1. Audrey broke out in hives last Thursday. So after all that happened the last few weeks, we went BACK to the pediatrician to make sure I was right about my guess: she is allergic to amoxicillin. This was her third time having it, but Dan and I are both allergic, so from this point forward I’m just going to assume that nobody in our house is allowed to have anything ending in -cillin. Because the POOR KID’S FACE, you guys. She even had them on her cute little bum.

Well! Worse this morning! Still no fever, acting normal, but she said her knees hurt when she stands. Lots of hives/rashiness around her armpits, knees, ankles, forearms. Lip is puffy. Going to walk-in hours at the pediatrician for the 3rd time in 10 days

Thankfully two days of Benadryl and Claritin calmed things down and by Sunday night, she had zero spots left. Hooray!

2. BUT THEN! Maggie woke up Monday morning complaining of a sore neck and throat. I looked at her neck and I could SEE her swollen lymph nodes from the outside. No fever, and no visible spots on her throat. But given the fact that we just had strep in the house, I took her to the pediatrician anyway. I feel like I LIVE THERE. Four visits in 2 weeks! Insanity! The rapid strep test came back negative, but the doctor sent us home with a sample of antibiotics to take while we wait for the 2-day test results. After looking at Maggie pretty thoroughly, she felt it was pretty likely that it’s strep. So no school and more medicine. A terrible broken record!

3. But enough about GERMS. We actually had a great weekend. We went to see Santa! Everyone was mostly healthy for like 18 hours and we were able to squeeze it in! Also a baby in a tie! And another one in a bowtie!

Visiting Santa

Visiting Santa

Serious Baby is serious.

All four cousins!
My nephew was not a fan of this Santa thing.

We also decorated cookies with my mom and it snowed a lot.

Decorating cookies at Grandma's!

Good thing Grandma lives 2 miles away.

Crapton of snow

And! I went to see Catching Fire with my mom on Friday. Fantastic movie. Loved it.

4. I’m about 90% done with Christmas shopping. I think. Santa is done except for some stocking stuffers, and everything is wrapped and hidden in the suitcases in our office closet. I still have some odds and ends for other family gifts and one stop at the post office, but mostly, DONE. WHEW.

5. Do you all know about GroopDealz? Okay so the spelling on the name is KIND OF irritating, but man I have found some CUTE stuff on there for ridiculously cheap. Some adorable necklaces for less than $5, a pair of fleece-lined leggings that feel like sweatpants for $8, a striped cardigan, some headbands and personalized puzzles for the girls for Christmas… I actually had to unsubscribe from their daily emails because it was just too easy to buy a bunch of stuff. Their mobile site works and it works WELL and that’s just dangerous while I’m eating breakfast and reading my emails, you know? But I do check out the site every few days to see if something awesome catches my eye and I let myself get it because FIVE BUCKS FOR THAT NECKLACE, I have EARNED that with every drop of medicine I’ve coaxed into my three-year-old this month! (That link is my referral, just FYI. If you sign up from there, I get a credit! yay!)

6. Audrey panicked in the car on the way home from visiting Santa. “But I didn’t get my Jasmine costume!” It appears she’s been confused about how this Santa thing works. She’s been kind of going along for the ride with all the holiday stuff but I don’t think she quite understands yet. I cannot WAIT for Christmas morning for her! (and yes, she’s getting a Jasmine costume.)

7. We are daydreaming and brainstorming about vacation spots for this summer, probably because of all the SNOW and GERMS we’ve been dealing with. We need something to look forward to! We want to stick with something low-key and beachy while the kids are still young. We have been to the Outer Banks and Emerald Isle. We’d like somewhere drive-able from Pittsburgh, possibly closer than the Carolinas (because that drive can be ROUGH, ugh). Tell me where you’ve been and why you love it! Where did you stay? TELL MEEEEE. Let’s daydream about the beach together!



  1. Roberta

    December 17, 2013 11:39 am

    Oh holy COW, that baby boy in a tie! I love it so much.

  2. Tracy

    December 17, 2013 11:47 am

    I HIGHLY recommend Jersey. (obviously not Jersey shore, Jersey because that is for younger peeps without families) We have been to Ocean City, Atlantic City – both fantastic! Cape May, etc all of them are just great!

    This year we will venture back there for a few days (a week is too long for our family) and hit up Sesame place too! It is only 1.5 hours from the shore, score!!!!

    As for your kids, they are too cute for words! Boo for sickness friend. BOO!

    • Jen

      December 18, 2013 11:12 am

      I have those places on my list for research! Where do you guys normally stay? Do they have houses or are most places condo/resort-type settings? We’re not sure if it would just be us or if we’d have a big group. The shorter drive is definitely appealing :) ha

  3. K

    December 17, 2013 12:41 pm

    You should try Lake Michigan and that whole western coast of Michigan: Grand Haven, Holland, Saugatuck, Douglas, Ludington, South Haven. It’s beachy and pretty and mellow and there is usually ice cream. In July, it’s reliably warm and, um, close to me.

    • Sunshine

      December 17, 2013 1:41 pm

      Lake Michigan is also close to me!!

    • Jen

      December 18, 2013 11:15 am

      oh this is a TEMPTING idea! It’s funny but it never crossed my mind that going west for beachy was an option, but that’s totally something I’d consider. (I hate salt water anyway! I just like the sand and the water and the mellow!) And hello ice cream. heh

  4. K

    December 17, 2013 12:42 pm

    Also, I feel like Zach turned serious because of the tie and probably feels like he is expected to start earning his keep (to pay for office visit co-pays or something).

  5. Melissa

    December 17, 2013 1:05 pm

    OMG, these germs need to leave your house. :( I’m so sorry. But I’m glad you had some fun in between! That picture of Zach in the tie is killing me. LOVE.

    We’re trying to figure out where to go next year as well. We haven’t been anywhere since 2011 (Philadelphia, since G had an interview, but only for 2 days so it barely counts) and I’m basically clawing at the walls over here. Thinking of maybe a woodsy/mountain-y place or state park, somewhere relaxing with places to hike & streams to throw stones & lots of room for the kids to just run around, and within a reasonable driving distance. So far I’ve looked at Adirondacks or Catskills (both NY), Blue Ridge Mtns (VA/NC) or Smoky Mtns (TN)… still researching though… too many choices! But yeah, I’ll be daydreaming of the beach, too. :)

    • Jen

      December 18, 2013 11:16 am

      oh those places sound great too! Basically anywhere that is laid-back and relaxing and the kids can just be KIDS for a bit is perfect. Right now we’re all feeling claustrophobic, I think :( uggggh

  6. Sunshine

    December 17, 2013 1:43 pm

    ENJOY EVERY MINUTE. (for anyone wondering, THIS IS SARCASM)

  7. Katie

    December 18, 2013 6:53 am

    Ocean City, NJ is a great place to take a family! An awesome boardwalk and its a dry island so its not a rowdy place. And its only a 6 hour drive!

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