Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Aiden's 15 Months Old!

So, here we are... 15 months. (OK, so we're a week late on this post, sorry youngest child, I'm just not as up on my game as I was with writing blog posts on big sis, my apologies...) I am not sure where time seems to slip away to each month, but, nonetheless, Aiden's now well on his way to becoming a big boy. Alli and I took him to the doctor yesterday for his 15 month check up and shots, and he was a sweetheart. A big cuddle bug on me most of the time (what's new there!), and he did great throughout the checkup and shots. Of course, big crocodile tears during the shots and a few minutes after, and poor big sis watching was pretty upset that the nurse was making him cry... "She's hurting Aiden!!" were Alli's exact words. The doctor asked all the normal questions, how's he doing with eating (ha! he eats everything!), sleeping (yeah, he sleeps, it's just still so early when he wakes up, but, that's the way it has to be with our work schedules, and he doesn't get the concept of 'weekends'), motor skills, vocabulary, etc. He seems to be right on track with everything, no issues at all during this visit, which is refreshing since we've been there a few times the past month with Alli for ear infections.

Here are the stats:

Weight: 23 lbs 15 oz (67th percentile)
Length: 32 inches (78th percentile)
Head: 19 inches (86th percentile)
Diaper Size: 4's
Clothing Size: 12-18 months in most everything, definitely 18 months for PJ's
Shoe Size: 5
Food: Still eats everything. All the teachers at school always make comments that, "whewww Aiden can EAT!" He loves to eat... and wants whatever you are eating and definitely whatever Alli has. Thankfully, she's big into sharing most things these days.
Naps: One two hour nap each day, typically around 12:30-2:30
Sleep: In bed by 7, awake around 6:15
Teeth: 8. We thought there had to be more coming in but after the doctor visit and a good look in his mouth by myself and the doctor, we don't see much else happening in there yet... ugh.
Sounds: He still babbles a lot and most of it we don't understand as real words yet, but, we have heard him say "up", "down", "all done", "outside", "mama", "nanananana" - is what he says for more... especially more food so he's got that noise/sound down pat, "dada" for sure, and he definitely knows who dada is, he'll bark like a dog and make elephant sounds too with his arm up pretending to be the trunk
Play: His all time favorite is still to be outside doing anything and everything. He loves riding in the cozy coupe, loves swimming and playing in the water, and feeding the geese/duck/turtles/fish in the pond. He loves throwing the ball and chasing after it and playing with his toy broom. He loves to dance whenever he hears music, it has to be the cutest lil move ever. He also loves to be tickled, because that's close to being held, and we all know that's still his all-time favorite in the whole world. Our forever baby.
New buddies: He has a few new friends at school that have moved up to his class, Eleanor and Rivers. He got to hang out with Anneliese this past weekend too and he seems to have lovey dovey eyes for her :), and Miss Harper from down the street has played a couple times recently too. 

He is definitely becoming more and more of an independent kid, although he still has his moments of being the baby and wanting to be held and snuggled. He still falls asleep on me sometimes, like this past weekend when we were at the pool in Charlotte, when he passed right out on my shoulder. At this age, Alli was nothing like that. Each day we realize how similar yet how different they truly are. 

Alli helping Aiden at the doctor, Aiden being unsuspecting of what's about to come his way (Shots! boo!), the stats, and the celebratory Popsicle afterward for being such a big boy :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


What a whirlwind the last couple of weeks have been! We wrapped up the month of June with one of my good friends from college getting married right in our own backyard (sort of), in which I was honored to be one of his eight groomsmen. While it was a destination wedding for everyone else, Mommy B and I could have practically walked to the location from our house. Not to mention I got a round of golf in with the rest of the groomsmen at the same place I got married – a course I haven’t seen since my wedding day. The place looks almost as gorgeous as Mommy B did standing across from me five short years ago. It was a beautiful wedding and we partied into the early morning hours, which is something Mommy B and I only do when one of the kids isn’t feeling well and we’re up all night. We also booked a hotel for the fun of it and went on a helicopter tour of the city the next day as a late anniversary present. My parents were on A-Team duty for those couple of days while we were busy doing wedding party stuff.

After a quick week off, the grandparents were back on the clock so Mommy B and I could fly to Stamford, Connecticut so see the last of my groomsmen get married. Technically the last one is getting married this Friday, but he’s having a “private ceremony” with only immediate family. But I just received word that they’re streaming the ceremony live online so people can watch it.. kind of contradictory, yeah? Ah, the times we live in…

Anyway, Mommy B and I got to fly into JFK and hop a rental car to Stamford, about 45 minutes away. Being a Damn Yankee (as the name of the blog implies), I learned how to be an offensive driver from very early on. And it only took about two minutes on the Van Wyck Expressway for those skills to come racing back to me. I was checking mirrors, changing lanes and dodging through traffic like I was the newest up-and-coming NASCAR driver… all the while trying to take directions from our GPS and Mommy B the co-pilot. We made it into town with enough time for me to try on my tux and get checked into the hotel before I was whisked away to the rehearsal. I met up with Mommy B afterwards at the rehearsal dinner where we all celebrated the upcoming nuptials of another good friend from college, Steve.
We had the next day “off” from wedding festivities, so Mommy B decided to venture into “The City”, as it’s called in those parts. We hopped a train to Grand Central Station (“Terminal”, as it’s called) and decided to roam The Big Apple. We hit the majority of the major tourist spots – Times Square, Central Park, Ground Zero, Wall Street, Battery Park to name a few. Of course, we couldn’t pass up pictures with the Elmos in Times Square, nor the Disney and M&M’s store close by.

But the highlight of the trip was meeting up with another former football player that both Steve and I graduated with, Zach Jump. I hadn’t seen this guy since we graduated back in 2006 and it was like we had never been apart once we started catching up. When I switched positions from receiver to cornerback entering my sophomore year, Zach was the guy I turned to to teach me the position – everything from the play calls to the hand signals to proper stance and form. While I never got to formally thank him for everything back in the day, I’m doubtful that I would have ended up becoming the all-conference defensive back I did without his help. In any case, he gave us his personal tour of lower Manhattan which included seeing the Statue of Liberty from across the harbor. As a final act of kindness that only comes from friends who toiled on the same gridiron together, Zach swiped his Metro card twice to allow Mommy B and I to catch a subway back to Grand Central free of charge. We then hopped back on the train headed back to Stamford just in time for dinner. We didn’t find out until later that we had accidentally gotten on the “local” train home, which meant that we stopped at every. single. stop. Interesting scenery we saw along the way, but I still don’t ever want to get off at the Harlem – 125th St. stop. No thanks.

The wedding day arrived which meant I was out the door early to go get ready with the rest of the groomsmen. And by that I mean I had to go one floor up in the hotel because Steve had booked a suite for us to use to get dressed then for himself and his bride to use that night. We then climbed aboard the stretch Navigator limo to pick up the bridesmaids and head to the church, only to find out that not only had Steve left the rings at his house but the bridesmaids were nowhere close to being ready. A small act of fate put Mommy B in the same car with the friends who went to retrieve the rings, which made us all breathe a little easier. Needless to say, the wedding didn’t start on time but we made up time where we could. It was a gorgeous wedding and the reception was even better. We danced all night and stuffed ourselves silly with the plethora of food that was provided. Mommy B told me that I even made a cameo in a video montage that they played while dinner was being served. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to celebrate Steve’s wedding with.

We had an absolute blast while we were there and luckily made it home without any difficulties. Direct flights are the only way to go, I swear. To make things even better, Grandma C picked us up from the airport as she was coming into town for a few days. We dashed home and surprised the kiddos as we all walked in the door. Aiden wouldn’t let me put him down the whole rest of the day and Alli was so excited to tell us everything that they had done the last few days. I missed the crap out of those kids, but it was great getting to spend some quality time with my friends and celebrate their big days – but more importantly, spend some quality time with Mommy B.

The night we got back, Alli was up every couple of hours claiming her ear hurt… but I think she just missed us and wanted to see if we would come get her. The next night, Aiden was up every couple of hours thanks to what we believe are more teeth coming in. Yep, looks like we’re right back into the swing of things…

Monday, July 8, 2013


Working in a Children's Hospital each day, I see a lot. A lot that I keep to myself, a lot that I don't want to share with anyone, a lot that no one else should have to see or experience. In the pre-operative area, I help get children ready for surgery. Sometimes "minor surgeries", like ear tubes or tonsillectomies. But trust me, even to those parents, nothing is "minor", especially when you are trusting your child's life to an anesthesia team they may have only met one hour prior to surgery. Sometimes, it's major surgery. Heart surgery, complete bowel resections, life-saving measures. I go to the PICU, NICU, Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care, and see babies and teenagers being kept alive by tubes and machines. And after all that, my life really gets put in perspective.

I often come in to work in a daze. It's 5:23 A.M. when I clock in, I've been up for over an hour and sometimes, been woken through the night by one or both of my beautiful babies. At the time, I'm frustrated, annoyed, and just plain tired and ready to get back to my bed ASAP. As soon as I step into work and see what is on our schedule for the day, the only annoyance in my life is that I can't rush back home and give them both an extra hug.

Some days, times get tough. I get worn out, exhausted, overwhelmed, and just unsure of how I'll make it through another toddler meltdown or another "Mr. Drama needs held by mama" episode. When our kids get ear infections, coughs, or runny noses, I worry, wonder, fret, and over analyze. Then I get to work and see the families of children who are a lot sicker than my poor child at home with an ear infection, and I wonder how I would be in their shoes. Then, I feel bad for feeling thankful that I'm not in their shoes. It's all about perspective, and I gain more each day. I realize how very lucky we truly are, and I am thankful for the insight gained each day at my job.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Van Halen Friday

I don’t mean to mess with your heads Followers, but unfortunately no, today is not Friday. However, Friday is quickly approaching, which means two things – 1) my good friend Steve is getting married, and 2) it’s Van Halen Friday.

For those of you who don’t know – Steve and I met as incoming college freshman football players. Steve was a kicker/punter and I was runnin’ with the devil while being an extremely unsure-handed wide-receiver. Since there were plenty of incumbent starters on the team when we joined the mix, we had dreams that we’d both be out on the field one day. I mean come on, everybody wants some playing time, right? We met each other where most other non-starters do – on the sidelines. Even though we didn’t play the same position, we commiserated together while being black and blue from training camp. We wanted nothing more than to jump into the ice bath after practice and talk about the beautiful girls we saw on the soccer field that day. Even when the coach told me “you’re no good” and convinced me to switch to cornerback, we toughed it out together and it paid off; we both had two solid years as starting college football players. You could say we were on top of the world.

We were even roommates for the last two years of college. Since our school was a residential campus, that meant we had the pleasure of living in dormitories for all four years of school. This also meant we had to get up for breakfast and walk to the dining hall every day for poundcake and other food. Sometime around our junior year, I began an unofficial tradition of playing a random Van Halen song on my computer at full blast every Friday before we trudged off to class for the day. This became known as “Van Halen Friday”.

But as the old saying goes, you gotta finish what ya started, and we graduated and moved apart. However, a couple years later Steve called me to tell me that he had met someone very special and wanted to bring her to Charleston to meet Mommy B and I instead of taking her to Panama. I said, “It’s about time!” We met the special lady a couple months later on their visit and I asked Steve, “So this is love?” He said, “Why can’t this be love? I’ve had my heart broken before, but I won’t get fooled againShe’s the woman.” He went on to tell me how she was finishing her Master’s degree so she could teach and coach softball in the future. I knew he’d be hot for teacher.

Fast forward a couple years and where have all the good times gone? Steve and his bride-to-be are getting married this Friday! Mommy B and I are very excited to leave the kiddos at home with my parents (for the first time ever!) and head up to New York/Connecticut for the wedding. It’ll be our last chance to get unchained and dance the night away for the foreseeable future. But right now, we’re just over-the-moon happy for Steve and his fiancĂ©.

They couldn’t have picked a better day of the week to get married. Mommy B and I got married on a Friday, and while I can’t recall if any Van Halen was played during our wedding, it’ll be a special bond that Steve and I share forever. Even to this day, I’ll still call Steve as I’m driving home from work to wish him a happy Van Halen Friday and crank Eddie’s finger-tapping up to full volume.