Friday, October 25, 2013

Am I Raising a Meathead?

Am I raising a meathead?  This question has been running through my head for the last 8+ months.  D's personality has really developed this past year and it is AWESOME.  He was always fun but now he's like really fun.  I finally have a backup singer for Journey's - Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'.  There is nothing better than picking him up from daycare and hearing about his day.  Examples: "All my friends are mad at me" and "I got put in timeout". You never know what is going to come out of his mouth, like asking loudly who the woman is behind us in line at Marc's.

Here is a current list of his favorite things: working out, baseball and cars.  He was my right hand man during my Insanity workout: doing suicide drills, taking his shirt off and constantly bugging me when was I going to workout next.  Then came the car obsession.  He wanted to know what everyone drives and now he knows every make on the road.  It keeps him very busy in the backseat screaming out the make of every car that passes and if it matches anyone in our family.  "That's a Volkswagen like Uncle Pat!"
Workin' out
video

I married into a baseball family and D has put meaning into the phrase, "It's in his blood."  He is obsessed with baseball.  He knew all the players, their numbers, and their batting routines.  He does Nick Swisher better than Nick Swisher!  I walked into his room one night and found him standing next to his clock radio.  I heard Tom Hamilton...He had found the Indians on the radio!!  Needless to say he's going through withdraw now that the season is over.

His first laptop!  
Today was his 3rd birthday and it was so much fun!  He finally got it.  The last 2 years he clearly had no idea what was going on, but today he knew it was all about him.  We had a low key party with my side of the family, with plans with Andy's later this weekend.  I went to Dollar Tree and bought every Mickey Mouse thing they had, offically turning into my mother-in-law who is a Dollar Tree fanatic.  He was so excited for every part of it.  Tomorrow he is going to be real disappointed that things are back to normal.  Meathead or not, he is pretty awesome and I can't wait to see what this next year brings.
Happy 3rd birthday big D!!
Go Tribe - I'd like to say he shares my enthusiasm for life!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Megan's Wedding

The Winters/Mullins Wedding Party - Eric Boneske Photography
It's been a busy start to fall and this post is long overdue!  Labor Day weekend we headed south for my college roommates wedding in Wilmington, North Carolina.  It was the first time we left D for more than a night.  (Like both of us, I left for the bachelorette and Andy's been on business trips, but you get what I'm saying!)  After work on Thursday we headed south on 77, dropped D off at a Flying J where my parents picked him up, and loaded up on Smart Water and dill pickle seeds.  The West Virginia hills are even scarier at night, but we made it to our hotel at 4:30am!  I hadn't been to Wilmington since tagging along with Megan for Spring Break 2004.

*Hamming 
After Megan insisted there was nothing for us to do to help her on Friday, we headed to Wrightsville Beach.  First stop was Meg's coffee shop where she is the Marketing Director, Port City Java, a must on your next trip.  We had not been to a beach since 2008 and it was glorious!  We underestimating the suns powerful rays on a cloudy day and got fried.  Nothing soothes a burn like fish tacos, we were directed to Tower 7 and it was delicious.


My favorite - Eric Boneske Photography
When we got to the wedding venue they were filming Sleepy Hollow.  For those of you who don't know Wilmington is a hot spot for TV shows!  I was disappointed I wasn't asked to be an extra.  The Brooklyn Arts Center is an old converted church.  The wedding was held in the courtyard, we were getting ready in the parsonage, and the reception in the church.  Megan couldn't have looked happier, was hamming it up and thankfully Andy caught this*.  Barry's friends and family were all so sweet, we were able to look past them being Atlanta Braves fans as long as the 1995 talk was kept to a minimum.  Dinner was at the Bluewater Grill, we again stuffed our faces with seafood and shared our favorite stories.  It was so fun catching up with Megan's sister, Rachel who is on the NEWS in Florida!  After dinner the other half of Club 509, Lydia and Alanna, had made it to town so we headed out with the groomsmen to Hell's Kitchen, which was featured on Dawson's Creek.  None of us remembered that episode but it didn't matter.

Club 509 (The name of our dorm room and where this ^ all started)
Saturday started with hair appointments at Bangz.  It was a cute and haunted hair salon.  The little girl that haunts the place knocked over some magazines while we were there.  We then headed to the parsonage to get our make-up done and get dressed.  Megan's dress was breathtaking, her whole look came together so beautifully.  She looked perfect!  The ceremony was performed by a childhood friend of Barry's.  He did a great job and made it so personal.  This was my first wedding where they wrote their own vows, it was so neat and made me cry more than usual.  As they walked back down the aisle the wedding planner had huge heads made of Megan and Barry, stealing the idea from Megan who had done the same for Barry when he ran his first marathon.

Bring it Barry - Eric Boneske Photography
The reception was...PERFECT!  The decorations pulled everything together, I was obsessed with the chevron runners.  The tears were flowing as the father of the groom got up to give his speech which was filled with the excitement of him FINALLY getting a daughter (Barry's an only child).  It was so sweet and heartfelt.  The food was amazing and creative.  Philly cheesesteaks for Megan and pulled pork with shrimp and grits for Barry, we had to try both.  The DJ made it feel like we were at a dance club.  Many of the songs were the same ones we blasted in our townhouse, it was like 2005 again!  He played Fatboy Slim which sent Barry to the dance floor to perform one of the greatest wedding dances ever.  (Andy and I are still talking about it!)  I loved getting to see all the Wilmington girls that went to NOLA and the chance to show Andy off to them in his bow-tie!  We went to a rooftop bar after in an attempt to keep the night going forever!  Kent State knew what they were doing when they randomly put me in a dorm room with Lydia and putting a shy blonde on the floor below us.  Club 509 for life!  

Thank you Megan and Barry for an amazing time, we love you!

Nosy Rosie and the bride peekin' before the ceremony
         
The bride and Andy sharing a moment

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Potty Training

Potty Training...words that have terrified me since becoming a mother.  D will be 3 in October.  I've been feeling the pressure.  My four year old niece asking why he's still in diapers, a coworker claiming her family members are trained by 2 (is that even possible??) and the looks...  I don't know if D is big or if it's because I am so short but this kid looks too big to be in diapers so last weekend I decided to take the bull by the horns.

Day One:
The sitter needed the day off so I figured this was the perfect time to take a vacation day and start D potty training.  We woke up, got daddy off to work, had breakfast and set the timer for 20 minutes.  I did the layering trick.  We have a lot of carpet and no leather furniture so I put him in his undies with a pull-up over.  The first couple trips will filled with him just sitting there wanting to play with my phone and no action.  It seemed he would go shortly after we had just tried to go.  Making it more frustrating he wouldn't even tell me he was wet.

I took him and the potty outside and ditched the pull-up.  Now this time when he went he said, "Ahh help I made it wet!" while pointing to his undies.  Progress?  I'll take it.  Many more accidents then finally it was nap time.  I reported to my SIL our progress or lack there of.  Something magical happened after his nap - he woke up DRY!  I sat him down and he went for what I found comparable to Adam Sandler's "Longest Pee".  The jumping and cheering scared him but he was psyched for m&ms.  No sooner did I get his after nap snack he had an accident.  I felt defeated.

The evening was filled with more accidents.  Things seem go from bad to worse.  THEN I was winging it inside without a pull-up before his bath, not a good idea.  After his bedtime, I took a long bath and debated getting out.

Day Two:
My excellent planning turned into poor planning when Andy got a chance to play in a golf outing and I had to work.  There was no way I would put our babysitter through what I went through.  She was advised to play it by ear.  I got home at noon and set the timer to get back into routine.  He did very well going before and after nap again.  Sadly the evening was full of accidents but Andy obliged to my request for Aladdin's.  Even though I was feeling discouraged my belly was full of delicious hummus.

Day Three:
He maybe went once and I had a meltdown at 7pm.  I'd been working so hard!  Why does this have to be so difficult??  I honestly believe this is the hardest thing I've done since becoming a parent and I'd much rather birth more children than potty train.  Maybe I should have listen to the people who told me they'll do it when they are ready.

This Week:
We've had highs and lows and an ER trip (no relation to the potty training).  His babysitter is on board, which is crucial!  There have been days he hasn't went at all and times where he's actually told me he had to go!  We definitely celebrate the little victories.  I've become more lax about it and figure it'll happen when it happens.  Until he starts getting it, I'll just keep eating the m&ms and I have no problem with that.

He may not be potty trained but he's real good at setting timers


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shelly and Patrick's Wedding

Photo by: Finest Moments
We had been waiting for this since April of last year.  The baby was getting married!  We knew it was going to be the ultimate party and we were not disappointed.  The wedding weekend started on Thursday with cousins flying into different airports at different times to stay with us.  D was pumped for our house guests.  He really gave Andy's cousin an idea of what it is like to have a toddler, he followed him everywhere!  I found him in the morning dreamily watching Tyson brush his teeth.  Needless to say D was quite the host: holding hands, playing music and providing endless entertainment/surveillance to our guests.

Photo by: Finest Moments
Rehearsal - Shelly wanted a Downtown wedding and that is what she got!  The rehearsal dinner was at Lola's.  We love Michael Symon and love The B Spot.  I made sure to thank Patrick's dad since Andy and I don't go fancy places and that may have been our only chance!  The food was AMAZING!  Patrick's mom did a slide show perfectly matching up childhood photos of our two lovebirds.  (Shelly in a football uniform, then Patrick in his.  Shelly with a suitcase when she was little, followed by her packed for college.)  We were all crying!  East 4th Street in Cleveland is hip and happenin' and we were in the middle of all the action.  While we were dining on delicious food the out of town guests were a couple doors down at The Corner Alley.  We of course grabbed some friends and cousins and made a few other stops around town before turning in.  Shelly (and Patrick too) planned everything perfect so it was all within walking distance.

Gettin' Ready - We awoke early to start the beauty process.  Now when I got married Shelly and I went to the salon got hair and makeup then ate at Swenson's while the other maids did their own thing.  It's a whole new world now!  We all met in a suite in the hotel and everything came to us.  Everything at our fingertips: Hair, makeup, food and Andy even came to visit!  It was so nice to relax and watch them turn Shelly into a princess and us into movie stars!  ("Movie stars" was a direct quote from an actual guest!)  Our floor length one shoulder black gowns flattered every body type.  Our flowers slapped you in the face and screamed, "Its summer time — let's party!"  I was so nervous as the clock approached 2:00pm I felt like I was getting married again!  I was relieved that Shelly's new SIL felt the same jitters I did.
We make that porta-potty look good!  

Ceremony - The church was a stunning catholic cathedral in the heart of downtown.  The long cobblestone isle was nerve-racking but Andy met me halfway and we made it with no problem.  I don't know if it was the church, the music, Shelly being the baby but as soon as the doors shut and the music played the tears ran down my face!  (I wasn't alone that's for sure.)  It was a beautiful ceremony and they both looked so over the moon in love.  When we exited the church, our little prince awaited us.  We didn't trust he'd stay quiet during the service so my very generous parents drove him up just for pictures, then back to the sitter and then they came back up for the reception.  With the attitude he had during pictures this was definitely the best choice!  While around town for photos our bus broke down needing a jump from the photographers and I ran into an old coworker.  Both making excellent stories!


Bonus
father/daughter
dance+tears!
Reception - It was at the Marriott where we were all staying.  The room was stunning!  Long white sheets with lights behind, family wedding photos as you entered (We did this too, shout out to those who showed you what love is!), beautiful flowers, everything was perfect.  Nervous about our wedding party intro, Andy ended up carrying me like a baby.  Shelly did the most selfless thing a bride can do — she gave up her spotlight!  Oldest sister Kim had a beach wedding and missed getting to dance with her dad.  Shelly shocked them both by giving them their own father/daughter dance.  Kim looked like she had won Miss America.  It was by far one of the sweetest things I've ever witnessed.  Anyone who had not cried by this point during the day was now.  

On a lighter note my Akron born and bred brother-in-law requested and performed David Allen Coe's "You never even call me by my name".  He did it at our wedding which my first response was, "Why the hell does Mike D have a microphone??"  It quickly became my favorite wedding tradition!  Andy has pulled it off at a couple of our friends' weddings, it's always a crowd pleaser.  I had been doing the Insanity workout leading up to the wedding but I did not get the ripped bod I hoped for but it did help my endurance on the dance floor.  I couldn't stop!  I didn't even stop for cake.  I kept thinking I'll never dance at Shelly's wedding again.  I HATED to see this night end, even staying up until 3am trying to make it last forever.  Which caught up with me on Sunday and the numerous times I found myself crying at the thought of our little sis being married!
"I was drunk the day my Ma got out of prison..."

Chef Ralston 
Sunday BBQ - If you are coming into town the Hargrove's make it worth the trip!  We did a clambake after our wedding and Shelly had a Caribbean BBQ for their Dominican send off.  My brother-in-law made jerk chicken, a family friend made an amazing white bbq sauce, Kim's world famous coconut rice and corn souffle.  It was so nice to be able to continue the celebration for one more day.  Our cousins had their babies in town so we got to finally meet them and have them play with our babies.  I was happy to get to talk to with everyone since it was hard to catch up on the dance floor!  I thought it took long for us to leave Andy's parents after a normal Sunday supper, well it's nothing compared to have 50 extra family members to kiss (not on the mouth, thats for another post and I'm happy to say Patrick sides with me on this) and hug.  It was so bittersweet.  This Texas family embraced me the moment they met me (which was when I was already engaged to their precious Andy, we moved quickly) and I hate we don't get to see them more often.  Someone else needs to get married ASAP!

We love you Shelly and Patrick! 
Thank you for having the awesomest wedding ever!

D & Tyson
                         


Monday, July 1, 2013

Spring Review

The first of many wedding shenanigans this season
Spring was packed with baseball games and fun.  This year was D's 3rd opening day and it was interesting.  All of a sudden he does not like clapping or fireworks.  Anytime the crowd went wild he ran into the bathroom crying.  We've been up a few times since and he's getting better.  He loves to come out to the balcony to dance to the walkup songs.  His personal favorite is Michael Brantley's.  Andy got to leave his mark at Jacob's Field, the family room girls asked him to leave his handprint on the wall like the other players children.  Andy's is slightly larger than the rest!

My grandpa celebrated his 80th birthday right before I celebrated my 30th.  What I thought was going to be my "dirty thirty" ended up being an "uneventful thirty".  It was spent over Swenson's cheeseburgs and our DVR.  My grandma gave me a letter my mom wrote to her after I was born.  It was so neat to read.  She wrote about how much my dad loved me and I would not want for much, and that is still true to this day!  (He just washed my car last time I was home.)  I always heard you are never done raising your kids and I am so glad my parents haven't!  Andy took me to supper in Kent that weekend to a restaurant owned by a family I use to work for, The Bistro on Main.  The food was as good as I remembered but the city was not how we left it in 2006.  The development of downtown of Kent is amazing!  We were shocked and it made our love and pride for Kent even stronger.

My sweet Aunt Sally
One wedding down and all my bridal showers are over.  I have one more bachelorette to go this week.  We will be so bored come fall!  The first wedding was of high school friends of mine.  It was so good seeing everyone, it was like 1998 homecoming again!  Shelly's bachelorette day long extravaganza was last weekend.  We had so much fun starting at the spa, dress fittings, dinner at Bar Louie and going out in downtown Cleveland.  It took a few days for this old lady to recover but I wouldn't change a thing.

D's in a big boy bed!

Other than my New Orleans trip we did some light travel to central Ohio.  My beautiful cousin Courtney graduated so we went down for her party.  We were able to visit with our Lancaster family and see my Aunt Sally who's been battling pancreatic cancer.  Made a stop to visit with our Hollow Rock friends and their twins.  We went for Jeni's Ice Cream, I was happy it lived up to the hype.  It was a quick trip but totally worth it.  Now on with the summer of love and our 3 other weddings!!

In the family room at the Jake
Shelly and her sisters and her sister-in-laws as bookends


Sunday, June 9, 2013

New Orleans Bachelorette Weekend

A little Kent, a little Wilmington all in New Orleans for Megan!
*One of our many great ideas

But Lori didn't you go to New Orleans a month ago, why so long on the post?  Because I had to get my FUN-SAVER developed.  Yes, they still make them and are very cheap.  Not trusting myself or my surroundings to take my Canon, I took the next best thing - a throw away camera.

My college roommate Megan is getting
Cafe Beignet!
married this summer.  Lydia and I met her our freshman year and the rest is history.  A quiet girl, who we forced into a vneck to go to the under 21 dance club.  How could she not love us?  Against her better judgement she lived with us when we moved out of the dorms.  We were two of a kind, short and blonde.  We even made a song about it and would perform synchronized kicks for our house guest.  I've watched Megan go through hell and back during our 10+ years of friendship.  No matter what has happened in her life she always emerges a better, stronger person.  After graduation she headed south back to Wilmington, NC.  She brought her groom up to Ohio a couple summers ago.  D took a liking to him as did the rest of us, so the news of their engagement was what we were all hoping for.  I absolutely cannot wait to watch her walk down the aisle and become Barry's WIFE!  Ha!  Who would have thought?  I'm a mom and Megan's about to be married.  We once got in a lizard cage together.*

This was right before I caught
beads with a Kenny Lofton
like grab!  (No, I didn't "earn" them.)
I've quickly realized when you get married into your 30s things are more lavish!  Unlike me who married straight out of college, if you wait until you're more established, you get to do fun stuff like have your bachelorette in New Orleans!  When Megan put this idea out there I was so excited.  I had never been to the Big Easy and figured we would never take D there.  It was hard leaving D, it was my first full weekend away and yes I cried a little...  I am thankful for facetime so he and Megan could compare their weekend battle wounds.  After a delay getting into town (I'm still mad at you Delta!) we went on to have a blast.  Frozen irish coffees, po' boys, Pimm's cups and parades everywhere you turn.  I am showing my age when I say I enjoyed the day more than night.  Things get a little wild for this old mama and Bourbon Street stinks, I mean it literally smells.  I brought D tons of NOLA gifts.  Doesn't every kid need a Louis Armstrong book?  We went on an amazing ghost tour, which my dad's response was, "You got ripped off!"  (Apparently he does not believe in ghosts.)  With all the history, delicious food and fun I would defiantly say you need to experience it.  I can't wait to go back and take Andy, but if D ever decides he needs to go I will throw myself in front of the plane.

Thanks Megs for a great trip and can't wait for your big day!  

Po' boys anyone??
Are you taller than me?? @ The French Market


Absinthe bar

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bridal Shower Season

The Bride, Groom and the 'maids.
I'm a huge fan of even numbered wedding parties!  It looks so balanced, minus my lack of height.
Saturday was our little Shelly's WEDDING shower!  I can hardly believe she will be married in a few months.  I feel such closeness to Shelly in the short 8 years I've known her my heart just explodes with happiness to watch her on this journey into matrimony!  I know I will be an emotional mess along with her 4 siblings.  Kim (oldest sis/matron of honor) is already worried about how her makeup with hold up to all the tears.  Making the group decision to get our makeup done unanimous.  Shelly had a beautiful shower with friends and family.  She's been kickin' butt in the gym and looks fantastic.  The smile did not leave her face all day, but got even bigger when Patrick came at the end with flowers.  (SWOON!)  Less than 70 days until the big day!

When boy sees girl...
I am so sad I am missing registering brides at the store.  I did a baby shower must have list it's only fair to do a bridal!  Even if it has been a long time since I've been a bride (almost 7 years!), my three years at Williams-Sonama constitutes me as a registry connoisseur.

Nosy Rosie's Bridal Registry List:
1.  WS Kitchen Towels:  You will have them forever.  I was almost angry that mine held up so well I couldn't justify buying more in new colors!  (But I did anyway.)  This also goes for our oven pads and mitts too.

2.  Calphalon Unison Non-Stick pans: They are amazing!  More expensive then some of their other lines but totally worth it.  Heavier, longer handles, forgiving and made in Toledo!  Make sure to register for wooden and plastic utensils so you don't scratch your new pans.

3.  All Clad French Skillet set:  Even though they are a pain to clean they're totally worth it.  Grab some Bar Keeper's Friend, it'll make clean up easier.  You won't make eggs in it but they are great to sear meats then just throw in the oven.
If you only want to cook with non-stick or you only want to use stainless-steel.  Make sure to get a skillet or two (WS has sets) of whatever the opposite of what your set is.  It is always nice to have options!

4.  Knife Set:  Now this is a personal choice of what brand to get.  Make sure you go in to the store and hold them in your hand to see what you like.  Having a good knife set makes cooking sooo much easier.  Don't forget your cutting board and oil and to watch your fingers!

5.  All Clad Measuring set:  Yes it's expensive but it'll be the only set you ever need!  The straight handle makes it easy for you to level off your ingredients.

6.  Cookbooks:  WS has the most beautiful cookbooks with delicious recipes.  I fell in love with them
so quick that I purchased a cookbook holder to display them.  Andy then convinced me we needed one for every season.  I happily agreed!

7.  White Dinnerware:  My mother was so right about this one!  I said, "Nooo I want brown, it's classic, it'll go with everything."  No it's not, you will get sick of it and it won't go with some of tablerunners or your holiday decor.   Expressing my disgust with my choice to one of my managers she said, "Look at our dinnerware wall...all white and it has been like that forever."  How could I have been so naive!

*Andy not standing up
straight in our 1st apartment

8.  Register for the FUTURE:  I use to have to beat this into the heads of brides.  I had to convince a girl to register for more than 4 flatware place settings.  "But we won't be entertaining for a while.  It's just going to be the two of us blah blah..."  Andy couldn't even stand up straight in our first apartment*, we got 12 and am I glad we did.  By the time we got a house I didn't have the extra money to buy flatware and neither will you, you've got other fun stuff you'll want to buy!  Unpacking entertainment pieces you forgot you had is like Christmas!

9.  Don't worry about prices:  Yes this stuff is expensive, but it is built to last.  (Hence my mom having the mixer she got for her wedding almost 40 years ago!)  You never know who is going to go together and get you a gift.  Don't be scared, no one will judge you!  Registering at WS or Pottery Barn is nice because you can use their gift cards at either place, West Elm or Pottery Barn Kids (incase you have a honeymoon baby)!
So cute!




Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winter Rewind

 Looking back at my pictures I'm thinking what did we do this winter?  Of course I took 75 at Elmo but other than that not much documented.  I did get an iphone 5 and have joined Instagram, which I am obsessed with!  So plenty of pictures and stories to tell from my phone.  The year started with my store closing that I still haven't gotten over.  They keep sending me catalogs that pours salt back in the wound!  The free weekends have opened up all sorts of fun stuff, going back home for the entire weekend, yard cleanup, even a family grocery trip.

Made his own bed after
a big day of yard work.
D is coming into his own.  We've realized why people pop out babies back to back, once you get a crazed toddler how could you throw a baby into the mix?  He's becoming very independent, hanging up his coat when we get home, putting his shoes in his closet, even grabbed the milk out of the fridge!  (Good thing I was close to catch it before he dropped it.)  He's getting so smart, clever yet still able to throw fit with the best of them.  While making cookies for my social workers (in honor of National Social Work Month) D came in while I was icing the spring themed cut-outs and said, "Dada wants uhnudder coo-coo, I take it to him."  I yelled into Andy, he did not ask or want another cookie.  I have a feeling if I would have given it to our little cookie monster it would not have made it to dada, but been eaten in route.

60 degrees in Jan!
We had some 60 degree days in January!  It was great to get out and open the windows.  My grandparents celebrated 61 years of marriage so awe got together to celebrate at the Hartville Kitchen.  D is recently obsessed with my grandpa and Aunt Ang, he kept tabs on them during the whole meal.  One weekend home, Andy and I were able to sneak out for a date night out in downtown Canton.  We attended our annual Night at the Races for the local little league.  Brionna came up again and we had a blast.  We already can't wait until next year!

I attempted to make butternut squash ravioli for our meatless Fridays.  Spent the 3 hours the night before making a TON to freeze for the next night and hopefully many Fridays after.  They looked good, I was pretty proud of myself.  Then I tried to cook them...  I must have made them too thin, I lost over half of them because they opened up while boiling.  All that hard work lost in boiling water, I'll be honest I cried.  Andy reassured me there are worst things that could happen.  The ones that stayed intact were delicious.  You haven't seen the last of me butternut squash ravioli!  Now we are hoping the weather turns warm and are counting down the days until opening day.  Happy Spring!
Andy and an avid Nosy Rosie reader