spinning round and round

That is seriously what I feel like right now- we’ve hopped a merry-go-round and HEEEERE WE GOOO!!

I forgot. I forgot how INSANELY BUSY this age is with babies. So much fun! But holy moly. It’s an adjustment. She’s everywhere, all the time, and we just have to keep up. We fail mostly. And I’m pretty sure she’s laughing at us.

It’s just very easy to feel overwhelmed these days. I remember distinctly a day when Maggie was 8 months old or so, I cried in the car on the way to get her from daycare because I just felt like I could NOT keep up. And that’s how I’ve been feeling again (no tears, though, yay!) I guess I’ve learned a few things from the first time around- including that I can give myself a break. Leave the dirty dishes in the sink and go play outside. It’s fine. (even if it makes my Type A personality NUTS JUST A LITTLE BIT. heh)

I haven’t blogged in almost two weeks. Yikes. What’s been happening around our house lately:

1. Hey did you guys know that Maggie is four and she knows everything and the sky is blue today why is the sky blue hey look at that car it’s the same color as Grandma’s car when can we see Grandma again remember that time we went to the beach with Grandma I like swimming at Grandma’s house hey this bug bite itches can I have a snack no not that I want this Mommy Audrey is eating my booooooook….

THAT IS MY LIFE. Four year olds NEVER. SHUT. UP. Even when she’s not talking, she’s singing or humming or blahblahblahing or SOMETHING. We went through a brief (thankGOD) phase a few weeks ago of some more Baby Audrey jealousy and it wasn’t pretty. I think it coincided with Audrey’s new mobility. It’s mostly over… I think. I hope.

Maggie is a fantastic kid. Just… TALKY.

2. Dan is allergic to beer. We’re pretty sure, anyway. Looking back, it’s something he’s been dealing with for years, off and on. Not every time he drank a beer or two, but sometimes he’d have a few and not even be close to drunk, but he’d wake up the next day and have a horrible migraine and sometimes food-poisoning type sickness (and depending on what we all ate in common, we could rule out the food as the culprit) It’s been happening more frequently the past few months, after even just ONE beer. And it’s all types- stuff he’s had before, local brews, whatever. Two weeks ago was the worst episode- 2.5 beers at the neighbors house and violently ill for 16+ hours.

Based on my Super Official Google Research, it’s most likely the hops or the Brewer’s yeast (gluten is probably not it, as he has no issues at all with gluten in food, plus the symptoms he’s having aren’t like the common gluten reactions) We just found out that our insurance covers allergy testing (huzzah!) so he may head down that route to make sure what’s going on, just in case it’s also something in other food.

So, no more beer for Dan. I think he’s bummed, because he really just likes the taste of beer- so trying to substitute something else to drink at get-togethers isn’t really high on his list because he’s not drinking it to get drunk. Guess *I’ll* have to start drinking now ;) (I’m… a bit of a lightweight. Says the girl who feels tipsy after like three sips of cheap wine. heh)

3. Audrey will be nine months old next week. She is crawling everywhere and pulling to stand on everything she can (even tiny toys on the floor which is super hilarious) We’re starting to take bets on when she’ll be walking. I say August. If we’re lucky to get that much time.

Her sleep lately has been wonky, due to the crazy developmental stuff going on, plus that infamous nine month sleep regression (STAB) and of course, as always with baby, TEETH. I’m pretty sure her canines are working their way through and we’re going to have a vampire baby. I’m readying my camera to take pictures for later blackmail because OH MY GOSH HOW FUNNY IS THAT.

She waved (backwards) and said ‘Hi’ about ten times on Memorial Day. Hasn’t done it since. It was adorable, just know that.

Audrey is constantly babbling and screeching and yelling and ‘talking’, but she hasn’t started using consonant sounds yet. Unless raspberries count, but I don’t think they do. I go through days where I’m mildly concerned with this (Maggie was saying Bs and Ds by 6 months) but then I remember that babies are all so different and I think she’s just focusing on the physical stuff right now. And I started some basic signing with her (‘eat’ is a big one) and I swear she did it in imitation of me the other day. I forgot how much fun it is to see your baby recognize something you’ve said.

4. Later this month, we’re headed north to Erie for a long weekend. I’m hesitant to call it a ‘vacation’, when it will involve two adults and two kids in a single hotel room and no grandparents to help (which we’ve had on our other vacations, yes we are spoiled!) So maybe… a trip, is what we’ll call it instead. Because I’m sure it will be just that: A TRIP.

Waterslides, a zoo trip, the lake beach, and an amusement park. We’re gonna be exhausted.

We decided to do this instead of our usual beach trip (which has been during this week the past few years… we will miss it!) because the idea of driving 10+ hours with an infant just so she can eat sand and her sister can swim in the pool at the beach house… just didn’t appeal to us. So, something closer, shorter, better. As crazy as it will be, I’m looking forward to it.

5. Now that we’re into some nice weather, it’s been all about outside. Not just playing, but working. Last year was our first spring in our house, but I was pregnant and under doctor’s orders to ‘take it easy’ because of a low placenta. Doctors are such PARTY POOPERS. So this year, I have a BAJILLION ideas and projects for our yard. We spent Memorial Day weekend doing some mulching, moving a few shrubs to more logical places, and planting some flowers. I have hanging baskets and boxes on the railing filled with flowers… it’s shaping up nicely (and here is where I should probably include a photo but… yeah I don’t have one. heh) We have some other plans for making a few of the beds larger, but we may save that for fall.

Next up on our project list: our basement that looks like an episode of Hoarders. I may photograph the process, because YES, it is that bad. I had to jump over like 5 boxes plus the (dusty) BowFlex to get to the laundry tub the other day. It’s scary… and spidery! down there. Bins of girls clothes and baby toys and half-put-away Christmas decorations from six months ago and empty cardboard boxes and paint cans and brushes and our old fridge and dishwasher (to be cleaned and put on Craigslist, if anyone local is interested!) and just CRAP EVERYWHERE. This weekend? IT IS OUR MISSION. If you want to come help, we’ll pay you from our mini-fridge full of beer that Dan can’t drink! ha

6. Work is crazy busy. I think I have enough projects that I could work five full days a week. Instead, I’m shoving it all into two days (the third day, I work in an office and don’t get any project work done). I always have intentions of getting a few things done after the girls go to bed… but lately it’s been after 9pm by then and SERIOUSLY MY BRAIN IS DONE. I can barely reply coherently to emails at that time of night. I could add some extra daycare I suppose, but I really like the two days I get to spend at home with the girls. So I’m trying to just hang in there and get through. Maggie will be starting kindergarten (EEEEP!) next fall so I really only have another year and few months until our daily routine switches up. I want to stick with the balance we have for now- as unbalanced as it feels most days!

7. Just a quick shout-out to Dan for being awesome. Not only is he a 100% Hands-On Dad at home and is always willing to give me a break from the kids to do stuff (like CLEAN MY KITCHEN or WORK, which is what it usually ends up being, I know, my life is GLAMOROUS), but he is kicking absolute butt at work. He’s been at his current job for a little over two years, and he really enjoys it. He got a promotion this spring (not sure his title, Senior Project something-or-other? I think? He manages an IT marketing team) and he’s also going to Colorado in August for an award that his group won for a project they launched. It’s Kind of A Big Deal (and seriously, the pictures of the resort kinda make me wish I hadn’t already used the My Wife Gets To Come On The Work Trip ticket for Vegas!!) But seriously, I’m so proud of him. He has had several jobs in the past and has always felt frustrated that his input wasn’t valued or even needed (even though it totally was!) and now he’s in a really good place. And these days… that is priceless, really.

I have no real way to wrap this up, so here are some recent Flickr uploads– pretty much the only thing I regularly update to keep track of our goings-on. Most of them are from my phone. Because it’s quick and that’s all I usually have with me!


Wind in her hair

Backyard picnic lunch!


Flower child

looking at their daddy

such a happy baby

Big Kid.


  1. Dee Wilcox

    June 7, 2011 8:41 am

    I love reading your posts, and the pictures of Maggie and Audrey are adorable. You make balancing work and mom life seem so easy. I need to (probably?) start Mackenzie in daycare so I can either A) get more freelance done, or B) take a job at an agency. The decision scares me so much. (M is 8 months and my first… Typical first-time mom stuff, I know.) But you guys seem so happy with how it’s working out for you. Gives me hope. :)

    • Jen

      June 7, 2011 3:28 pm

      oh HA. I’m glad that it SEEMS like it’s easy for me. LOL It is very much NOT. I feel like if I’m doing well in one area, everything else (wife, work, kids, house) suffers. So I end up doing everything at like 50%, it seems.

      I am very happy with the chance to get to be at home at least a little bit with the girls though. I’m so blessed to be able to do it.

      If you decide to go the daycare route, good luck! I started Maggie VERRRRY slow as a baby. One day a week from 10wks to 7 months, then 2 days a week until she was 2 1/2. Audrey has been 3x a week since 4 months… but I think since I’ve done it once, it wasn’t as big of a deal this time around :) It’s tough to send them at first! But for me, it’s the right choice- I don’t think I could do Mom or Work full time. I love being able to do both (even when I’m EX.HAUS.TED. heh)

  2. MrsWoy

    June 7, 2011 10:26 am

    Are you sure you’re not magically transported into our basement when you walk down your steps? You easily described what’s existing in ours right now. And, like yours, damnit, it’s getting organized!

    Have fun in Erie! Because Mike is from there and I lived there while going to college, we like to poke fun at it, but we had some really great summers there! Lots of fun times at Beach 6.

    • Jen

      June 7, 2011 3:30 pm

      LOL pretty sure I’m still in my own house. But I will say, I’m comforted knowing we’re not the only ones with a Basement of Shame.

      I think the last time I was in Erie, I was like 15?? So I’m looking forward to it! So nice to have a decent mini-vacation spot so close!

  3. K

    June 7, 2011 11:22 am

    That last photo resembles you A LOT.

    Also, I want to eat your baby’s arm rolls. Just a little.

  4. Kelly

    June 7, 2011 12:52 pm

    Your family is gorgeous and it sounds like life is just chaotic, busy, and amazing for you. :)

    Miss Audrey sounds like a go getter, and the nonstop 4 year old thing? I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!!

  5. Sarah W.

    June 7, 2011 9:15 pm

    E is almost three and I think she’s already started this non stop talking thing! Loved your pictures, esp the one with dan and the girls in the grass. Tell him I say hi!
    Two things:
    1-“Doctors are party-poopers” what? hey, now….
    2. before Dan goes the huge allergy testing route (cause even if it’s covered it is SO not fun–a long day full of needles…) have him talk to his general doc and check his pancreas out (amylase/lipase), and anything else the doc wants to look into first. Not that it has to be anything scary, just something else to check for a cause. Cause allergy testing is painful. trust me!
    miss you guys! are ya’ll going to the reunion? We can’t, I don’t think.

    • Jen

      June 8, 2011 3:05 pm

      Thank you for the advice, seriously! We’re both due for routine physicals, so I’ll definitely make sure he asks about it. We’re getting older, man, gotta make sure things are working the way they should ;) heh

      We are planning on going up for Homecoming, yes! We’re only about an hour away so it’s a much smaller deal for us. If somehow you guys make it work, LET ME KNOW! I would love to meet E & J!!!

  6. red pen mama

    June 8, 2011 3:00 pm

    1. If we closed our eyes, I’m pretty sure we could swap Kate and Maggie and not know the difference. The chatter is non stop. Although I don’t know if Maggie needs to be DIRECTLY ON TOP OF YOU all the time the way Kate does to me. If not, just keep Maggie then.

    2. Erie rocks. Have fun. Go to the zoo if you can! It’s small. You can walk to whole thing in like an hour.

    3. That picture of Dan in the girls is adorable. Put a frame around it and it’s his Father’s Day gift.

    • Jen

      June 8, 2011 3:03 pm

      ooh good to know about the zoo! It’s definitely on our list, but I wasn’t sure if it was a half-day thing or what. We’re going to see the weather the days we’re there and do the zoo, a beach or two, and maybe Waldameer one day. Then of course the water park :)

      When I get in bed at night, I close my eyes and just ABSORB THE SILENCE. MY EARS ARE TIRED.

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