the microfiber) as fluffy as possible and cut down on the amount of static dramatically. The inserts also dry faster and more evenly with the balls. Vivi likes to run off with them when I’m folding laundry which leaves me storming through the house asking if anyone has seen my pink balls, that alone is kind of worth having some.
  • Poop. Some people dunk their poopy diapers in the toilet, others use a spatula, and some have a sprayer attached to their toilet. I use flushable liners because I want as little contact with poop as possible. Diaper liners are basically like thin biodegradable dryer sheets that you lay inside each diaper, they catch the solid stuff allowing you to simply dump it in the toilet without ever having to spray, rinse, dunk or touch. gDiapers has a diaper liner that is crap. Complete and utter crap, it dissolves when Vivi pees on it and turns into pulpy junk that ends up all over my inserts in the dryer. GroVia makes the best diaper liners out there. Don’t experiment with them, just buy the GroVia ones. Trust me on this one.

eight months-9929

  • Laundry Schedule. Diapers require a cold rinse to get rid of the nasties and remove proteins, then they require a hot wash with an extra rinse. I’ve found that if I start the cold rinse once Vivi’s in bed and then run a good hot wash cycle on them as I head to bed they’re ready to be hung out to dry the next morning. That way they’re not tying up the washer and I don’t have to wait for them to be done. I could kiss my washer and dryer on the face if they had one. I wash them every three days. I wish I had an outdoor line to dry them on but my HOA won’t allow such a thing.
  • Changing them. When Vivi was on the bottle her diaper had to be changed every two hours or less. Baby peed like it was her job. Now that she’s off the bottle and onto the sippy she can go three to four hours between changes assuming no poop is involved. Disposables have a chemical in them that turns pee to gel so it can’t leak out as easily, cloth diapers don’t have that feature so they can only hold so much before reaching capacity.

a rainbow of cloth diapers.

  • How many? When I first started I had 12, then I bought 6 more, more than enough for when I started at 4 months. (I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to cloth diaper a newborn, we’ll see.) At one time I had over 60 diapers because of the Babble review, I have whittled them down by passing many of them on to  friends and currently have around 30, which is a lot. The darn things are addictive with all the colors, patterns and styles available. You’ve been warned.

cloth diaper bum

  • Which ones are the cutest? Oy, there’s so many cute ones out there it’s stupid. OhKaty has the best solid colors with BumGenius in a close second. Bummis TotsBots fairy tale prints and GroVia have some of the cutest patterns. Emily loves the Bummis for Paul, I like them okay. I like the GroVia hybrids more than their AIO (all in ones) but both are good diapers.  Cloth diapers in general are cute, but some are certainly way more appealing than others.

vivi's cloth bum

  • Hybrids. Hybrid diapers are ones that can use a biodegradable liner or a reusable liner. The biodegradable liners are basically like giant maxi pads made from wood pulp while the reusable liners can vary from prefolds in a variety of different fabrics to a kitchen towel in an emergency. Bummis and GroVia make my favorite hybrid diaper shells while GroVia makes my favorite biodegradable liners. My favorite prefold is most anything made from bamboo or hemp (I really do like the Apple Cheeks bamboo inserts.) Natural fibers stain easier than synthetics, but synthetics can get smellier than natural fibers (think barnyard smell, if you smell a barnyard? It’s time to strip them.) Hybrids are also nice to have around if you have a gnarly rash that requires a cream you can’t use on your regular cloth diapers.

that ceiling fan is amazing.

vivi at the window

Is that it? I know there’s stuff I’m missing. Like stripping, oy. Stripping cloth diapers can be a CHORE. Keep up with it regularly and it won’t be such a hassle (or cause any untimely leaks or rashes.) Questions? Comments? Concerns? Let me have ‘em.

I really do love cloth diapers, and if I can do it? You can do it. (More specifically, if Cody can do it? You can do it.)

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This is my last time posting here on behalf of Disney Baby. Soon the site will launch and I’ll be sharing tips like this over there regularly! SO MUCH WISDOM! Thanks to Disney Baby for sponsoring this post.

Diapers by photo:  1) everything I own. 2) (black) OhKaty. 3) (white floral) Bummis Super Whisper Wrap over a Tots Bots Bamboozle. 4) (Blue Pattern) BumGenius 4.0. 5) Mixed, the green/purple/white/black one is a Bitti Tutto. 6) (Blue Pattern) BumGenius 4.0 7) More of what I own. 8 ) (pink hearts) Charlie Banana Designer Series. 9) (pink peacocks) GroVia Hybrid Shell. 10) (pink plain) Ones & Twos. 11) (green) GroVia AIO

playing favorites.

I kind of wondered when and if this day would come, the day when Vivi showed a obvious preference between parents. I thought that maybe it was a one time thing since I was all busy being postpartumally depressed with Addie that she took to liking her dad a lot more, but today proved otherwise.

When Vivi saw me for the first time yesterday morning after I had been gone all weekend she said squeaked at me,  pulled my hair, then demanded I feed her breakfast, and give her all of my stuff to play with. She sobbed when I didn’t follow through on her final request (PHONES ARE NOT BABY TOYS VIVI.)

When she saw Cody come through the door at lunch she screamed an enthusiastic “HI DAD!” and ran to meet him at the door just as fast as those little chunky legs could carry her. At one point he dared to go to the bathroom and Vivi followed him to the door and sobbed giant crocodile tears until he was done and she was back in his arms.

Thirteen Months

Y’all, I may have baked her, but her daddy has her heart.

I can remember with Addie being so offended that she liked Cody so much more than me. SHE WOULDN’T BE ALIVE IF IT WEREN’T FOR ME AND MY UTERUS. I was convinced that from year one she was going to hate me, love her dad and end up in therapy because I never loved her enough as a baby.

The second time around? Yeah, it kind of sucks, but to be fair I kind of want to scream “HI CODY!” run to the door and hang on him all day too. In the end I know we’ll have a completely separate and unique relationship compared to the one she has with Cody and if it’s anything near as wonderful as the one I have with Addie today? I can manage a few more years of being the second string parent.

Sometimes it seems like even the cats like Cody better.

I’m with her all day, I’m old news. But Cody’s the one that leaves in the morning and plays the world’s longest game of peek a boo with her Monday through Friday under the guise of  “having a job.”

To any first time parents out there who may be sad that you’re not your baby’s favorite? Your day is coming, they just have to realize how boring your spouse is before they move on to how awesome and amazing you are. (Or at least that’s what I tell myself.)

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I look forward to sharing these kinds of stories and experiences with you here once more before becoming a regular over at Disney Baby later this week. Thanks to Disney Baby for sponsoring this post.

a weekend away

I learned a few things this weekend:

  1. Having kids means you’ll never have to (or get to) push another elevator button again.
  2. Kids of a certain age are remarkably easy to travel with given they don’t really care what you do, how you get there, where they end up sleeping or what they eat as long as you feed them eventually and as long as they’re with you.

Addie and I boarded a double decker bus from Indy to Chicago on Friday afternoon, I was a little worried she’d get bored, think the bus was lame or beg the driver to stop for mini muffins at a gas station somewhere around Gary. Addie thought the bus was absolutely fascinating (“I CAN SEE IN ALL THE CARS!“) and she loved sitting next to me rather than staring at the back of my head for the entire three hour drive.

Once we got to Chicago it took about twenty minutes for it to sink in that I was alone with Addie for the whole weekend. Just the two of us, just like it used to be. I had grand ambitions of getting things done and accomplished once the day was over and she was in bed but when your kid doesn’t require naps and can put up with a little more adventure? You take full advantage and go on every adventure possible until you both fall down exhausted at the end of the day.

We walked for miles up and down the streets of Chicago, sometimes holding hands, sometimes skipping, sometimes stopping to look straight up, but always together. She only required a blanket, a pair of pajamas, clean underpants, two changes of clothes and a toothbrush. She could be ready for anything in under three minutes and bounced out of bed each morning with all the excitement of a kid on Christmas. While we both missed the baby and Cody, we enjoyed ourselves more than I could have ever imagined.

I have always made an effort to spend one on one time with her but this was completely different. This was rediscovering the little girl I have spent the last seven years raising. This was being able to watch her explore and try new things without my attention being divided and without having to be involved at every moment. This was letting her try new and scary things, this was watching my little girl slowly grow into a fully capable young lady who is not bothered by much and who is up for just about anything.

SO. PROUD.
This was the mother/daughter therapy we needed, only this therapy came with room service and museums.

I have tried for three days to put into words what this little vacation has done for my heart and I can not find them, I just get weepy with gratitude that I was able to spend the weekend with her. I know she had fun, there’s no way she couldn’t have (and believe me, I will talk about those details later.) I guess when you are in the trenches with little kids and babies it can be hard to see past the diapers, the tantrums, the monotony of day to day life and the stress and worry of  “Am I doing enough? Am I doing a good job?” This weekend got us away from the ordinary and gave me a glimpse into extraordinary of who she is becoming and how our relationship has, can, and will evolve over the next lifetime.

You spend all this time raising babies, wondering when is it going to end and if it is really worth it, then suddenly in the muggy morning air, sitting across the table from them in downtown Chicago, you realize you raised an actual person with a personality, preferences, opinions, a sense of humor, kindness, compassion and a love of cupcakes that only rivals her love of puppies.

I looked at her on our last adventure and whispered “I am so lucky you’re my kid.“  I could not have meant it more.

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I’m so grateful to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for their patience with me, supporting me in all that I do and for sponsoring this post.

fish and tips

When I was about Addie’s age my mom took my sister and me out to eat at Pizza Hut while we were on vacation. It was around the time Jurassic Park came out because I remember putting the dinosaur sticker I got from the restaurant on my window in the car, it was a green brontosaurus. Obviously Pizza Hut is not fine dining, but when we got back to our hotel my mom gasped and said “I forgot to tip our server!” Being a kid I didn’t understand what the big deal was.

Before we set out on our daily adventure the next morning we stopped at the Pizza Hut where we had eaten the night before. My mom put some money in an envelope and an apology to our server for forgetting the night before.

I have absolutely no memory of what city or state we were in or what else happened on that particular trip, but I remember my mom going back to take care of that tip.

It has stuck with me ever since.

mom.

Sometimes it is the very little things that leave the biggest impression.

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One time I was snorkeling with my mom in Hawaii when her face was attacked by hundreds of fish, that stuck with me just as much as the Pizza Hut tip (sorry mom.) Learn about the fish attack and 24 more random little tidbits (not a slideshow!) about me over at Shutterlovely. (There is also a bonus photo of me in a bikini at the end.)

the one of vivi dancing. (video)

Trying to clean your room with a mobile 13 month old is ridiculous.

At the moment I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of strangers who are going to clean out my dryer vent, glories of home ownership I suppose. Is this something people have done regularly? I don’t remember ever knowing of anyone who’s had it done. I need my dryer back, I would have never made it as a pioneer.

So this baby, she likes to dance, nay LOVES to dance. She even has a favorite song, “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys. We have a Pandora station all set up for her. The crazier the guitar? The happier the baby.

This is another one of those things that I’m fairly certain only my immediate family and my husband are interested in, but in case you feel the need to watch a chubby little baby in a rocketship diaper dance? Here’s the video for you. (Don’t miss the shimmy double seated pirouette at 00:25)

cats in babyland.

Our cats joined us six months after Vivi joined us, which means they came into a home where there was no real risk of being attacked by a baby unless being shrieked at could be considered an attack. We never intended to rescue two cats, but when I went in to visit the one eyed cat I had my heart set on, I turned around to find a brown tabby curled up in Vivi’s lap as she sat in her stroller. He purred as Vivi grabbed at his fur and tugged on his whiskers.

hugging percy.

Vivi and her gaurdian cat.

Later we started to wonder if all the other cats at the Humane Society were rolling their eyes at him “There goes that stupid cat again, putting on a show for the humans.

Well cats, we fell for it because when we came back the next day to pick up our one eyed cat, Cody took one look at the brown tabby and said “He’s coming too.

Percy walked into our house and said “I LIKE IT!” and made himself right at home (on my face.) Wink on the other hand took to hiding under our bed, but it was cool. I dig cats who demand you win their love, which is probably why I’m more of a cat person, dogs give it up too easily.

fist bumps

Both the cats have always been accepting of Vivi’s existence. Percy constantly tries to rub up on her, I can only assume it’s because she’s warm, smells like milk and her chubby little fingers can really dig into all of his itchy parts.

Wink loves her from a distance, he waits until she’s busy then sneaks up behind her to make sure she’s okay.

a baby and her cat.

He never moves too fast around her and when she’s crying he stands guard until she’s settled down.

his disdain for her is apparent

Various cat parts have become standard issue in many of our family photos.

cat bomb.

cats. sheesh.

darn cat.

Vivi and Percy

These cats make us all outrageously happy despite the baby playing in the kitty water and the fact that owning cats makes the 5 second rule null and void.

Someday this baby is going to grow up and leave me.

Someday these cats are going to leave all of us.

Better enjoy it while I can, because I wouldn’t trade any of them for anything.

wink the guard cat.

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I’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories and experiences with you here several more times throughout the month before beginning over there full time in early July. This post is sponsored by Disney Baby.

the one about vomit making me happy.

I told all of my friends to remind me of a certain incident that took place in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store back in September of 2010 if I ever started talking about wanting to get pregnant again. A few have already reminded me.

I have a sort of fuzzy recollection of the incident.

Frozen faux meat products, stomach churning, head spinning, holding myself up with the shopping cart, going cold, mouth watering,  vomit, aisle 3, calling Cody sobbing, so much vomit, strangers. Oy.

Not my best day.

But you guys, that was only one day. (Mostly because I never did any of the grocery shopping again or went out in public for another 7 months.)

This right here?

This is everyday.

AND IT’S WONDERFUL.

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

13 months 8 days

I’ll vomit in public any day for another chance at this much happiness.

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I’ll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories and experiences with you here several more times throughout the month before beginning over there regularly in early July. This post is sponsored by Disney Baby.