Friday, December 31, 2010

In Case You Missed It...

2010 was pretty much pregnancy and baby central around here, which meant an amazing, painful, exhausting, awe-inspiring kind of year.  And now that we're starting to get the hang of this baby thing, I'm really excited to see how the next year progresses.  I'm excited to focus on my marriage more, get out with my friends more and continue to make my house a home.  But in case you haven't been around all year or just want to take a lil trip down memory lane with me, here's the highlights of 2010.
In January, I announced my pregnancy to all youse.
In February, I threw a 1970 themed 40th birthday party for John.
In March, I decided to quit my job.
In April, we refinished and cherry pie-ified the nursery dresser.
In May, we celebrated my first (kinda) Mother's Day.
In June, I finished my guest house makeover ( made famous by YHL!)
In July, I finished the nursery.
In August, I waited and waited for the babe...and took pictures of myself.
In September, we celebrated our fourth anniversary.
In October, we let Gabe join the God Squad! (thanks Sarah)
In November, we joined the Navy.
In December, we celebrated our first Hannukah!

We actually have baby-friendly NYE plans so I'm super excited to not sit home tonight. Hope you guys have loaded up on the bubbly and sequin dresses for me...have an amazing New Years!

Who's got a giraffe tail and is staying up til midnight? This guy!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Back on the Grid

So whew! Christmas has come and gone and it was fantastic. We had a bit of a snowstorm Christmas weekend which forced Daddy to stay home so it was like a nice, long vacation. I kept the laptop-opening to a wee minimum and turned off my blog-brain. I wasn't worried about taking pictures for posts or brainstorming what to write.  We laid around and cuddled with our little guy...who btw has just become the most interactive, laughing boy ever lately. He is just so fun. Anyway, we spent lots of time with our families, gave and received some sweet presents, cooked up a storm and managed to have a pretty relaxing holiday...which I didn't think was possible at Christmastime. Anyway since I hate taking pictures during get-togethers anymore, I only have a few...

My dad came to town from Illinois and finally met his littlest grandbaby. Yes Dad, his blue eyes come from you. Not me, or John. Directly from you. And don't think I would scheme a grandpop-grandson look-alike day where Gabe sports a goatee. I would never.

Christmas Eve dinner with my mom, brother and his kiddos...oh and my son, The Flash

Then came Christmas morning where Gabe got to open his first stocking and the present (yes, just one) that Santa left for him. And um, I guess we're throwing it all out in the open here. Here's me sans makeup and with the random laundry basket on the back of the chair. Keepin it real yo.
I watched A Christmas Story no less than 4 times this year. TBS is where it's at people.

And Aunt Patty, if you're out there, thank you for the Christmas pjs!
Then we went to see John's family where we played pass the baby...

Oh wait, back to me. This kid likes me a lot. I like to think it's not just because of the meals.
And although his little Irish-sweater looking onesie thing was simple adorable, we all know my boy prefers to slip into something a little more comfortable...

then he went showing off his rolling around skills to his cousins.
then we got on the road again and I hung out in the backseat with him. The looks I was getting were hilarious.
We ended Christmas day at my aunt's house. I forgot to bring any milk and bottles so I was stuck locking myself behind closed doors all night feeding the babe. Things sure are different these days.  It meant there was no boozing to be done but I was okay with it.  We left at a decent hour and got home and got Gabe to bed. It fit right into my relaxing theme. Plus no post-Christmas hangover. Which is always good news.

So there we go. Gabe's first Christmas documented. Sorta. We did break out the video camera for the first time (bad parents!) but were too disgusted by our own voices to ever air it publicly. And since you were dying to know, I got lots of Christmas new pillows, books and makeup. And John went with a blog theme for my gifts so you'll be seeing them in time. I hope Santy Claus brought you everything you asked for!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shitter Was Full

Let me tell you, when it came time to dream up what to dress Gabe as for his four month photo shoot, the possibilities were endless. But that was the problem, there were too many choices. Christmas movies, songs, everything. There's so many awesome characters. So in the hub-bub that is the month of December, I never decided on anything until a few days ago and barely found the time to get the pictures taken.  But the results were worth it.  In case it's not obvious, Gabe is dressed as Cousin Eddie from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, particularly the "Shitter was Full" scene. A cinematic masterpiece.

And although I usually like to use my own props and challenge my baby to hold funny things, there was no way I was putting a can of beer in his hand or a cigar in his mouth. Even I have standards, people. And those standards are called CPS showing up at my door. So, I threw a phony beer and cigar in there for effect. And yes that is a tiny RV you see. Awesome.

So, when did you get the tenament on wheels? Oh, that uh, that there's an RV.

So my Gaby Baby Boy, in the past month...

- We're regressing a little. We moved you back into your bassinet.  See, you were doing fine in your crib until you started rolling over in there and getting your limbs caught between the bars, then promptly freaking out.  Plus you're still waking up about 2 times a night so I kinda prefer you two feet away. 

- You've got a sharp little tooth on your bottom gum! I cannot wait to see it grow in. Not much cuter than baby toofs.

- Your bald patches are starting to fill in...which means no more Friar Gabe!

- You finally met your Illinois Grandpa...and were promised things like tractors and shotguns. Yeahhh, not if your mama has anything to do with it. More like sailboats and investment funds for you baby boy.

- We're thinking you weigh about 16 pounds but don't see the doc til next week to confirm. We do know that you are getting huge though.

- You've got an awesome belly laugh that comes out of nowhere and makes us stop and crack up.

- You're favorite toy is a little tiger with crinkles for you to chew on. Wait. You chew on EVERYTHING. And drool.  Drool is EVERYWHERE.

- You make your mama's heart leap out of her chest when you 1) smile during your sleeps 2) reach out for me when someone else is holding you and 3) wake up and look around confused then lay your eyes on me and smile. Love love love those moments.

So that's us signing off for the week. We hope you have the merriest of Christmases, that you get to spend time with your favorite peeps, eat some good food and unwrap some shiny new toys. We will be doing all of the above.
We're gonna have the hap hap happiest christmas since Bing Crosby tapdanced with Danny f*cking Kaye.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Broke as a Joke: Little Red Stickers!

If anytime of year calls for tightening the ol pursestrings, it's this one.  II have been on a roll lately, saving money left and right. Not spending all over the place. Look at me go!  So in case you forgot my awesome, super original (totally) money-saving tips like this one and this one, I have another one.  And although I did a huge majority of my shopping online this year and scored free shipping, somehow I've found myself in Target no less than 4 times in 3 days.  I know that 98% of you are probably as obsessed with Target as I am.  And that the call of that little red sticker is a strong one. Experts say you should only buy things on sale if you would buy them at full price.  I used to throw things in my cart willy-nilly. Willy nilly I say! But not anymore.  I really do try to ask myself that question when I creep up on every clearance section in my happy place...would i buy this at its regular price?  Responsible Shannon says no to red-stickered candles and random thank you notes.  She says yes to things like work shirts for John...

and hell yes to .58 spaghetti sauce! And I actually use that brand too! Dude, and Manwich Bold is where it's at.  I love a good sloppy joe but one with a kick? Even better.  And although I wasn't sure what made these items get moved to the clearance rack, I didn't ask any questions. I probably told 15 people that I got 36 cent soup that week. It's the little things these days.
and when it comes to Christmas shopping for my baby boy? $1.58 shirts? You bet. And the ridiculously overpriced Dwell clothing line, the one with the robots? Only getting bought on clearance. Sorry for all the questions. I get really excited looking at these deals I already got.
So that's the way we're shopping these days.  It gives me the zing! of shopping that I miss without breaking the bank.  Johns everywhere are sighing in relief. So how bout you guys, get anything good at Target for a ridic low price? I know you wanna brag about it.

Oh and did you guys know about the Amazon Mom program? You don't even have to be a mom to join and you get Amazon Prime benefits. That's free 2 day shipping. Booya. If you order today, you'll have that ish by Friday. Just google it and sign up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Light em Up!

I'm a little late to Kim's Dare to DIY party this week (tardy for the party, if you love hate can't admit to watching a certain Atlanta housewife).  We had a little middle of the night ER trip scare this weekend which threw us all off and we're just now getting back to normal.  Don't worry, it wasn't baby Gaby. John woke up at 3am in the horrible pain that could only be a kidney stone.  They diagnosed him, doped him up and sent him home.  Luckily things have worked themselves out, if ya know what I'm sayin', so he's feeling much better.

So moving on...the Dare this week is to Have Traditions. We have our usual Christmas tradition of hosting dinner at our house on the Eve, then we split up Christmas day between John's sister's for lunch and my aunt's for dinner.  This year, we'll add the baby to the mix and see if we can keep the plans the same.  Of course, come next year he'll be 16 months old so we'll be staying put to enjoy Christmas as a fam at our own house.  Until then, we keep on travelin'.  So we decided to start a new tradition with Gabe.  I had the best of intentions...bundling up, grabbing some hot chocolate and heading out to look at Christmas lights.  I made sure Gabe was drunk on milk and well-rested. Pointless.  He screamed for the first 15 minutes of the trip then he fell asleep. Oh well. I had John crank up the christmas tunes and I from atlantic to pacific the traffic is terrific'd it up.  My goal was to see this house that I grew up going to look at. The place was incredible. A lifesize sleigh with reindeer going around the yard on a track. Plexiglass display houses. A trillion lights. The whole shebang. Since I don't live around there anymore, I headed to facebook to ask the masses if the family still did the displays. I had mixed opinions. Some said the family moved...some said they went to jail for tax evasion. Others swore they were there last year and yes, were definitely there this year. So we went. And it was dark. No lights, no nothin.  Kinda sad. Oh well, I had a slightly less enthralling back-up plan.

Off we went to a little park that was all lit up. It did the trick. We got our pretty light fix. And Gabe was there so boom, a new tradition.

How much is that baaaaaby in the window? Ruff Ruff!
This kid was literally chestnuts roasting over an open fire in this "snowsuit" or whatever the hell it is. I was trying to be responsible mother and layer my child appropriately but seriously? My son is a sweatbox. But such a cute sweatbox.

Anyway, it turned out to be a nice little night for us...and the kid was beat. He went right to sleep. 
I remember my mom and dad loading us into the car as kids to go see all the crazy light displays and it still is one of my most favorite memories. So I'm startin early on this kid. Magical childhood will be had!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Please Hang On Your Fridge When I Come Over

If stamps were free and I had all of your addresses, you'd have one of these in your mailbox. And I'd expect you to hang it on your fridge for a minimum of two months.  As it is, thanks to Shutterfly for hooking me up with 50 free ones, my 50 closest family and friends get to stare at this cute little mug every morning.  And I'll be around, checking up on you...2 months people, 2 months!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Brown Paper Packages

Literally tied up with string, people!

So a few weeks ago I win a giveaway on Bethany's's 30 bucks cash. Sweet, eh? So Bethany shoots me an email saying it's on the way so I keep my eye on the mailbox. Well I was clearly watching the wrong spot because look what showed up on my doorstep! A box! Yay!  Who doesn't love a box?!?  John brings it inside but I can't tear into it because I'm feeding the babe.  "Go get the scissors!", I yell.  He comes back with the scissors in one hand and the camera in the other.  "You want pics, right?" He's such a good blog husband.  Anyway, look what was waiting for me inside the box!

Note to anyone who is going to send me anything EVER, please send it like this. TY

I know right?

The tags!  The ribbon! The trim! I can't take it!
So inside the card was the $30 plus the sweetest lil note from Bethany telling me what to open and why.  Since she's working plus going to school, she feels my being-on-a-budget plight.  Neither one of us can go around buying cute little things here and there just because.  Well, she, being the awesome do-gooder that she is, felt Gabe and me needed a little help to get through the winter. (Although she's probably the one who needs the help, poor girl lives in snow-bombarded Wisconsin for cripes sake).  Anyway, look what Gabe received...
I know, superly duperly cute, right?   Plus she sent matching mittens but since we're currently teething ( I felt teeth yesterday folks!), we need access to our mouths at all times. ya know, for shoving our entire hands in. And when I say we, I suppose I just mean him. I'm certainly not trying to do that, just to see if I can.

Oh and look what I got! A soft new scarf in just about the peacockiest of blues imaginable. Please try to use the word peacockiest today.

It looks great in my green bathroom right? Maybe I just won't ever leave the bathroom. Anyway, package #2 contained Peppermint bark...which we ate much too quickly to take pictures of. Nom.

So go read Bethany's blog. It's filled with gorgeous pictures and pretty pretty words. I read somewhere, someone else describing her life as a romance novel in the making...and it's so true.  She's got a cute new boy (named Gabe!) who's over in Iraq and the stories of their first meeting and subsequent adventures is incredible. Like I said, if you haven't already, go read. Thank you Bethany!  Hugs and big drooly open mouth baby kisses!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I Wore Wednesday

So my attempt at getting showered and dress before noon each day is going surprisingly well. It's just a matter of getting in front of the mirror with the camera before the sun goes down...which seems like it's at like 2 pm these days...which blows. Anyway, here we go...oh and to clarify for some folks, yes I do sometimes wear shoes around my house, especially in that weird? Frankly, I found your disbelief weird. And I do try to leave the house once a day to maintain some resemblance of my former life...and the sign at Trader Joe's says shoes are required so...
Not leaving the house outfit: cargo pants from Kohls, shirt (which is perfect for nursing) from Old Navy and shoes from Club Risque...sorry, no, I had bare feet and no one wants to see those. Your welcome.
Returning things to Old Navy outfit: jeans from Old Navy, shirt (sshhh it's from Motherhood Maternity), shoes from Old Navy
Target/Michael's/Panera combo trip outfit: shirt from Old Navy, jeans from Target, shoes from JC Penney
My 1st Hannukah outfit: everything from Old Navy except shoes from Target

Conclusion...I really need to shop somewhere besides Old Navy

Linking up to WIWW at The Pleated Poppy

Monday, December 13, 2010

This Post is About Bark

My new job as Stay at Home Ma lends itself to certain perks. One of which being that I can finally get around to trying things I'd always put on a to-do list but never crossed off. This past week, it was Peppermint Bark. I actually never realized how stupidly simple the process is. And one batch can make a friggin ton. Needless to say, John's co-worker's were happy with me this week.

Shopping List: Bag of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Bag of White Chocolate Chips, Bag of Starlight Peppermint Candies

1. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.

2. Melt a bag of chocolate chips...I used a bowl over a pot of boiling water.

3. Spread chocolate in pan. Lightly bang the pan on the counter to get the bubbles out.

4. Stick cookie sheet in the fridge.

5. Melt a bag of white chocolate chips.

6. While this is melting, unwrap 20 mints or so and put them in a ziplock bag. Crush those puppies with all your might. Or with a meat cleaver.

7. Sift your mints to seperate the small pieces from the peppermint dust.

8. Mix the peppermint dust into your white chocolate mixture. This makes the white chocolate extra pepperminty!

9. Take cookie sheet out of fridge and spread white chocolate layer on top of the 1st layer.

10. Sprinkle peppermint pieces on top, then throw it back in the fridge for 20 minutes.

11. Once it's all set, break it up into pieces. Quickly bag that ish up and get it out of your house because it is taaasty.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Is Your House on Fire, Clark?

I managed to get both of our Christmas trees up but only with the help of my two favorite boys

Lies, all lies. We all know dudes and babies hinder the decorating process. But make for good photo ops right?

Oh I had some hot chocolate. I only drank it because I wanted to eat massive amounts of whipped cream.  The chocolate was just a vehicle for my overindulgence of that spray can of sweet cream.

I had decided last year to do 2 trees this year so every ornament on this tree was picked up on clearance after Christmas last year.  So it all ended up being under 20 bucks.  Why does this give me such a freakin thrill?
So here's where Week 5 of Kim's Dare to DIY party came in.  The dare this week was to Deck the Halls with something homemade.  I had all sorts of project ideas floating around my head for the past few weeks but just couldn't get it together.  I made one. And it took all of 4 seconds to make.  Braaaavo Shannon, bravo.  I made some of the burlap ornaments that I mentioned here that I stole from Kim.  I'm going with a rustic-y, woodlands theme this year so they fit right in. 

So yeah, I'm a little behind in my Christmas crafting.  But I've got two trees up..and a 4 month old. I'm letting myself slide this time.  There's sure to be much better craftin' going on over at Kim's. Go check em out.


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