What is it with old men at Lowe's?

Several things that are too short for their own entry:

1. Many of my family members have been teasing me lately for something really weird - the amount of toilet paper I use. Apparently I go through it much faster than the average woman, even though I think I'm using a completely normal amount. The whole thing came about because we went through an entire roll of toilet paper one weekend when I was visiting, and they say that it takes them about a week to go through a roll on a normal basis. So I'm curious. How much toilet paper does a regular person use then, per visit to the throne? I'd say I use about 10 squares. Is that a ridiculous amount? Am I using way too much? I guess I just want to gauge whether I'm the weird one or if they're abnormal.

2. I am very excited about the 3-day-weekend coming up. We have a party on Friday night and then nothing else planned for the entire weekend, save for daily family naps. Seeing as how we've all been going about a hundred miles an hour for the entire month of May, I'm more than happy that we're ending it by relaxing.

3. Tomorrow morning we have what is, hopefully, Gabbie's last appointment with an orthopedist about her hips. She has to get an x-ray and then see the doctor, and if all is well we won't have to see the doctor again. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed on this one. We haven't seen any problems - she's walking, running, jumping, riding a bike, and dancing just fine. In fact, she never really stops moving. Still, I can't help but worry a little bit. We're keeping our fingers crossed that it goes as well as we expect it will.

4. If I have to watch Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs one more time in the near future, I may scream. Gabbie wakes up requesting, "Ice Age?" We indulged her on vacation and were very thankful the movie kept her busy while we were working on refinishing our deck last week (expect a post on that soon), but now she expects to watch television, and especially that movie, whenever she wants. I'm sure all the spoiling she received over the weekend didn't help my cause, but seriously. It was on our tv about 10 times last week, and I'm thinking that's about 8 times too many.

5. There's something exciting happening next Tuesday that I can't wait to tell you all about after the fact, and it has both Aaron and I up at night with anticipation. This is why we're looking forward to the family naps this weekend so much. Between croup and anxiety, we're quite the sleepless bunch.

6. So, the title. Several months ago we were at our local Lowe's and an old man stopped us to give Gabbie a dollar coin. A little weird, but we said thank you and were on our way. Then two weekends ago when we were there picking up deck supplies, another old man stopped us. This time, without asking us, he handed a sucker directly to Gabbie. Well, we said thank you, and again headed on our way. Since Gabbie has never before had a sucker and had basically no idea what it was, plus we wanted to avoid a meltdown in the middle of Lowe's that would most likely occur if we took it away from her, we let her hold it. She just held it and looked around and we figured we'd take it away when we were leaving and it would be no big deal.

At one point Aaron and Gabbie took off to find brushes while I was waiting for the paint guy to mix up a color sample of paint for Gabbie's room. Apparently Aaron was looking at the shelf, then looked back down and Gabbie had the sucker unwrapped and in her mouth. When they got back, I freaked a little (on the inside; I still didn't want to cause a fit), but I guess if anything bad were going to happen it would be too late - she had already had it in her mouth. Thankfully, she's just fine and the guy apparently had no bad intent (we didn't think he did, but you can never be too sure), but I still worried a little the rest of the afternoon.

Seriously, old guys at Lowe's, what's up? Why must you give candy and other goodies to strangers' kids? Is it just me or is this weird?

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Girl

Yesterday Gabbie turned two. I know I'm a day late in wishing her a happy birthday here, but I have to admit, I'm still kind of in disbelief that this happened. I mean, how can this tiny baby:

Be this big girl:


She's not a baby any more. She's a kid. A getting-bigger-every-day kid, and I consider myself incredibly lucky that I get to be her mom. Even if she is already acting like a stereotypical two year old. I love her anyway, no matter what. And even if she's not technically a baby, she's still my baby, and she always will be.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Tomorrow I will have a 2 year old, yesterday she had a party

(and today we're pretty sure she has croup.)

We threw Gabbie a big birthday party yesterday with a houseful of family and friends, though she was the only kid there (there were a couple of babies but all the kids we invited were busy). That was totally fine with her, because that meant she didn't have to share any of her birthday loot, and my what a load of loot she received - a talking tea set, a toddler-sized suitcase, an easel, a fairy treehouse play set, a set of musical instruments (thank the Lord she can't yet figure out how to play the harmonica; she has the xylophone playing down), and (from us) a tricycle.

But! Back to the party. I cleaned, decorated, and cooked my heart out for the party, and, if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty excellent!

I hope you're ready for a lot of pictures, because I have a lot to share.

I made a 2nd Birthday banner:

We made tissue paper pom-poms to decorate above the table and the deck:

We put up streamers and balloons.

Then we cooked for our taco bar (menu/recipes will be over here), decorated a cake, cut up fruit, and mixed up punch. In the middle of the final food prep, guests started to arrive. We had about 20 people over, and everybody seemed to have a good time. Finally it was time for the blowing out of candles. We sang Happy Birthday to Gabbie, which she wasn't too sure of, although it doesn't look like she completely hated it:

Then she blew out the candles:

And we dug in to the white chocolate raspberry cake and (Gabbie's favorite) ice cream. Shortly after we started Gabbie's absolutely favorite part of the day - opening presents! We saved the tricycle we got her for last, and it's safe to say that she loved it.

At first she looked stunned, then she wanted to touch each part without anyone trying to help her get on the bike, and then, finally, she wanted to ride it. Unfortunately, she can't quite reach the pedal when it's at its lowest point, but she is perfectly happy being pushed around on it.

Shortly after everyone left, she stripped down to her diaper, played with her toys for a little while, and then crashed HARD for a quick nap.

She woke up with a suspicious-sounding cough (croup is going around day care which is why we're pretty sure she has it), and although her throat hurt and she was coughing, she played for several more hours before fighting us tooth and nail at bed time because all she wanted to do was keep playing. Since everyone left full and content-looking, I think it's safe to say that we all had a great time and the party was a hit.

Back to real life already? Fine.

We are back from our lovely, warm, sunny Florida vacation and had to acknowledge real life yesterday morning by heading back to work and daycare. Gabbie was the least excited of all of us and showed it by kicking and screaming from the time I entered the daycare parking lot until well after I left. Way to break my heart kiddo! I didn't want to go back either, but it was definitely time. (Although, I do have another 1 1/2 weeks of vacation time left...no, better save it.)

She was really, really great on vacation. We got compliments on how good she was on the plane after both plane rides. She did get sick our first full day there and so our first three days were fairly miserable. Our major problem with her getting sick is that she stops eating when she gets sick and this stresses Aaron and I out to no end. Still, we took her in to the urgent care based on our pediatrician's advice and got her the medicine she needed.

Within 24 hours of starting the medicine she was much better and we headed to Universal for Aaron's birthday. We all had a great time, but Gabbie especially. She went on four rides (some of them twice because she got off and promptly asked, "More?") and played in a splash park, and probably would have continued playing and running around as long as we let her (we cut her off after 4 1/2 hours since she had just been sick and needed to rest).

Outside of the theme park, she pretty much ran around her grandparents' house in her diaper and played with a Yahtzee set and Mardi Gras beads. Seriously, they kept her busy for four days. It was pretty cute, except for the zillion times that she tried to put the beads on my feet, because it tickled a ridiculous amount (I have very ticklish feet). 

We also went to the beach, but those pictures are on Aaron's phone, so I'll have to steal them from him later. All in all, vacation was great and we're all sad it's over. Up next? Home improvement projects to get ready for Gabbie's 2nd birthday party this weekend! I can't believe my baby is going to be 2 in a week!

Gabbie's very first flight

I'm going to be honest here. For the first half of this week I was a mess. I was worried about flying for the obvious reasons, but also terrified that Gabbie would be scared of the whole experience. Everyone told me she would be fine, and I totally should have listened, but I was worried about my baby!

Turns out everyone was right. Aaron and I even did better than we expected (we're both kind of nervous fliers). Gabbie was an absolute angel the entire flight, and wasn't scared if anything save for all the strangers paying attention to her.

Shortly after take-off we thought we may have some trouble, when Gabbie loudly announced, "I pooped!" We couldn't get out of our seats yet and we did get the evil eye from a couple of people around us (although admittedly fewer than the lady who delayed our flight by getting out of her seat to use the bathroom right when we were about to take off received). Thankfully it was just another instance of Gabbie being confused about pooping vs tooting. Very thankfully. I really didn't want to have to figure out how to change a diaper on the plane.

We did experience a few tears as we started our decent because her ears were bothering her. We were trying to get her to suck on her binky or to drink some water, both to no avail. Then I said the magic words that caused the crying to cease instantly - "do you want some candy?" She was fine the rest of the way down to the ground and we were all happy that we made it safe and sound via an excellent flight. And that is the story of Gabbie's first flight.

Getting Bigger Every Day

Oh, man, last week got away from me. I kept thinking, oh, I'll just blog tomorrow, but then tomorrow would be gone and I don't know. The past few weeks have flown by and I don't know how they went so fast.

So, anyway, there was the trip to Kansas City, which went very, very well, and was very, very fun. Gabbie was a champ and did better in the car than I did even. I was ready to get the heck out. She just wanted to play some more. Here she is watching a movie, holding the iPad all by herself:

Everything on the way there went swimmingly until we offered her some licorice and then about 40 minutes later, and with approximately 40 minutes left on our drive she got car sick. It was, well, a less than pleasant experience. She would retch and then cry, "Yucky!" and then repeat the cycle. We got her all cleaned up at a gas station but she threw up a couple more times during the remainder of the drive. I have to say, nothing cements the fact that you are a parent quite like catching vomit in your hands and not flinching. Not to say that I didn't pull a Lady Macbeth the rest of the night, feeling like I just couldn't get my hands clean enough.

Anyway, sorry about that grossness.

We all had a great time at the parties (there were two) and Gabbie had a blast playing with my aunt's small dog. Gabbie put her on the leash and walked her around the house, and also gave her lots of hugs. Gabbie was a much bigger fan of the dog than the dog was of her, but the dog is also very patient and deserves a medal for putting up with a toddler for two days straight.

Since we've been home Gabbie has been a major daddy's girl. Aaron didn't go with us and she obviously missed him a lot. She started calling him Dad instead of Dada this weekend (she's been calling me Mommy instead of Mama for a while now). It's adorable and incredibly sad all at the same time. My baby is getting so big! She'll be two years old in just over three weeks? How did this happen?!?

Just to illustrate how big she's getting, look what she helped me make yesterday:

They're mint chocolate cupcakes, and she helped me count out the cups, pour liquids into the bowl, and stir the batter together. She also put all the liners into the cupcake pan all by herself. I'm really in disbelief of how big she is getting these days. My baby isn't so much of a baby any more!
This week she goes on her first airplane trip. We're headed to Florida to visit my inlaws. I'm even more nervous for this (including for my own issues with regards to air travel) than I was for our long car trip. It should be interesting to say the least. We bought her a seat and are taking her carseat with us, so hopefully that will make her more comfortable. Now we just have to figure out how to keep her awake until flight time so she naps the whole way there. It will be a challenge, that's for sure!
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